Mechanical Engineer IV

Job Details

Job ID: 11458

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.


Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is NASA’s lead center for robotic exploration of the solar system. We have an unmatched history creating groundbreaking advances in science and technology, and we’ve been in the space exploration business since the beginning. JPL resonates with people who are looking for ways to go further and to explore things like if there has ever been life elsewhere in our solar system and how the universe began.


Are you passionate about evaluating potential approaches and solutions to new and unusual problems with organization-wide impact and figuring out appropriate resolutions? The Thermal/Mechanical Reliability Group (5135) is seeking a successful Thermal/Mechanical Engineer to strategically lead the Thermal Cycle Life Qualification effort for multiple JPL projects that encounter extreme thermal cycle environments during their mission life. You will be accountable for developing and implementing the Thermal Cycle Life Qualification Plan across multiple JPL projects. As the institution’s Thermal Cycle Life Qualification lead, you will lead a team of engineers that will identify hardware that requires thermal cycle life testing, make assessments based on heritage hardware, develop accelerated life test parameters, and work with test engineers. You will prepare and maintain documentation to track the thermal cycle life qualification plan’s progress, report status at major reviews and certify proper implementation and completion of the thermal cycle life qualification. In addition, you will identify, track and manage all risks inherent to hardware with a design that is vulnerable to thermal cycle life failure in support of institutional and project level risk management activities. You will coordinate thermal cycle life verification testing with multiple individuals across various organizations, approve all thermal cycle life test plans for the project and develop accelerated thermal test profiles based on predicted thermal environments with an appropriate margin. You will lead and work with the Environmental Requirements Engineering team in these duties across all projects.


As the Thermal/Mechanical Reliability representative, you will interact with JPL senior leadership, other NASA centers, and NASA Headquarters, attend project reviews and technical meetings, and generate required documentation for required decision gates. Finally, you will be responsible for creating and implementing recommended improvements to existing methods to advance the quality, accuracy, and integrity of the project deliverables to ensure full compliance.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or related technical discipline with typically a minimum of 9 years of related experience; Masters degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of 7 years of related experience; or PhD in similar disciplines with a minimum of 5 years related experience.
  • Technical proficiency, experience and advanced knowledge in the effects of thermal cycle life on space-based electronic hardware.
  • Technical proficiency, experience and advanced knowledge in accelerated thermal cycle life testing of space-based electronic assemblies.
  • Excellent leadership skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Able to work effectively in a team environment.
  • Good organizational skills and ability to meet deadlines.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Ability to perform thermal and structural analysis on electronic assemblies, both at the board and chassis levels, using finite element analysis (FEA) tools.
  • Hands-on experience in conducting/overseeing dynamics testing (acoustic, pyroshock, & vibration) at various levels of integration, including black box and system level.
  • Familiarity with space engineering design and analyses processes and tools.
  • Proven ability and experience with cost estimation, managing financial accounts, preparing work agreements, technical risk assessment, and environments related Problem/Failure Reports resolution.
  • Experience working with various organizations that are involved in flight hardware testing (Test Facilities, System Safety, Quality Assurance, etc.)
  • Technical knowledge and experience in a broad range of space and launch vehicle environmental technical specialties, including thermal environments, structural loads, sine, random and acoustic vibration, EMC/EMI, magnetics, and Natural Space Environments including radiation, solid particles, orbital debris, UV, atomic oxygen, internal and external spacecraft charging effects and plasma interactions.


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