Mechanical Integration Engineer

Job Details


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.



Are you good at solving puzzles?  Do you have a talent for envisioning how to put together a complex mechanical system from a multitude of piece parts?  Do you enjoy figuring out the best sequence for assembling an automobile, aircraft, or spacecraft, and designing the equipment and tools needed to do it?  Would leading a team figuring out how to put together a flight system for a flagship NASA mission to explore a far off world be something that excites you?  


If this sparks your interest, we are seeking a proven “puzzle solver” to work on a spaceflight project as a Lead Mechanical Integration/MGSE Engineer.  In this role, you will lead a team of engineers in creating CAD-based, animated “storyboards” describing the mechanical integration and test flow for a spaceflight system, design and build the mechanical ground support equipment (MGSE) to safely handle critical flight hardware, identify the facilities and tools required, and actively participate in the final assembly.  This technology driven individual will work for JPL's Spacecraft Mechanical Engineering Section, the organization responsible for the mechanical architecture, designs and solutions that enable unprecedented spaceflight missions and science acquisition throughout the Solar System, whose motto is: “Where Spacecraft Are Born”

Some Challenges You Will Tackle

  • Serve as a Mechanical Integration Engineer in a lead position for a JPL flight project.
  • Work in a collaborative environment to design, analyze, build and test Mechanical Ground Support Equipment (MGSE) and tooling for a flight project.
  • Develop storyboards depicting the Mechanical Integration and Test (I&T) flow to determine MGSE, technical personnel, facilities, and tools that are required for a flight project.
  • Estimate cost and workforce, and develop schedules required to produce MGSE.
  • Interface with engineers, analysts, designers, manufacturing specialists, machine shop, flight techs, and project staff. 
  • Establish requirements, and specify interfaces on flight hardware for MGSE under development.
  • Work independently, and under the direction of the group supervisor, project management, and technical leads.
  • Direct work for a medium-sized team of engineers, designers, and flight techs as required.
  • Serve as a Contract Technical Manager (CTM) for MGSE procurements outsourced to sub-contractors.
  • Develop procedures for the testing, usage, and set-up of MGSE designed for flight project I&T.
  • Coordinate the deployment and usage of MGSE to a flight project, including setting up critical reviews of MGSE prior to delivery.
  • Plan for and lead critical mechanical integration operations in a clean room environment.


You Must Have

  • Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering or a related technical discipline with a minimum of 6 years of related experience; Master’s degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of 4 years of related experience; or PhD in similar disciplines with a minimum of 2 years related experience.
  • Practical experience using advanced principles, theories, concepts and techniques in solving mechanical engineering problems, with the ability to perform trade studies, develop conceptual configurations, engineer piece-parts and mechanical systems, and facilitate the fabrication, assembly, and qualification of MGSE hardware.
  • Expertise in two or more mechanical engineering disciplines for the design, analysis and test of structures and mechanisms, including strength of materials, machine and structure design, structural/mechanical testing, manufacturing engineering, mechanical systems, and machine shop practices.
  • Practical experience using CAD modeling software (preferably Unigraphics/Siemens NX, SolidWorks, and Teamcenter) used in a Product Delivery Management (PDM) or similar Concurrent Engineering environment.
  • Extensive experience developing and delivering mechanical hardware, assemblies and mechanical systems.
  • Demonstrated experience performing stress analysis of structures and mechanical elements, using classical hand methods and Finite Element Analysis.
  • Knowledge of Standards for Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) per American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Y14.5.
  • Knowledge of academic and industry practices and standards across a range of applications related to the development, production and safety of aerospace flight hardware and systems.
  • Proven ability to work in a team environment.
  • Experience leading three or more junior engineers on an engineering project.
  • Experience in Assembly, Test and Launch Operations (ATLO), or other direct experience in mechanical integration of spacecraft systems, especially in a clean room and or high bay

Got These? Even Better

  • Hands on experience leading mechanical integration of spacecraft systems, especially in a clean room and or high bay
  • Experience leading the development and delivery of MGSE for a flight system integration project.
  • Experience planning for and leading complex mechanical integration activities.
  • Experience writing assembly and test procedures, process requirements, mechanical hardware requirements
  • Knowledge of ASME B30 Series, NASA, AWS (American Welding Society), OSHA, and other industry and government standards
  • Demonstrated experience producing CAD models and engineering drawings, especially using Seimens NX
  • Ability to create Finite Element Models (FEM) for internal loads calculations, modal frequency analysis, and buckling analysis.
  • Experience with Earned Value Management (EVM) for tracking project cost and schedule performance
  • Active TS/SSBI clearance

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