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Engineer I - Test Engineer at the Infrared Radiation Effects Laboratory (IRREL)

Company:  Ball Aerospace

Albuquerque, NM, US, 87106

Date:  Mar 20, 2023
Job Category:  Engineering/ Technical
Req. ID:  19218

Ball Aerospace is powered by endlessly curious people who promote a sense of belonging and equality with an unwavering mission focus. We pioneer discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most. What’s more, our company balances listening to experiences, providing feedback, and partnership at all levels to create a more inclusive environment. Our team members are able to fully invest in the work that they do, bringing dynamic thinking and energy to Ball Aerospace.


We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely. For more information, visit Ball Aerospace Career Site or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


The Advanced Technology & Information Solutions Strategic Business Unit provides scientific, engineering and other experts that work with our customers to solve their hardest problems and advance state-of-the-art technology.  Our data solutions professionals deliver enterprise processing, analytics, exploitation and management, as well as information technology hardware that provide actionable information for warfighters and decision makers.  In addition, our subject matter experts provide world-class technology and operational insight that help organizations advance the boundaries of knowledge and accomplish their missions. 


Ball Aerospace’s Albuquerque, New Mexico office is a key provider of science and technology services to the Air Force Research Laboratory and other government research and development organizations. Our multi-discipline staff provides a broad range of scientific and engineering services, including: technology development; diagnostic development; highly-controlled laboratory measurements; field experiments and demonstrations; technology assessments; modeling and simulations; and analyses. We are seeking additional qualified professionals to join our science and technology-oriented organization.


Go to and learn more about Ball Aerospace in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Engineer I – Test Engineer at the Infrared Radiation Effects Laboratory (IRREL)


What You’ll Do:


  • Tasks will include schematic capture, component placement, trace routing and documentation, procuring PWB fabrication and assembly, and verifying the final assembly.
  • Review electrical interface requirements for upcoming test devices and design the PWBs (printed wiring board) for operating in a cryogenic test Dewar.
  • Design and implement thermal/mechanical test fixtures for mounting test devices in cryogenic test Dewars.
  • Assist with resolution of hardware anomalies root cause and corrective action at board, box, and system levels.
  • May make continuous improvement suggestions and participate in initiatives to improve productivity and process efficiency.
  • Characterize visible and infrared focal plane arrays in both benign and radiation environments.
  • Support experiments, both locally and at offsite locations.
  • Support a flexible second and/or third shift and weekend shift schedule to support program test schedules when necessary.
  • Maintain a regular and predictable work schedule.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships within the department, the Strategic Business Units, Strategic Capabilities Units, and the Company.  Interact appropriately with others to maintain a positive and productive work environment.
  • Perform other duties as necessary.


What You’ll Need:


  • BS degree or higher in Engineering or a related technical field is required plus 2 or more years related experience. MS degree or higher preferred.
  • Each higher-level degree, i.e., Master’s Degree or Ph.D., may substitute for two years of experience. Related technical experience may be considered in lieu of education. Degree must be from a university, college, or school which is accredited by an agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education, US Department of Education.
  • Experience with Schematic capture tools – OrCAD is preferred.
  • Experience with design, analysis, and layout of PCBs (printed circuit boards).
  • Experience with PSPICE/LTSPICE.
  • Experience with Visual Basic 6, Visual Studio and VHDL software is a plus.
  • Experience with cryogenic test Dewars, vacuum systems and related equipment is a plus.
  • Experience with Altera FPGAs is a plus.
  • Experience in signal and power integrity analysis of digital/FPGA designs is a plus.
  • Ability to work requirements and flow down for system/subsystem/box/board needs.
  • Hands on experience with laboratory power supplies, oscilloscopes, function generators, and logic analyzers is required.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, strong presentation skills, and ability to work with internal and external customers.
  • Effectiveness in multidisciplinary teamwork environment with broad responsibilities and minimal oversight.
  • Knowledge of visible, NIR, SWIR, MWIR, and LWIR detector characterization is a plus.
  • Ability to work requirements and flow down for system/subsystem/box/board needs.
  • Good interpersonal skills.


Full-Time On-Site Work Environment: This position requires regular in-person engagement by working on-site full-time. Travel and local commute between Ball campuses and other possible non-Ball locations will be required.


Working Conditions:


  • Ball Aerospace is a drug-free workplace, which is imperative to the health and safety of all employees and is required as a condition of receiving contracts from federal agencies.  Please remember that regardless of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and other states, possession and use continues to be illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act.  This includes the use of some CBD products.  A post-offer, pre-employment drug test is a condition of employment. 
  • Work is performed in an office, laboratory, production floor, or cleanroom, outdoors or remote research environment.
  • May occasionally work in production work centers where use of protective equipment and gear is required.
  • May access other facilities in various weather conditions.


A current DoD clearance and/or SCI access with Polygraph is not required to be eligible for this position, however applicant must be willing and eligible for submission within 60-90 days after an offer is accepted and must be able to maintain the applicable clearance/access.  By applying to this position, you are agreeing to complete a National Security Clearance Pre-Screen Questionnaire to evaluate your general ability to obtain the required security clearance or government customer access associated with this position.


Relocation for this position is available.


Direct Program Charge: 99%


Compensation & Benefits:


  • HIRING SALARY RANGE: $81,000 - $100,500 (Salary to be determined by the education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities of the applicant, internal equity, and alignment with market data.)
  • Job Grade:  Aerospace M1 
  • This position includes a competitive benefits package. For details, copy and paste into your browser or visit our careers site.


Job Referral Fee: $1,000.00




Ball Aerospace is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or disability status.

Nearest Major Market: Albuquerque

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