Lead Designer


The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a national leader in scientific research and development, located midway between Baltimore and Washington, DC is seeking a Mechanical Design Engineer.

Job Summary:

Mechanical design engineer support on spaceflight hardware programs and proposals including CAD design, hardware procurement, manufacturing, assembly, integration and test.


  • Provide mechanical and design engineering support to senior mechanical engineers in the development of space systems. Develop component, sub-system and spacecraft configurations and designs using Creo CAD software. Assign and develop mass and inertia properties for components and assemblies based on the CAD model. Work concurrently with other technical disciplines such as Thermal, RF, Power system and stress engineering staff. Lead all CAD efforts associated with database development, architecture and lead documentation configuration control efforts as they relate to drawings and design changes using PTC Windchill. Direct junior designers assisting the lead when required.
  • Interact with program personnel in hardware, proposal and study development efforts. Support status meetings and program reviews. Interface as required with external and internal fabrication facilities performing machining, sheet metal, welding, composite and bonding services. Generate procurement documentation as required and interface with vendors/subcontractors in the delivery of components, services and hardware.
  • Support mechanical efforts as needed during hardware integration, flight and non-flight hardware testing, engineering model development and field/launch site operations. Provide inputs and the drafting of various test plans and procedures in support of hardware operations.
  • Work as a member of a proposal team, made up of diverse engineering specialties, in the generation of space system proposals for various sponsors. Participate in or initiate smaller proposals and technology development projects to support future space mission needs.
  • Travel and support program level meetings and reviews off site.

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:

  • Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 10 years of experience in using CAD software in a multi-user environment, some of which must be recent experience with Creo.
  • 5 years experience with configuration management software to conrol the release and revision of parts and assemblies during the design cycle, some of which must be recent experience with PTC windchill.
  • Basic knowledge of design techniques, materials selection, drawings, tolerancing and interest in the design, manufacture and test of space related mechanical systems.
  • Ability to work as a team member of the mechanical team supporting all functions related to the design and test of flight and ground support hardware for Space Department missions, and ability to lead a team of designers.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, both written and oral. Candidate must show a high level of initiative and problem solving skill.

Desired Qualifications:

Experience through course work, internship or job experience with the design of satellite mechanical systems. Experience in spacecraft programs and related ground handling systems, MS Excel, Word and Powerpoint software experience.

Special Working Conditions:

Some travel required. Overtime support of spaceflight hardware missions and proposals as required. Some work in clean rooms required. Some level of mobility required due to spacecraft assembly/integration efforts and work in a multi-level building.

Security: Top Secret. 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 www.jhuapl.edu.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory 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, and values diversity in its workforce.

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