EGSE Lead Engineer

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a national leader in scientific research and development, is located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC is seeking an Electrical Engineer for the design, development and support of Electrical Ground Support Equipment for unmanned space satellite missions.

Job Summary:

The APL Space Exploration Sector (SES) has a 57-year history of space satellite development and mission execution leading critical contributions to critical challenges in space applications for national security and civilian space science. The APL SES has pioneered advances in navigation, space-to-space intercept missions and a host of science investigations that span the solar system from the Sun to Pluto and beyond. We are most noted for our ability to execute among the most unique, innovative and challenging space experiments and missions ever attempted.

An essential component in the execution of these missions is the Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) that is used for flight hardware and software development, test, and qualification. These test systems range in complexity from simple electronic bench-top test units to systems that are oftentimes significantly more complex than the actual spacecraft electronic hardware itself. These “Testbeds” include racks of custom and COTS equipment with digital and analog hardware, FPGAs, embedded software, and scripted operational control software all developed and maintained by the EGSE Engineers.

This engineering position encompasses two very significant responsibilities:

First, it is a growth opportunity for a candidate to learn first-hand how the Space Exploration Sector has implemented the EGSE in support of the Solar Probe Plus mission to the Sun. The EGSE engineer will assume long-term responsibility for maintaining the Testbed GSE systems that are currently deployed in support of Flight Software development, Spacecraft Integration and Test, as well as for Mission Operations. The responsibilities include understanding the hardware systems and becoming familiar with their unique configurations in order to address issues encountered by the end-users during the current period of spacecraft development through launch (2018) as well as throughout the duration of the mission (2025).

Second, it is a forward-looking opportunity in which the EGSE engineer will be expected to engage and lead in the design and development of new and next generation EGSE systems for other and future programs. After becoming familiar with the Solar Probe Plus mission’s EGSE, the engineer will have a good foundation from which to define the path for future EGSE innovations.


  • The most immediate tasking will be to gain familiarity with the design and implementation details of the Solar Probe Plus EGSE Testbeds. The engineer will provide on-site and remote assistance to end users of the Flight Software Development GSE, Spacecraft I&T GSE, and Mission Operations GSE regarding usage, operations, troubleshooting and maintenance. This will encompass nearly 100% of the tasking activities as part of the SPP Mission team over approximately the next 12-months.
  • Leveraging the knowledge gained through an understanding and active support of the SPP EGSE, this position is one of continued growth and engineering creativity in the definition and development of GSE for other ongoing, upcoming and future missions. Duties include the establishment of test hardware requirements, producing development cost estimates, hardware system and electronic design, development, usage support, maintenance and documentation of EGSE systems.

Note: This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time.Required Qualifications:

  • We’re seeking an energetic and enthusiastic individual with a B.S. degree or higher in Electrical and/or Computer Engineering, and 3 – 5 years of hands-on electronic hardware design and development experience. There are a number of skills that are foundational to the successful execution of the work described. As an EE, these skills include the ability to perform electronic circuit design and schematic capture using CAE tools, as well as testing and debugging the hardware developed. Circuit design may include the development of FPGA logic in VHDL.
  • As an EGSE engineer you must be able to specify as well as design and document the desired implementation of the physical rack and associated equipment so that it can be built with the support of other engineers and technicians. In addition, you’ll need to be able to design and specify interconnect cabling, procure COTS equipment and lead the GSE system assembly and integration. While we recognize that one may not possess all of the specific skills unique to EGSE development, we welcome those that are willing to engage, learn, and be willing to become expert in this critical development arena. The most eligible candidates must possess a positive demeanor with an eagerness and ability to tackle the understanding of existing complex electronic systems. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to apply their vision to improve upon present designs for future spacecraft missions with an eye towards reduced development cost, ease of use, and improved efficiency in hardware testing.
  • An ability to work in a team-oriented problem-solving atmosphere is essential, cooperating across multiple disciplines including assembly technicians, other electrical and software engineers, spacecraft integration engineers, mission operations teams, and managers.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Desired, but not required – familiarity with Mentor Graphics DxDesigner for schematic capture and simulation, Xilinx FPGA design tools, and Microsoft Visio for documentation.If not familiar with any one or more of these specific tools, we seek an ability to learn these systems as they are integral to our work processes.
  • An active security clearance is not required, but candidates must be able and willing to apply for a clearance if required for future tasks

Special Working Conditions: On occasion and as applicable, work may be required to be performed off-site (e.g. test facilities or launch site) and at odd hours in support of spacecraft development and mission execution.

Security: In the event that a clearance is required, the applicant selected will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.

Benefits: APL offers a comprehensive benefits package including a liberal vacation plan, a matching retirement program, significant educational assistance, a scholarship tuition program for staff with dependents, and competitive salaries commensurate with skills and experience. For more information about our organization, please visit our web site at

Equal Employment Opportunity: Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, as well as other applicable laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

Meet Some of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory's Employees

Mary A.

Lead RF Systems Engineer

Mary Ann builds prototypes and integrates software and hardware communications in order to create complete systems for APL contracts and projects. She also collaborates with her team to fix software issues.

Gianni P.

Electrical Engineer

Gianni works on the design, modeling, and simulation of low- to high-fidelity radar projects for the lab. He also conducts tests to evaluate new technologies.

Back to top