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Staff Consultant - Payload Engineering Mission Architect/Chief Architect

Company:  Ball Aerospace

Boulder, CO, US, 80301

Date:  Jan 13, 2023
Job Category:  Engineering/ Technical
Req. ID:  21654

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 Engineering Strategic Capabilities 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.


Staff Consultant – Payload Engineering Mission Architect/Chief Architect


This position is for an experienced engineer, scientist or physicist to provide engineering leadership across multiple mission areas for payload development programs and new business pursuits in support of National Defense, Tactical Solutions and Civil Space programs. The Payload Chief Architect ensures continuity and balance between the scientific or warfighter mission needs, the acquisition community, and the Ball technical solution. This position will report to the Payload Engineering – Chief Architects department manager. The responsibilities of this position include architecture design, detailed design, analysis, modeling, and performance verification of systems and payloads in their mission context. 


What You'll Do:


  • Support and/or lead Remote Sensing architecture, system and box/board level designs, peer reviews, or audits.
  • Provide leadership and functional/career direction by exhibiting behaviors aligned with the tenants of Ball’s Inspire, Connect and Achieve (ICA) leadership model. These behaviors would include providing a unifying vision, understanding the diverse needs of others to meet business challenges and acting with humility and a collaborative spirit.
  • Technical development, understanding, analysis and assessment of concepts and designs for remote sensing payloads; including performance predictions and risk assessments. 
  • Remote sensing concept analysis, modeling, or simulation for assessment of radiometric, image quality, detection, background discrimination, item identification, and item tracking performance for terrestrial and space missions. 
  • Remote sensing concept’s impact and/or benefit of algorithm and/or processing application to improve performance.
  • Remote sensing concept’s impact and/or benefit on ground and/or space concept of operations and collections (CONOPs) as well as ground and bus architecture and/or design. 
  • Assessment and communication to customers of Remote Sensing Payload solution ability to meet mission needs. 
  • Assessment of impact and/or ability to integrate Remote Sensing Payload solution into customer’s existing or planned infrastructure. 
  • Identify strategic architectures, capabilities and technologies for space payloads 
  • Identify and contribute to new IRAD/ technology development concepts and roadmaps. 
  • Support Strategic Business Unit (SBU) marketing and proposal development by providing Remote Sensing concepts and architecture solutions to customer missions and provide winning discriminators for Ball. 
  • Support SBU customer interaction by providing input/development/briefing to Request for Information and for customer on/off site briefings.
  • Provide Engineering and SBU insight into industry capability and industry and/or government technology development to guide technology roadmap, engineering resource planning, program capture and proposal development.
  • Support and/or lead program(s) execution with a focus on early identification of issues and their mitigation, to include leadership and/or participation in the following:  
    • Independent Review Team (IRT)
    • Anomaly Review Team (ART)
    • Milestone Gate Reviews - Documentation, briefings, and participation
    • Program Health and Risk Assessment
    • Development through assembly, integration and test
    • Functional and Physical Configuration Audits (FCA/PCA)
    • Technical Performance Assessment
    • Hardware Anomaly Review (HAR)
    • Failure Review
    • Manufacturing Anomaly Review
    • Assessment for Ready to Ship Review
    • Application of best practices and lessons learned
  • Support new and present program resource planning (people, equipment, and infrastructure). 
  • Support supply chain to develop and maintain supplier relationships; integrate supplier into new and current programs; and assess / certify suppliers at the component, box, subsystem, and system level. 
  • Foster knowledge database for common architectural approaches, design reuse, shared efficiencies, product development/reuse/evolution, incorporation of lessons learned, design to cost, and supplier continuity.
  • Develop a succession plan for self and leadership roles within the organization. 
  • Guide and mentor engineering staff from all levels to maintain and grow internal technical development skillsets. 
  • Represent Ball Aerospace at relevant industry conferences and working groups by demonstrating Ball as an industry thought leader. 
  • 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 degree or higher in Engineering or a related technical field is required plus 16 or more years of related experience.
  • Each higher-level related degree, i.e. Master’s Degree or Ph.D., may substitute for two years of experience.  Two years of related experience may be substituted for each year 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. 
  • A current, active TS/SCI or DoD security clearance is preferred.
  • Demonstrated leadership and functional/career direction of team members, exhibited behaviors that align with the tenants of Ball’s Inspire, Connect and Achieve (ICA) leadership model. Experiences with unifying vision, understanding diverse needs of others to meet business challenges and acting with humility and a collaborative spirit.
  • Working knowledge of remote sensing payloads to include sub-systems (end-to-end EO, IR, Spectral, Laser, and RF); knowledge should include Remote Sensing solution’s concept and requirements that impact Payload's cost/schedule, development, operation, and performance. 
  • Knowledge and demonstrated experience in defining payload Remote Sensing solutions for systems and architectures as well as assessing, developing and documenting their requirements (specifications, interfaces, CONOPs, environment, constraints, functions, information, etc.); architecture should include assessment of focused and distributed remote sensing architectures.
  • A strong capability to communicate using nominal systems and architecture languages and diagrams is required. 
  • Ability to conceptualize, design, assess, analyze, plan, and debug complex remote sensing payload solutions.
  • Knowledge of technology to analyze, design, and develop payload’s Remote Sensing solutions for systems and architectures to support IRAD planning.
  • Knowledge of, and experience in a program’s gated lifecycle and system engineering cycle with a strong experience in program’s risk assessment and mitigation by planning embedded tasks, participation and/or leadership in milestone audits/reviews, and participation and/or Leadership in anomaly/failure reviews.
  • Supply chain procurement experience with the proven ability to write Statement of Work (SOW), and Requirements (Specifications, ICDs, CONOPs, Manufacturing, etc.) at the component, box, and subsystem level.
  • New business development experience, including successful customer interaction; briefing and whitepaper development; direct discussions or briefings; and exceptional proposal writing. 
  • Knowledge of, and the ability to estimate program component, box, and subsystem level cost and schedule with a goal to support new proposals, BOE development, program make/buy decisions, and improve engineering estimating tools and/or capabilities. 
  • Knowledge of commercial, civil, DOD, and IC customer’s remote sensing data use, mission needs, product expectations, operational infrastructure, user community, and technology plans. 
  • Knowledge of government and industry programs and capability to assess Ball competitiveness and/or discriminators as well as propose internally funded programs to develop competitive and/or discriminating solutions. Experience taking government and industry information and assess Ball capability as well as support/lead technology roadmaps and/or strategic plans.
  • Knowledge of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) to support definition and design of architectures, systems, and remote sensing payload is desired, as well as the use of DOD and/or Industry standard architecture languages, formats, and frameworks.
  • Proven space flight program and fielded hardware experience.
  • Ability to develop relationships and work with diverse teams across key customer, program, and engineering personnel from Government, academia and the company.
  • Customer Relationships: Extensive knowledge of missions and customers across core technologies areas. Knowledge/experience working with critical customer base, established relationships with key personnel within customer community. 
  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation 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 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 not available.


Compensation & Benefits:


  • HIRING SALARY RANGE: $168,000 - $211,500 (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. For details, copy and paste into your browser or visit our careers site.




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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