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Senior Guidance, Navigation & Control (GNC) Engineer

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 08/17/2023

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is important for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$153,210 - $236,112 Annually

$153,210 - $196,788 Annually for the SES.3 level

$183,840 - $236,112 Annually for the SES.4 level

Please note that the pay range information is a general guideline only. Many factors are taken into consideration when setting starting pay including education, experience, the external labor market, and internal equity.

Job Description

We have an opening for a Senior Guidance, Navigation & Control (GNC) Engineer to support work on projects and initiatives with a focus on U.S. national security. You will be a member of an engineering team that will provide space mission engineering solutions for both national security and basic science investigations with sponsors including NASA, Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD) and other government agencies. As an engineering team member, you will work on all aspects of space system hardware – from design and analysis to assembly, integration and test. This position is in the National Security Engineering Division (NSED) within the Engineering Directorate at LLNL and will support Space Science & Security Program.

This position will be filled at either level based on knowledge and related experience as assessed by the hiring team. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if hired at the higher level.

You will 

  • Contribute to a team of scientists and engineers that develop technical proposals for spacecraft missions that involve system-level trade studies involving orbital mechanics, attitude determination sensors, attitude control actuators, navigation considerations, and Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) testing.
  • Apply linear/matrix algebra for in-depth analysis and reports.
  • Contribute to mission planning efforts including complex design and analysis of GNC subsystem concepts of operation needed to meet mission requirements.
  • Develop or review attitude control, attitude determination and navigation requirements for proposed missions.
  • Develop or review test plans and risk mitigation strategies for GNC hardware and software for proposed missions.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.4 level

  • Serve as a subject matter expert and apply highly advanced engineering solutions and technical analysis to resolve highly complex technical and programmatic issues.
  • Develop innovative methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria to obtain results based on in-depth analysis of multiple tangible and intangible factors.
  • Set broad research/project vision and provide strategic technical and consultative direction and advice to small teams and management and work as a primary technical contact on multidisciplinary teams.  May act as the prime consultant on large projects that affect the organization's long-term goals and objectives.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship. Also, you must have the ability to obtain and maintain Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access.  Please note that your current active Q or Top Secret clearance with DOE or another agency does not guarantee DOE SCI access approval; if you are denied access, you may be subject to reinvestigation of your existing Q or Top Secret clearance.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering or an equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Significant experience working on Guidance, Navigation, and Control subsystem development, analysis, test or operations.
  • Advanced knowledge in performing dynamics or controls system design, optimization and analysis tasks using any of MATLAB/SIMULINK/C/C++/Python.
  • Significant experience with life cycle of a space program from requirements through Integration, test, and verification.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment and present, explain, and provide advice on technical information to colleagues, management, or sponsors.

Additional Qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Subject matter expert knowledge of highly advanced concepts related to Guidance, Navigation and Control of spacecraft.
  • Significant experience developing and implementing creative and strategic solutions to a diverse range of highly complex multi-disciplinary problems and leading corrective actions where necessary.
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple parallel tasks, often requiring the resolution of conflicting work requirements and prioritization of tasks toward predetermined long-range targets.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Master’s degree in aeronautical/aerospace engineering or related field, or equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Knowledge of space mission engineering principles and practices and their application.
  • Significant experience with design/analysis software such as AGI STK or Python.
  • Experience in satellite recovery operations and system failure analysis.
  • Experience with low earth orbit and geostationary spacecraft operations.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite position, open to Lab employees and external candidates.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

This position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance.  Also, you must have the ability to obtain and maintain Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access.  If you are selected, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. Also, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing. Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship. 

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

How to identify fake job advertisements

Please be aware of recruitment scams where people or entities are misusing the name of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to post fake job advertisements. LLNL never extends an offer without a personal interview and will never charge a fee for joining our company. All current job openings are displayed on the Career Page under “Find Your Job” of our website. If you have encountered a job posting or have been approached with a job offer that you suspect may be fraudulent, we strongly recommend you do not respond.

To learn more about recruitment scams:

Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory.  If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request. 

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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