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Principal Engineer - Pointing & Tracking Control Systems - GN&C

Company:  Ball Aerospace

Boulder, CO, US, 80301

Date:  May 24, 2021
Job Category:  Engineering/ Technical
Req. ID:  875

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.



Principal Engineer – Pointing and Tracking Control Systems

This leadership position is for an experienced Controls engineer who can lead a team to establish the baseline for pointing and tracking control systems. This position has responsibility for leading development of electro-mechanical pointing and tracking control systems in airborne and spacecraft applications.


What You’ll Do:
•Perform Control Engineering tasks throughout the lifecycle of programs or R&D projects.

•Understand and define requirements for: line-of-sight (LOS) stability, accuracy and knowledge; actuator and sensor specifications; nested multi-axis control architectures; vibration isolation
•Provide analyses in the form of released documents: LOS knowledge and pointing budgets; LOS performance prediction considering system dynamics, digital and analog control system stability, disturbance rejection capability
•Provide prototyping and algorithm description documentation for digital control algorithms
•Manage actuator and sensor interfaces
•Support program gates such as the preliminary design review and critical design review
•Estimate and manage control system design and analysis labor
•Applications may include systems with pneumatic, hydraulic, cryogenic and thermal management components.

•Support the development, test and evaluation of hardware, software, and support equipment as required for control system implementation.
•Support program from new business to deployment including proposal support, concept development with trade studies; design of the control architecture; procurement, integration and test of the control components; technical support for deployed systems
•Clearly and thoroughly document the Controls approach in Systems Engineering Reports, including detailed description of technical designs and applicable Ball philosophy.
•Serve as the technical point of contact to external customers in Controls area.
•Prepare and give presentations to peers, management and customers.
•Interact with program Systems Engineer to ensure the Controls design meets program needs.
•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 12 or more years related experience.
•Each higher-level degree, i.e. Master’s Degree or Ph.D., may substitute for two years of experience. Degree(s) 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.
•Advanced computer application skills, such as MATLAB, Simulink, C, C++, STK, and other analytical tools is a strong plus.
•Experience with simulator/hardware test development and execution, as well as mission operations is a plus.
•Demonstrated ability to write effective and verifiable requirements –  detailed oriented.
•A current TS/SCI Clearance is highly desired.
•A strong technical foundation with a desire to learn and grow.
•Flexibility to manage differing technical opinions, evolving customer needs, challenging budgets and schedules, and limited resources is required.
•Effective in small team work environment with broad responsibilities and minimal oversight.
•A desire to learn - our culture fosters intellectual curiosity in a highly collaborative environment.
•Customer Relationships: Knowledge/experience working with customers and matching needs with cost and schedule requirements.
•Superb writing and presentation skills with experience communicating to senior decision-makers and technical audiences.
•Top candidates will be goal oriented individuals with excellent organizational skills, a team mindset, and capable of coming up to speed quickly on assigned programs.


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: $142,000 - $179,000 (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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