Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

Materials & Process Engineer

2 weeks agoLaurel, MD

Do you thrive in a dynamic, high-energy, customer-focused environment?

Are you passionate about using state of the art materials and processes to develop customer solutions?

Are you excited about researching new materials to improve product performance?

Do you have a broad background in polymer and composite materials and processes, facilities, and fabrication equipment?

If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL!

We are seeking an experienced Materials and Process Engineer to support the Advanced Mechanical Fabrication Group at APL. In this role you will work closely with customers to serve as an engineering resource for conducting advanced composites design, fabrication, research and development in support of APL programs. You will support the fabrication of molded polymer parts using a wide array of materials for a variety of applications and special missions. As an expert in materials, you will seek opportunities for novel use of polymer materials in new and ongoing programs and serve as a technical resource for all APL staff to deliver the best possible product.

As a Materials and Process Engineer you will:

  • Develop and maintain the material processing and component fabrication capabilities in support of advanced composite component and bonded assembly, development requirements for programs. Design advanced composite parts, bonded assemblies and tooling and perform the process development necessary to fabricate those parts. Oversee vendor processes to insure compliance with APL requirements. Applications include various aerospace composite structures as well as thermal protection systems and thermal instrumentation for missile systems.
  • Develop and maintain the material processing and component fabrication capabilities in support of molded polymer components, encapsulation of electronics or other fabricated articles. Specialized packaging of sensors, optics, electronics, wiring and customized items. Materials can include but are not limited to epoxies, polyurethanes, acrylics and silicones. Utilize polymer additives for mechanical, thermal or electrical property modification and color matching. Work with material vendors for custom formulations.
  • Perform technical oversight of materials and process issues for composite rocket motor case development work by DoD contractors, reporting to APL Propulsion leads and DoD program offices. Requires knowledge of filament winding materials and processes, pressure vessel and rocket motor case design and testing procedures, and thermal protection system materials and related application processes.
  • Participate in oversight programs as an independent consultant to APL systems engineers and DoD program offices concerning composite structures and bonded assemblies that are critical system components. Review and provide comments on contractor development activities.
  • Carry out material applications R&D in support of customer requirements and IRAD programs. Coordinate testing of materials, components, and various sub-elements of prototype hardware to evaluate engineering properties and conformance to operational requirements. Report results to customers and document findings in technical reports or papers. Maintain, monitor, and enhance lab areas dedicated to composites development and fabrication, structural bonding, molding, encapsulation and packaging. Develop new programs with internal and external sponsors, including writing proposals and developing estimates. Develop internal internet-based training and marketing resources pertaining to composites and bonded assemblies.


You meet our minimum qualifications for this job if you...

  • BS in Materials or Mechanical Engineering or equivalent and 8+ years experience.
  • Knowledge of materials and mechanical design.
  • Basic understanding of composite design, fabrication, and processing.
  • Experience in composites and bonded assembly process development; and ability to solve common engineering problems including the documentation and communication of the work.
  • An interest in performing hands-on processing work.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
  • Ability to work independently and exercising good technical judgment and communicate effectively while working in a team.
  • Ability to travel to field sites to support materials engineering tasking.
  • Ability to meet physical requirements for working with ordnance.
  • The ability to obtain a Secret security clearance. If selected, you 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.
  • Can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To ensure the safety and well-being of the community, APL has established a policy requiring that all staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. All staff members must provide proof of full vaccination or have an approved medical or religious accommodation by their start date.

You go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you...

  • Have a MS in Mechanical/Materials Engineering.
  • Significant experience with aerospace advanced composites and bonded assembly fabrication and processing methods to include autoclave cure and post processing methods.
  • Experience developing tooling to support component fabrication.
  • Experience in laminate analysis.
  • Expertise in operating controllers for computer controlled autoclaves and other processing equipment.

Why Work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation's most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.

At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and healthy work/life balance. APL's campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at