Mechanical Engineer (Structural Analyst)

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

Job Summary:

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is seeking a highly motivated individual with a solid foundation in structural mechanics with an emphasis in composite materials. The candidate would be expected to use their knowledge to build up an analysis capability to properly characterize the nonlinear response of composites at high temperatures with interest at the meso to micro-mechanical scale. These skills will be used to conduct detailed stress analysis of missile assemblies, rocket motors, thermal protection systems, launchers, and reentry bodies in support of missile and reentry technology development for the Department of Defense. Candidate will participate in industry/government working teams by interacting with sponsors, contractors, and APL staff. The candidate will contribute to the development of multiple new and innovative analysis tools for use within the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Group.

Duties (Listed in order of importance with the estimated amount of time spent at each task):

1.Develop finite element models of mechanical assemblies and perform static, dynamic, and thermo-structural analyses. (50%)

2.Work on a multi-disciplinary team to develop sophisticated material models and new analysis tools. (25%)

3.Present analysis results to government agencies and/or contractors and document technical results and new modeling capabilities in technical memoranda. (10%)

4.Actively participate on industry/government Integrated Product Teams. Provide technical expertise and review of contractor analyses. (15%)

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:

  • MS in Mechanical Engineering or closely related field with some exposure using the finite element method.
  • Experience or coursework fundamentals to model and analyze the structural response of composite materials at elevated temperatures.
  • Some experience in the use of a programming and/or scripting language (Python, Fortran, C ).
  • Ability to obtain a Secret clearance.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in mechanical engineering or related field
  • Coursework or relevant experience in the micro-mechanics of composites
  • Coursework or relevant analysis experience in heat and mass transfer of ablating or mechanically eroding, recessing surfaces with moving grids
  • Structural analysis experience involving recessing surfaces and/or deploying geometries
  • The ability to perform transient thermo-structural analyses of complex mechanical assemblies
  • Familiarity with identifying failure modes and calculating failure indices for a range of material types with emphasis on composites
  • Knowledge of general material nonlinearities at high temperature and/or high strain
  • A strong theoretical background with the ability to implement new physics and material models into existing finite element codes
  • Experience applying the principles of fracture mechanics to analyze mechanical systems
  • Coursework or experience modeling fluid structure interaction
  • Exposure to Linux, shell scripting, and/or MPI experience
  • Experience using ABAQUS finite element software and writing user subroutines to aid analysis
  • Ability to work with CAD software

Special Working Conditions: Occasional travel to government or contractor locations.

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 identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

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