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Engineer Senior - Civil Space Spacecraft Lead

Company:  Ball Aerospace

Boulder, CO, US, 80301

Date:  Apr 29, 2021
Job Category:  Engineering/ Technical
Req. ID:  5625

Powered by endlessly curious people with an unwavering mission focus, Ball Aerospace pioneers 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. For more information, visit Ball Aerospace Career Site or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


The Engineering Strategic Support Unit comprises the organizational talent and technical leadership that enables the successful delivery of high-impact discriminating technologies for our customers’ missions. Our collaborative, cross-functional teams are committed to innovation, integrity, continual learning and strong execution.


Engineer Senior - Civil Space Spacecraft Lead


This leadership position is for an experienced system engineer who can lead a spacecraft bus team from the proposal and preliminary design stages through development, test and delivery for a NASA civil space program. The spacecraft bus lead will have responsibility for the overall spacecraft design and architecture.


What You’ll Do:


  • Develop and manage the spacecraft bus technical baseline – develop solutions that meet our customer needs and requirements.
  • Work with subsystem leads, providing direction and prioritization of tasks and reviewing their design analysis – detail-oriented coach.
  • Support preparation and presentation of major design and readiness reviews for NASA - convey to our customers that our craft will do what they need.
  • Responsible for generating engineering documents including specifications, environmental design requirements, support to subsystem procurement specifications and statements of work, and test plan development – own the technical baseline.
  • Communicate spacecraft status and risk posture to the program leadership team.
  • Lead and guide spacecraft bus vehicle level trades and analysis – balance technical performance, cost and risk. 
  • Translate science measurement requirements into mission constraints and spacecraft capabilities such as launch vehicle options, orbital or interplanetary trajectories, pointing agility, power management scheme and other concepts of operations.
  • Work with and provide high level design concepts that may have no or loosely defined requirements.
  • Assess the NASA Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of system level hardware and/or designs.
  • Identify technical risks and provide mitigation strategies.
  • Assemble a top-level technology development plan for items or subsystems below TRL 6.
  • Provide top level ROM cost estimation based upon previous programs and current mission and spacecraft needs.
  • Work collaboratively with other engineers and the customer/partner in an inclusive environment.
  • Provide technical leadership at all levels, including interfacing with outside customers/partners.
  • Grasp the big picture and initiate actions wherever needed, even if they are not clearly defined.
  • Maintain a regular and predictable work schedule.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships within the department, the Strategic Business Units, Strategic Support 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 degree or higher in Engineering or a related technical field is required plus 8 or more years 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. 
  • Extensive knowledge of spacecraft systems, subsystems, and current industry offerings.
  • Proven success as a technical team lead or deputy (four years required) with experience in most phases of execution of a space hardware program.
  • Experience writing NASA proposals is desirable.
  • Working knowledge of most spacecraft subsystems sufficient to lead requirements allocation, design trades and performance assessment.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills with spacecraft design and development teams for concepts, proposals or programs.
  • Ability to brainstorm ideas and identify important trades, especially those that drive cost or schedule.
  • Ability to negotiate and help define customer/partner requirements.
  • Architect/Design to cost, and new business experience is highly desirable.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to effectively lead group discussions, ability to set priorities and delegate as required to meet objectives. 
  • Experience in multidisciplinary teamwork environment with small team leadership responsibilities.
  • A desire to learn - our culture fosters intellectual curiosity in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills are required.
  • Working/indirect knowledge of Earned Value Management (EVM) is highly desirable.


Working Conditions:


  • Work is performed in an office, laboratory, production floor, or clean room, 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.
  • Travel and local commute between Ball campuses and other possible non-Ball locations may be required.



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.


Compensation & Benefits

  • HIRING SALARY RANGE: $126,500 - $159,500 (Salary to be determined by the education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities of the applicant, internal equity, and alignment with market data.)
  • This position includes a competitive benefits package. Click here to learn more.




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: Boulder
Nearest Secondary Market: Denver

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