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R&D Test Engineer I

Company:  Ball Aerospace

Albuquerque, NM, US, 87106

Date:  Jan 27, 2023
Job Category:  Engineering/ Technical
Req. ID:  24461

Ball Aerospace is powered by endlessly curious people with an unwavering mission focus. We pioneer discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most. 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.


At our core, we're passionate, committed people who believe together we can achieve extraordinary things. We work collaboratively with each other, our customers and partners to solve the world's greatest challenges. That means listening to one another, providing feedback and partnering across all levels. We value our inclusive culture where everyone is heard equally and creativity thrives. Each team member is fully invested in our mission and we bring an energy to work every day that propels our business and motivates us all to Go Beyond.®


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.


R&D Test Engineer I


Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp's Albuquerque office is a key provider of technical services to the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy and Space Vehicles directorates located on Kirtland Air Force Base, NM.  Our multi-discipline staff provides a broad range of scientific and engineering services, including execution laboratory and field experiments; diagnostics design and development; and laser fabrication, maintenance, and operation.  We are seeking qualified entry-level personnel to join our science and technology-oriented organization to assist in laboratory and field experiments, novel diagnostics systems design and development, and general research and development (R&D) associated with high energy laser (HEL) systems.


We are seeking a highly motivated engineer/scientist to contribute to our on-going R&D supporting HEL development and testing. The successful candidate will conduct HEL based experiments; support optical diagnostics tools development; collaborate with computational scientists, analysts, and engineers; perform data analyses; develop and implement technical solutions; and document/prepare briefings and reports. Duties are typically more task oriented (versus responsibility oriented), performed with some oversight and prioritization by more-senior laboratory support staff, engineers, or scientists. 


What You’ll Do:


  • Support the execution prescribed HEL experiments both in the laboratory and the field as needed.
  • Assist in the detailed characterization of materials, components, or laser systems. Characterization beyond analyses of experimental results may include reviewing operational manuals, literature reviews, or consultation with subject matter expertise to obtain a baseline understanding of equipment or materials under test.
  • Contribute to conceiving, developing, and implementing experimental solutions to address optical-, thermal-, or mechanical-related test objectives that may be complex or difficult in scope.
  • Assist in the optical design, development, and fabrication/alignment of laser beam delivery systems and optical diagnostics.
  • Contribute to the design and development of specialized controls, test fixtures and diagnostics for performing laboratory or field measurements to meet test objectives.
  • Utilize specialized laboratory equipment such as spectrophotometers, Fourier-Transform Infrared Radiometers (FTIR), photo-thermal common-path interferometers (PCI), or scatterometers to measure optical properties of provided materials.
  • Perform pretest predictions using supplied engineering or analytical models as required and work with colleagues to recommend and help develop test matrices and test decisional guidelines.
  • Perform error-budget analysis to determine accuracy of diagnostics utilized to support HEL experiments.
  • Maintain test logs and notes which will be used to contribute to subsequent test reports and technical presentations.
  • Contribute to development and presentation of technically accurate briefings and reports.
  • Meet with colleagues, customers, and other project collaborators to obtain feedback, goals, schedules, budgets, and other critical information necessary to help formulate or adjust technical solutions for new or on-going projects.
  • Obtain cost quotations from vendors and provide cost estimates for projects or assignments under consideration for execution.
  • Follow Department of Defense procedures for the proper usage and safeguarding of classified information.
  • 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 in order to maintain a positive and productive work environment.
  • Perform other duties as necessary.


What You’ll Need:


  • BS/BA degree or higher in Engineering or a related technical field is required plus 2 or more years of related experience.
  • 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.
  • Familiarity with optical design and analysis software such as Optics Studio (Zemax), Code V, or FRED is preferred.
  • Experience with standard laboratory equipment such as data acquisition systems (e.g. National Instruments PXI), oscilloscopes, digital multimeters, optics (optical mounts and optical alignment devices), and lasers preferred.
  • Understanding of radiometric measurements and data analysis concepts preferred.


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 may 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: 98%


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: $2,000.00




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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