Mission Design Engineer

    • Laurel, MD

Are you passionate about astrodynamics,optimization, and modern computing?

Would you love to applyyour technical knowledge and creativity to make innovative contributions tosome of the nation's most challenging and rewarding space missions?

Are you searching for acollaborative, fulfilling work environment?

If so, we're looking forsomeone like you to join our team at APL.

Our spacecraft reach theextremes of the solar system, from Parker Solar Probe at the Sun, New Horizons atPluto and beyond, and everything in between. Whether it is developing the next Jovian moon tour, calculating anoptimal low-thrust trajectory, optimizing the configurations of formationflight, or applying modern scientific computing to optical navigation, there isa wellspring of intellectually rewarding challenges for the right candidate.

We are seeking aself-motivated engineer who will lead and participate in the mission designprocess, from conception to flight. Youwill have the opportunity to support both pre-launch mission development andpost-launch optimization and planning. Contributingdirectly to our continuously evolving code-base and individually pursuingIR&D funding, you will work with our team to ensure that APL is on thecutting edge of trajectory design. Weare passionate about our work, striving to cultivate an environment ofpartnership and collaboration, and committed to making critical contributionsto critical challenges.

As a Mission Design Engineer...

  • Your primary responsibility will be trajectory design of Earth,Lunar, and interplanetary space missions for both civilian and DoD applications.
  • You will evaluate and design mission concepts by drawing from astrong understanding of first principles and from modern or high-performancecomputing methods.
  • You will provide intellectual leadership to emerging missionconcepts and methods of analysis.
  • You will hold a vital role on projects while working across teamscomposed of experts in other engineering disciplines, scientists, and program managers.
  • You will be expected to contribute to cutting edge trajectorydesign methodologies through independent research and development.
  • You will be expected to leverage and garner relationships acrossindustry and academia to tackle our most critical challenges.
  • You will be required to stay abreast of recent advances inacademia and industry and apply these concepts to problems of interest.

You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you...
  • Possess a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science or related field.
  • Have previous experience or significant coursework in the astrodynamics, optimization, dynamical systems, mathematics, and computer science.
  • Possess or are willing to acquire knowledge of GPS and ground-based orbit estimation techniques.
  • Are skilled in analytical and numerical computing, such as C , Fortran, MATLAB, Python, and/or Java.
  • Are willing and able to obtain a TS/SCI 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.

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

  • Have at least 5 years of experience in spacecraft mission design, navigation, or another rigorous technical field.
  • Have experience with cloud computing, estimation theory, evolutionary algorithms, convex/stochastic optimization or have taught related courses.
  • Have experience participating in agile software development projects involving many stake holders.
  • Have experience in common astrodynamics software environments such as Monte, STK, Copernicus, FreeFlyer, or GMAT.
  • Possess an active Top Secret clearance (or above).

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. With a wide selection of challenging, impactful work and a robust education assistance program, APL promotes a culture of life-long learning. Our employees enjoy generous benefits and healthy work/life balance. APL's campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at www.jhuapl.edu/careers.

APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


APL brings research applications to life in the space science, asymmetric operations, force projection, and air and missile defense categories, pioneering solutions to push scientific boundaries.

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