Mechanical Engineer I

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.


The Opto-Mechanical Engineering Group works on cutting edge sensors and science instruments for space, airborne and ground environments. We currently support the design, build, assembly and test of science instruments for upcoming Mars, Europa and Earth-observing missions, including instruments to be deployed on the robotic arm of the Mars 2020 rover. We also support the design and development of extraordinarily high-contrast imaging instruments for the detection and characterization of exoplanets, most notably the Coronagraph Instruments (CGI) for the WFIRST mission.


The successful candidate will be a member of the Optics Section’s Opto-Mechanical Engineering Group and report to the Group Supervisor. They will be a part of teams working on one or more of the above-mentioned projects and be responsible for design, analysis and acquisition of various mechanical and opto-mechanical elements of the instruments we’re developing for these projects. In the future, they will support development of new and innovative observational instruments and systems for NASA astrophysics, planetary, and earth science missions and for other government customers. Examples of these already-funded systems include spectrometers to measure the trace gas content of atmospheres and in-situ instruments to explore the geological origins and possible biological content of planetary surfaces.


Required Skills:

  • BA/BS degree in mechanical engineering or a similar discipline
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Expertise in the use of one or more of the following tools: NX. SolidWorks, MATLAB, STK
  • Significant hands-on experience developing, building, assembling and/or testing hardware
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work well in an engineering team environment

Preferred Skills:

Having one or more of the following skills and experience sets would be beneficial

  • Specific experience with optical and/or photonic components and systems
  • Specific experience with one or more programming languages, e.g. Python or C++
  • Experience/proficiency with computer-driven control and data acquisition tools, e.g. LabView

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