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Engineer II - Spacecraft & Mission Modeling

Company:  Ball Aerospace

Broomfield, CO, US, 80020

Date:  Dec 28, 2021
Job Category:  Engineering/ Technical
Req. ID:  15539

At Ball Aerospace, we care about the health and safety of our team members, their families and our communities. Ball Aerospace will comply with Executive Order 14042 and all team members will be required to provide proof of completed vaccination status as a condition of employment as stated within the Order, subject to approved medical or religious accommodations.


Clearance Requirement:   A current, active TS/SCI security clearance is required.


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 II - Spacecraft & Mission Modeling


Join the Mission Modeling team at Ball Aerospace – a diverse group of motivated problem solvers. We are adventurous in the way approach technical challenges and how we enjoy life outside of work. We're excited about the challenging projects we support and have a strong commitment to the missions we enable. Our team develops integrated tools to evaluate space mission architectures and performs analysis with those tools for projects across the company.


We’re looking for an experienced spacecraft engineer to contribute to our strong reputation for creativity and technical excellence, while helping to define the future of Ball. You will support development and deployment of our rapid bus concept exploration tool. Successful candidates will specialize in spacecraft design, modeling and simulation, with a focus on analyzing spacecraft concepts against mission-level needs. 


This job consists of three major tasks: (1) Developing and implementing models of spacecraft, (2) validating those models within our spacecraft design tool, and (3) performing analysis of spacecraft designs using the tool for a variety of projects across defense and civil mission areas. Your modeling and analysis results will directly influence the development of future space systems.


To accomplish those tasks, you'll work directly with spacecraft subject matter experts, chief engineers, and business development leads to add new models and features to our analysis tools. You’ll also contribute to strategic planning on how to evolve and deploy the tool to best satisfy business and customer needs.


The mission modeling team is highly collaborative. As a group we tackle many analysis and development projects simultaneously. Everyone on the team supports one another, and multiple growth opportunities exist within the group and within the company.


What You’ll Do:


  • Developing and Implementing Spacecraft Models:
    • Research physics first-principals that govern spacecraft design and compile data on historical flight programs.
    • Synthesize data and physics into spacecraft sizing approaches and models.
    • Review Python code implementation and approving code updates.
  • Validating Spacecraft Models:
    • Develop code tests and performing code performance characterization.
    • Work with the dev team to ensure model updates and code fixes are incorporated.
  • Performing Spacecraft Analyses:
    • Work with multiple stakeholders to perform technical trades studies and investigate large spacecraft and mission design spaces.
    • Provide engineering support across multiple and diverse new business pursuits by developing concepts to meet customer mission needs.
    • Create clear presentations that explain analyses, results, interpretations, and insights. Deliver your presentations to peers, management, and customers.
    • Contribute to completion of milestones within specific projects and collaborate on solutions to a variety of technical problems.
  • Learn about Ball spacecraft; understand strategic goals for engineering and various missions.
  • Evaluate applications of Ball spacecraft and interdependences between subsystems. 
  • Develop strong relationships with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Review spacecraft sizing approaches, models, and test results with subject matter experts.
  • Document your research, sizing methods, test approaches, and analysis results.
  • Contribute to internal research and development (IRAD) and new technology concepts.
  • Share your engineering knowledge with team members, and coach them when applicable.
  • Understand how a space system architecture (Payload, CONOPs, ground systems, launch vehicle) interacts with spacecraft design.
  • Opportunities to be involved with development of other mission modeling tools are highly likely. This includes tools for simulating and visualizing orbital mechanics, collection CONOPS, mission performance modeling, and multiple payload phenomenologies.
  • 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 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 5 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.
  • A current, active TS/SCI security clearance is required.
  • Spacecraft design experience from a systems engineering perspective is required. Additional subsystem experience is preferred (ADCS/GNC, EPDS, Telecom, Propulsion, C&DH, Thermal).
  • Excellent collaboration, team, and communication skills (both written and oral).
  • Excellent planning, documentation, and organization skills.
  • Goal-oriented with a proven record of success in executing challenging tasks.
  • A big picture perspective and a strong interest in learning.
  • Familiarity with systems engineering principles, and basic understanding of systems of systems.
  • Familiarity with complex systems design methods is preferred (surrogate modeling, optimization approaches, decision making).
  • Strong analytic modeling and simulation capabilities.
  • Experience with large data sets or data science principles is a plus.
  • Ability to dissect complex problems and identify key performance drivers.
  • A strong sense of how requirements and subsystem dependencies impact spacecraft design.
  • A general sense of how cost, schedule, and risk impact spacecraft design.
  • Interest in interacting with a wide variety of stakeholders across the company about desired future capabilities in the 2- to 5-year time horizon.
  • Ability to read and review Python code is required.
  • Experience with Matlab, C, C++, STK, Python, and/or JMP is a plus.
  • Demonstrated experience in systems engineering, including Architecture Development, Performing Trade Studies, MBSE, and CONOPS development is desired.


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.
  • Travel and local commute between Ball campuses and other possible non-Ball locations may be required.


Verification that your current security clearance or government customer access meets the requirement for this position will be required.


Relocation for this position is available.


Compensation & Benefits:


  • HIRING SALARY RANGE: $104,500 - $129,500 (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: Denver

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