Senior Principal Engineer Systems Optics

Adaptive Optics Associates, Inc., (AOA-Xinetics) a wholly-owned Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (NGAS) strategic business unit, is currently seeking an adaptive optics device expert to be a critical member of its Adaptive Optics Business Area (Xinetics) in Devens, MA.

AOA Xinetics designs, develops, and manufactures precision, advanced optical products and systems such as deformable mirrors, adaptive optics control systems and silicon carbide optical structures for the U.S. Government, commercial customers, and U.S. defense prime and second-tier contractors. Markets for these technologies include civilian astronomy and defense ISR and Directed Energy. Several potential direct and adjacent application areas exist also. The Company has substantial growth opportunities in support of many U.S. Government and NGAS' business initiatives.

AOA Xinetics customers are the U.S. Government, industrial customers, as well as U.S. defense prime and second-tier contractors. Markets for these technologies include civilian astronomy and defense ISR and Directed Energy. The Company has substantial growth opportunities in support of many U.S. Government and NGAS's business initiatives.

Position Description: The precision Senior Principal Systems Engineer will report to the Engineering Manager (Xinetics) and provide broad, senior engineering leadership in a high-growth, strategically important business area for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

The precision Senior Principal Systems Engineer will be technically responsibile for the design and development of adaptive optics devices in the Xinetics business area (one of three Business Areas at AOA-Xinetics). He/she will be responsible for technical aspects of the adaptive optics devices including concept and product development, engineering and production. In addition, he/she will be responsible for supporting AO architecture and systems designs in the Xinetics business area, and in conjunction with the Xinetics Business Area CTO, he/she will support product strategy and identify and implement business development projects relating to new products and programs.

We are looking for a proven, successful individual contributor with exceptional people skills, one who is valued by customers and employees alike. Our ideal candidate has a strong technical background; a proven ability to develop, influence and motivate teams to perform at a high level; and excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills. He/she must be highly influential in conversation and have a record of collaborative approach with peers/peer organizations.

Direct Responsibilities: Technical Leadership

  • Strong understanding of electrostrictive ceramics.
  • Knowledge/experience with control of adaptive optical systems including adaptive optics, fast steering mirrors, gimbal systems, jitter/beamwalk controls, deformable mirrors.
  • Performing in-depth trade-off analysis of technology, systems architecture and design alternatives for new adaptive optics products/platforms.
  • Early identification of technical risks or feasibility for new technologies or products and developing a plan for addressing the issues.
  • Use of first-order mathematical modeling and simulations to assess feasibility, compare technologies and validate experimental results.
  • Provide technical leadership in new product development and be actively engaging with a highly cross-functional team through various stages of next generation AO technology and product development.
  • Responsible for establishing and managing adaptive optics system error budgets and maintaining the adaptive optics (i.e. AO) performance during program execution.
  • Tolerance analysis of high complexity and precision mechanical designs.
  • Manage and maintain system & product requirements
  • Develop and manage product verification and validation test plans.
  • Conduct FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis), and system troubleshooting as needed.
  • Prepare parts specifications and evaluate vendor offerings
  • Support the transfer of device engineering to manufacturing.
  • Clear communication with vendors to define technical performance requirements and appropriate tolerances.
  • Communication of investigational findings across departments, including engineering, algorithms, clinical and marketing through technical presentations and documentation.
  • Prepare contributions to briefings and reports to internal and external stakeholders
Personal Development
  • Keeping up to date with the latest research and developments in the field by reading research articles and attending technical conferences.
Required Qualifications:
  • Master's in math, physics or engineering
  • Demonstrated experience with adaptive optics devices and systems.
  • Strong understanding of the design and uses of ferroelectric ceramics
  • Demonstrated leadership of a multi-disciplinary engineering team
  • Work both on your own initiative and as part of a team,
  • Build strong collaborative working relationships with people from different cultural backgrounds and disciplines
  • Flexibility in adapting to changes of requirements and priorities as well as of assignments
  • Capability to work for different projects and with different teams (matrix structure), also in parallel.
  • Exceptional communication abilities
  • Be able to obtain DOD clearances.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • PhD in math, physics or engineering
Working Environment & Physical Demands:
  • Position is located in Devens, MA
  • Travel to customer (military, industry) facilities and offices with limited international travel
  • Travel multiple times per year (~25% business travel)
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of times and light physical effort required

Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit . U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.

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