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Senior Spacecraft Systems Engineer

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Engineering | livermore, CA | 02/06/2024

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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

$159,330 - $204,636 Annually for the SES.3 level

$191,220 - $245,544 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 several openings for multiple Senior Spacecraft Systems Engineers to provide spacecraft subject matter expertise as part of a multi-disciplinary team performing concept development, requirements generation, modeling & simulations, and analyses of advanced space payloads and spacecraft models for the Z Program’s Space Science and Security Program (SSSP).  You will collaborate with scientific and engineering personnel as well as senior management to design and deliver spacecraft models to support national security missions.  You may also have some project management responsibilities for defining and implementing the technical, programmatic, and supervisory functions necessary to ensure the successful execution of the program’s agenda and develop a broad range of interfaces with current and potential sponsors. This position requires full-time on-site work.  This position is in the National Security Engineering Division (NSED) within the Engineering Directorate.

These positions 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 

  • Provide advanced knowledge in one or more spacecraft subsystems such as attitude and orbital controls, propulsion, solar array design, electrical power systems, avionics, data handling and on-board processing, thermal, structures and mechanisms, telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C), RF communications, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payloads, and/or electro-optical payloads.
  • Perform various advance complex analyses of spacecraft performance and capabilities.
  • Interface directly with management and external sponsors to communicate technical milestones and solicit input from technical leaders in the space program.
  • Communicate results through formal technical reports, presentations, and peer-reviewed papers as appropriate.
  • Review intelligence reports and provide technical analysis to the intelligence community and external sponsors.
  • Mentor junior technical staff to promote professional development. Provide performance feedback to the appropriate managers as input to personnel performance evaluations.
  • Lead a multi-disciplinary team including engineers, scientists, and technical staff to achieve specific technical goals relevant to national security missions in space systems.
  • Maintain appropriate security in a Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) environment. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.4 level

  • Perform highly advanced and complex analyses of spacecraft constellations performance and capabilities.
  • Propose and develop strategies that enhance the ability of the lab to address new opportunities in space systems analysis, modeling, and simulations utilizing highly advanced technical knowledge of space systems engineering and best practices in the aerospace community.
  • Participate in strategic planning and help develop an integrated strategy for space program activities consistent with the goals of the SSSP and Z Program, under consultative direction.
  • Work closely with U.S. Government sponsors, other organizations, and technology leaders to provide technical input, and develop and refine new concepts that support national security missions.
  • Conduct staff and performance management activities in collaboration with the appropriate Discipline managers, including succession planning.
  • Define business plans for program execution, tracking costs and managing budgets.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance with Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access which requires U.S. Citizenship.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Physics, Computer Science or related field or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Significant practical experience and/or theoretical depth in one or more spacecraft subsystems or functions including but not limited to: system requirements, integration & test, launch support, on-orbit operations, attitude and orbital controls, propulsion, solar array design, electrical power systems, avionics, data handling and on-board processing, thermal, structures and mechanisms, telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C), RF antennas and communications, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payloads, and/or electro-optical (EO) payloads.
  • Ability to travel as necessary to present analyses to sponsors, stakeholders and counterparts.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with multi-disciplinary personnel in achieving project objectives.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively present, explain, and advise senior management and external sponsors.
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple parallel tasks, often requiring the resolution of conflicting work requirements and prioritization of tasks toward predetermined long-range targets.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Substantial experience conducting research and analysis related to national security issues.
  • Substantial experience with programs and projects for National Security mission applications, subject matter expert knowledge and understanding of National Security mission requirements and related issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain effective relationships with laboratory technical experts and coordinate with other U.S. government agencies.
  • Experience managing and leading multidisciplinary (scientists, engineers, and analysts) project teams effectively, including systems engineering requirements definition and verification, resource and project management as well as demonstrated ability to motivate and collaborate with other personnel in achieving project objectives.
  • Experience estimating cost and schedule of spacecraft projects.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Current active DOE Q-level security clearance with SCI access.
  • Master's degree in Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, or related field.
  • Knowledge of industrial spacecraft engineering processes, standards, and practices.
  • Familiarity with orbital mechanics including orbit determination and/or satellite maneuvering.
  • Experience with spacecraft communications, command and control, and/or link budgets.
  • Experience with on-orbit anomaly resolution and/or spacecraft failure review boards.  Fault tree experience is a plus.
  • Experience with software tools, methods, and techniques as applied to spaceflight systems, including but not limited to: ANSYS, Thermal Desktop, MATLAB STK, SolidWorks, PDM, COMSOL, or Cameo.
  • Familiar with machine learning and/or data science theories or techniques.

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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