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Applied Physics Laboratory Senior UAV Engineer in Laurel, Maryland

Position Description

Are you a hands-on engineer that enjoys rapidly developing innovative solutions for unmanned aerial vehicles?

Do you consider yourself to be a team player that embraces challenges, adapts to dynamic changing environments, and is continually looking to advance your technical skills?

If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL.

The Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at APL is seeking an experienced UAV engineer with an understanding of unmanned aerial vehicle design and sensor systems integration to help us rapidly develop field-able airborne sensor platforms. We adapt new technology to envision tomorrow's solutions for a diverse set of government organizations. We develop sensor systems for our partners to collect information in some of the most austere environments around the globe. Come join our multi-disciplinary team of engineers and support staff working in labs on our main campus in Laurel, MD.

As a UAV Engineer...

  • Your primary responsibilities will include requirements definition, concept development, analysis, design, prototyping, and testing.
  • You will conduct these activities in developing innovative electro-optical and RF sensor solutions and complete UAV performance analyses, supporting rapid development and fielding for airborne ISR applications.
  • You will lead engineering teams from concept definition through fielding of ruggedized optical and RF custom sensor systems
  • You will analyze UAV performance for flight dynamics, thermal, and vibration considerations
  • You will conduct laboratory and field testing to verify requirements are met
  • You will specify, identify, and integrate commercial, government and custom components for the rapid development of systems
  • You will document system development, engineering analysis and testing consistent with quality requirements and present information to review teams

You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you...

  • Have a B.S. Degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering
  • Have more than 7 years of related experience in the defense or aerospace industry with mechanical design using CAD (preferably SolidWorks), CFD, stress (statics, dynamics), and thermal analyses using FEA software
  • Have experience with the design of ruggedized electronics
  • Have demonstrated an ability and willingness to multi-task across several projects and work independently in small teams while meeting quick turnaround demands
  • Are willing to work in classified laboratories and can travel around the world to conduct field testing (15% of your time)
  • Can interact effectively with team members of different experience levels and backgrounds, including leadership of teams and projects
  • Have knowledge of design for manufacturing optimization using additive and traditional fabrication methods
  • Hold an active Secret security clearance and can ultimately obtain a Top Secret level clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you...

  • Have a M.S. Degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering
  • Have more than 15 years of related experience in the defense or aerospace
  • Have experience in UAV flight dynamics
  • Can conduct vortex lattice method (VLM) analysis of aircraft performance
  • Have practical knowledge of Additive Manufacturing processes
  • Have demonstrated technical or project management leadership of complex UAV systems
  • Possess working knowledge of government/military contracting procedures, standards and specifications.
  • Possess an active DoD Top Secret clearance.

Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation’s most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.

At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL’s campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities


Primary Location: United States-Maryland-*Laurel

Req ID: 25550