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Engineer Principal - RF Electronics Design

Company:  Ball Aerospace

Broomfield, CO, US, 80020

Date:  Nov 17, 2021
Job Category:  Engineering/ Technical
Req. ID:  13179

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.


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 Principal - RF Electronics Design


This engineering position will report to the manager of RF Solutions, primarily support the Tactical Solutions business unit of Ball, and will have Radio Frequency (RF) engineering as its area of specialization with design and test of RF electronics systems and circuits as the focus.


What You’ll Do:


  • Be responsible for the hands-on design and realization of RF phased arrays, large RF systems, and active circuits and other RF components.
  • Design and test circuits for phased arrays, receivers, transmitters, local oscillators, and RF subsystems. Designs typically range in frequency from VHF through Ka band.
  • Simulate circuit and system performance using analytical software such as AWR Microwave Office, VSS, Agilent ADS, SystemVue, and MATLAB.
  • Collaborate with other engineers and technicians to realize completed RF electronics and RF designs.
  • Participate and guide the testing of RF hardware for required performance metrics in phased array systems:  EIRP, power efficiency, G/T, etc.
  • Test components (e.g. amplifiers, mixers, limiters, oscillators) for suitability in designs.
  • Design circuit boards for use in receivers and transmitters.
  • Design chip and wire components for use in receivers, high-power limiters, and transmitters.
  • Test and document designs in preparation for potential production.
  • Complete understanding and wide application of technical principle, theories, and concepts in the field.
  • Mentor and guide more junior engineers and technicians in the design, build, and test phases of projects and programs. Guide the successful completion of major programs and potentially function in a project leadership role.
  • Provide technical solutions to a wide range of difficult problems.
  • Frequent inter-organizational and outside customer contacts. Represent the organization in providing solutions to difficult technical issues associated with specific projects.
  • Interface well with other people at all levels including customers, use initiative in applying solutions to assignments. Contribute to large teams.
  • Provide technical support and customer engagement for new business. Typically support more than one effort (program or Ball-funded) at a time.
  • 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 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.
  • Degree in Electrical Engineering preferred.
  • Full competency in core RF engineering, antenna theory, and skills and potentially stronger specialization in phased array concepts and technologies (RADAR, high data rate communications).
  • Experience designing RF systems, especially phased arrays, for use in satellite communications, RADAR, and/or EW from concept to initial production is highly desired.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills. Generate and deliver presentations; assist with the preparation and delivery of presentations by engineers with less experience.
  • Experience and skills to effectively contribute to successful producibility of designs and to cost, budget, and schedule control.
  • RF electronics hardware design and RF system design experience are desirable
  • RF hardware and microwave circuit board / PCB layout experience are desirable.
  • Some exposure and experience with the radiating components/antennas that are typically used in phased array systems.
  • Experience with circuit simulation is not required, but highly desirable.
  • Experience and proficiency in programming, data manipulation, and data visualization in MATLAB.
  • Experience writing test automation scripts in python is desirable.
  • Experience interfacing with analog to digital and digital to analog converters is desirable.
  • Experience with software defined radios (SDRs) is desirable.
  • Analytical design experience using software and simulation tools such as AWR Microwave Office/Agilent ADS, CST, FEKO, HFSS, and SENTRI.
  • Experience and proficiency in programming, data manipulation, and data visualization in MATLAB.
  • Must be able to schedule and execute measurements at internal and external facilities; perform measurement analysis and troubleshooting.
  • Experience with RF test equipment (including RF signal generators, spectrum analyzers, and network analyzers).
  • Demonstrated ability to apply technical expertise in RF engineering and to leverage knowledge of other related disciplines.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead RF efforts and tasks and to guide technical project teams toward the completion of program goals and milestones.
  • Current security clearance is preferred.


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 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: $145,500 - $183,500 (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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