Aerojet Rocketdyne Careers

  • Principal, Chief Engineer - Ion/Hall Thruster Propulsion

    Location US-WA-Redmond
    Job ID
    Engineering - Project Engineering
  • Overview

    Aerojet Rocketdyne produces electric propulsion thrusters and systems for commercial, civil, and defense applications. The ion/Hall thruster program chief engineer reports to the chief engineer for advanced programs, and is responsible for the technical planning and execution of complex development, qualification, and initial production programs for ion engine and/or Hall thruster propulsion systems. The ion/Hall thruster program chief engineer manages program engineering resources, ensures the thoroughness, adequacy, and urgency of technical decisions and anomaly investigations, works with business development and programs to maintain strong customer communication and relations, supports program and product affordability initiatives, and provides technical coordination across the program Integrated Product Teams (IPTs). At Aerojet Rocketdyne, the ion/Hall thruster program chief engineer collaborates with multiple disciplines inside the company and with our customers to deliver the hardware to make their missions possible, successful, and cost effective.

    Essential Job Functions (Including % of Time for Each)

    80% - Lead and/or support program technical activities required to design, assemble and test ion and Hall thruster systems to meet customer requirements and verify their suitability for the intended use. Provide broad-based engineering leadership to achieve program objectives while ensuring technical excellence, product performance, and customer confidence. Assure compliance to company policy and procedures (including standard work) within all program technical support activities. Maintain technical excellence and consistency in planning (Design Development Plans), execution (Technical Decision Making, Design Reviews), and product ownership. Lead failure investigations/root cause analysis activities as required. Provide feedback and interaction to show our customers that Aerojet Rocketdyne is the best value supplier for their electric propulsion needs.

    10% - Support proposal activities and manage internal research and development efforts. Perform technology development and road-mapping activities to maintain Aerojet Rocketdyne’s position as a world leader in electric propulsion.

    5% - Provide coaching and career development management for the project engineers and component product engineers supporting the ion/Hall thruster product lines. Work proactively with the program management team to address resource conflicts and develop needed skill sets to support technical excellence.

    5% - Maintain a visible, respected presence in the propulsion technical community and serve as an internal and external technical expert on ion/Hall thruster propulsion systems.


    Requires a Bachelor’s degree in a related technical discipline and 14 years of related experience with propulsion systems and technologies. Advanced degree and development/production experience with ion engines or Hall thrusters and systems is highly desired. A general knowledge of related disciplines such as material science, thermal and structural analysis, reliability and maintainability, systems engineering, spacecraft integration, and mission planning is also desirable. Applicant must have a good understanding and demonstrated practice of root cause and corrective action methodologies. Must have excellent interpersonal skills, as well as high quality written and oral communication skills. This position requires proficiency in Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). Travel is required, as needed, within the United States to customers and suppliers.

    US Citizenship required. Must be able to obtain and maintain a U.S. Security Clearance at the appropriate level (U.S. 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.



    Work Environment and 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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