Robotics Systems Engineer

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


The Research & Exploratory Development Department (REDD) at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has an established technical group, the Intelligent Systems Group (ISG). The ISG is a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers focused on developing the next generation of intelligent systems for the U.S. Government. The current emphasis of the ISG is on machine learning, autonomy, applied neuroscience, and robotics. The ISG is seeking a multidisciplinary systems engineer with subject matter expertise in robotics system design and development.

Job Summary:

The Intelligent Systems Group within the Research and Exploratory Development Department (REDD) is seeking a highly skilled and motivated Robotics Systems Engineer who is interested in supporting a high energy, collaborative team that creates novel system concepts and rapid prototypes to address research questions and critical challenges for our sponsors. The incumbent will contribute to multiple exciting projects helping to enhance the state of the art, such as wearable robotics and advanced ordinance disposal systems. Will work with and lead the development of robotics systems concepts, architectural design, dynamic analysis, simulation and modeling, interface specification and test and evaluation. The incumbent will lead the development of prototype robotic systems components to support leading edge research.

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

  • 25% - Systems Engineering - development of robotics systems concepts of operation, developing system architectural design artifacts, conducting analysis of system dynamics, simulation and modeling, developing detailed mechanical, electrical and logical interface specifications
  • 25% - Develop proof of concept prototype component to address the most challenging system technical design issues. Refining prototype concepts using lessons learned through test and evaluation to update the system architecture.
  • 20% - Acquire data from robotic systems, analyze system performance and make recommendations for system optimization
  • 10% - Systems plan documentation, documentation of processes and information for sharing across the team.
  • 10% - Working with sponsor organizations to communicate impacts of research, develop mission relevant concepts of operations.
  • 10% - Writing scientific manuscripts and whitepapers summarizing results for conferences and peer review.

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:

M.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Robotics, or equivalent. 3-5 years experience with full life cycle product development from a systems engineering perspective.

  • Proficient with CAD modeling software including SolidWorks and Pro Engineer
  • Proficient with Analysis Software including MATLAB, Simulink, LabView, Sim Mechanics
  • Basic programming knowledge with one or more of the following: Python, C, C
  • Experience with common robot frameworks and modeling tools such as ROS, URDF and Gazebo
  • Experience with design of embedded systems and real time operating systems.
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills. Ability to work under strict deadlines. Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to articulate complex technical issues effectively and appropriately for a wide range of audiences.

Desired Qualifications:

Prior experience with the development of human worn robotic systems, kinematic analysis and human subjects research. Prior experience with the use of motion capture systems such as Vicon and XSens

Prior experience leading complex prototype development efforts that include mechanical, electrical and software design. Knowledgeable of manufacturing and fabrication methods suitable for robotic systems such as additive manufacturing, traditional machining and composites. Capable of working with fabrication technicians, materials scientists and engineers to develop suitable component designs.

Special Working Conditions [Travel, working in closed areas, extended hours]: Shift 5:30 am to 2:00 pm. Safety shoes required

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

Primary Location

  • United States-Maryland-Laurel



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