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Principal Engineer - Project Engineering/Electric Propulsion

Principal Engineer - Project Engineering/Electric Propulsion

Job ID 
Engineering - Project Engineering

More information about this job


Our Hall Current and Arcjet Thruster propulsion systems are key components of Geo-synchronous satellites used by military and commercial satellite service providers. Additionally Ion Thruster Propulsion Systems propel interplanetary spacecraft to and from their distant destinations. Aerojet Rocketdyne is the premier supplier of these enabling propulsion systems. The successful Principal Project Engineer candidate will help assure the success of these space missions by driving the technical development, qualification, and production of Hall Current, Arcjet, and Gridded Ion electric propulsion (EP) systems comprising of power processors, propellant flow management, and thrusters. The candidate will demonstrate subject matter expertise of this technology and the highest standards of quality assurance for the production of mission critical hardware.

Essential Job Functions (Including % of Time for Each)

60% -  Leads the technical efforts of integrated product development teams, leading product proposals, and conducting internal research and development projects.


25% - Performs technical analyses, conceptualizing new product designs, establishing system requirements and specifications, planning and conducting test and product verification activities, analyzing test data, developing new business relationships, and generating customer presentations.


15% - Active mentoring of less experienced personnel is expected, to cultivate and build on a knowledge base to serve as a resource to Aerojet Rocketdyne and our customers for design, test and implementation of thrusters and propulsion systems.


Requires a Bachelor's degree in a related engineering discipline and 14 years of experience in Hall Current Thrusters and systems.


US Citizenship required. Must also be able to satisfy federal government requirements for access to government information, and having dual citizenship may preclude you from being able to meet this requirement.


Additional Requirements and Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's degree or higher in an Engineering discipline or Physics is preferred.
  • Experience with gridded ion thrusters is a plus.
  • Strong understanding of plasma physics, rarified gas flows, electric propulsion test methods and facilities (vacuum chambers, thrust stands, plasma probes) expected.
  • Experience with design and operation of cathodes, magnetic coils and fields, and typical Hall Current Thruster materials and manufacturing methods including metals and ceramics required.
  • Working knowledge of electronic power systems as related to operation and design of Hall Current Thrusters and related components.
  • Experience in leading technically-complex projects and engineering teams in a fast-paced environment while adhering to stringent quality systems and standards.
  • Strong verbal, written, presentation, and team-working skills with proficiency in Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) expected.


Work Environment/Physical Requirements:

Employees in these positions must possess mobility to work in a standard office setting and to use standard office equipment, including a computer; stamina to sit or stand and maintain attention to detail despite interruptions; may occasionally lift/carry/push/pull up to 25 pounds; may require occasional walking, climbing, stooping, crouching, and/or bending; and vision to read printed materials and a computer screen, and hearing and speech to communicate in person and over the telephone. May require the ability to travel by air or auto. May require the use of personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, safety shoes, and shop coat. These positions may be expected to work varying shifts and hours to ensure successful operation of activities in the organization.


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