Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer

Are you passionate about Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC)?
Are you searching for a collaborative, fulfilling (and even fun!) workplace environment?

Do you love to apply your technical knowledge and creativity to make critical contributions to critical challenges?

If so, put your career search on autopilot and navigate your future towards the best and most rewarding GNC job in Maryland.

The GNC Group of the Air and Missile Defense Sector at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) performs critical research, development, analysis, and testing of missile systems. Our hardworking team members develop technical breadth and depth by performing concept development, detailed design, and flight testing with opportunities to support any of the more than ten operational and future interceptor programs in our current portfolio. We connect with other specialists from across the laboratory to contribute different perspectives and collaborate on groundbreaking interdisciplinary efforts.

As a member of our team, you will apply your knowledge of control and estimation theory to devise, model, and analyze state-of-the-art homing missile GNC systems, and to assess their impact on overall weapon system performance. You will develop and apply technical skills and knowledge in:
• Advanced applications of estimation and control theory
• Optimization of complex systems
• Flight control (autopilot) design, analysis
• Guidance algorithm development and inertial navigation using GPS
• System concept trade studies, 6-DoF development, verification, and validation as well as dynamics modeling and analyses
• Real-time hardware-in-the-loop, actuator modeling, control and testing, Missile electrical systems and failure root-cause analysis

Some of your contributions will include...
1. Developing, implementing, and assessing new guidance and flight control algorithms for next-generation guided missiles to meet anticipated performance requirements versus advanced, stressing threats.
2. Building six-degree-of-freedom (6DoF) digital, high-fidelity simulation models for components of existing, next-generation, and advanced guided missiles and projectiles to accurately model vehicle and system performance.
3. Assess the performance of existing guidance, navigation systems and (flight) control systems. Craft, implement, and evaluate improvements to these algorithms.
4. Proposing and/or engaging in internally-funded research and development projects to address performance gaps in current or soon-to-be-fielded weapons systems.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent in electrical, mechanical, or aerospace engineering, or in a related technical field.
  • At least three years of relevant professional experience (or advanced degree and 1-2 years experience) in one or more of the following areas: control systems, guidance algorithms, inertial navigation, state estimation, flight dynamics, and modeling and simulation of dynamic systems.
  • Proficiency developing in C , Fortran, and/or Java.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and to collaborate as part of a team.
  • Ability to obtain a SECRET clearance.
  • Advanced degree in electrical, mechanical, or aerospace engineering. Coursework or experience in system optimization, advanced (optimal, nonlinear, stochastic) control, estimation theory and/or autonomous systems is a plus.
  • Experience developing 6DoF digital simulation models of aerodynamically controlled missile systems and/or space vehicles a plus.
  • Experience with collaborative software development and object-oriented software design techniques is a plus.
  • Proficiency in MATLAB and Simulink. Current SECRET (or above) clearance is a plus.

Special Working Conditions: Position may require occasional travel to support flight testing or meetings at contractor facilities.

Security: 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 orientation, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

Who we are: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC, is a national leader in scientific research and development. APL provides critical contributions to critical challenges with systems engineering and integration, technology research and development, and analysis.

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