Contract Technical Manager (CTM)

Job Details

Job ID: 11291

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.


As a Contract Technical Manager (CTM), you will be working in the Contract Strategy and Implementation Office. The Contract Strategy and Implementation Office is responsible for establishing and managing a large number of subcontracts with external partners in support of the power and avionics subsystems for JPL’s flight projects such as Psyche and Europa. The CTM role is a mix of roughly 50% task management / 50% technical management, and a good CTM should have a broad technical background with well-developed soft skills and experience in managing through influence. In the role of CTM, you will report to the Manager of the Contract Strategy and Implementation Office and will have many Institutional, Programmatic, Discipline-related, Subcontractor-related, and Personnel-related responsibilities such as:

  • Advising & contributing to Make/Buy determinations, identifying potential sources, supporting the development of acquisition plans, and securing funding authorizations.
  • Developing and providing the technical documents for the request for proposal (RFP) and the subcontract: Funding Plans, Statements of Work, Schedules & Milestones, SDRL’s / DRD’s, technical specifications, and drawings.
  • Completing technical evaluations of proposals, supporting source evaluations, leading technical evaluations of subcontractor processes, and supporting negotiations with subcontractors.
  • Establishing methods for and monitoring subcontractor performance against plans, tracking and ensuring SDRL items are received and reviewed, and leading in the resolution of scope, cost, and schedule issues.
  • Collaborating with other engineers and project personnel to monitor the technical progress and programmatic milestones, and create risk mitigation plans.
  • Monitoring progress and defining any changes in subcontract scope, technical requirements, schedule or cost; and obtain program approvals to implement these changes.
  • Evaluating and approving subcontractor progress reports, percentages of work completed, and invoices submitted to JPL. Support the SCM’s in subcontractor award fee evaluations.
  • Identifying, coordinating, and managing the technical members of the subcontract management team: cognizant engineers, technical specialists, mission assurance, and data management personnel.
  • Coordinating JPL technical support to assist subcontractor engineers and in support of the technical reviews (peer reviews, PDR, CDR, etc).
  • Resolving the disposition of all subcontracted work that fails to comply with subcontract requirements.


Required Skills:

  • Typically requires a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Systems Engineering, or related discipline with a minimum of 9 years of related work experience; or M.S. in similar disciplines with a minimum of 7 years work experience; or Ph.D. in similar disciplines with a minimum of 5 years work experience.
  • High level experience in multidisciplinary engineering disciplines.
  • Demonstrated experience with program or task management.
  • Demonstrated experience in system engineering and/or integration and testing of spacecraft.
  • Excellent organization skills with capability of managing multiple tasks concurrently.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan work including integrating cost and schedules.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written and presentation).
  • Excellent negotiating skills and ability to work with various partners including providing constructive feedback to subcontractor management teams and JPL task managers.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced knowledge of Laboratory policies and procedures, NASA policies and procedures, and government regulations across a range of applications.
  • Advanced knowledge of JPL Flight Design Principles and Rules and lessons learned as related to mechanical systems.
  • Demonstrated experience with development and delivery of flight hardware including in-house development and subcontracted deliveries.
  • Experience in the design and development of spacecraft avionics or power systems and mechanical ground support equipment.
  • Demonstrated leadership in delivery of a hardware subsystem.
  • Experience in risk management.
  • Experience and demonstrated interest with training and mentoring engineering staff.
  • Experience as part of an integration and test team.

Demonstrated experience with information technology systems.

Work Authorization


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