Chief Ground Systems Engineer - TS/SCI

Job Details

Job ID: 11651

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.


Unique leadership opportunity with JPL's Special Programs as the Chief Ground Systems Engineer reporting to the Mission System Engineering & Architecture Group.  You will also be a member of the program Mission Systems leadership team reporting to the Mission Systems Manager.  

  • Responsible for technical integrity of JPL developed ground system components and their interfaces to external systems.
  • Lead the integration of a complex ground system with enterprise information level services.
  • Collaborate with the Ground Data System Delivery Manager in the planning of agile integration efforts.
  • Collaborate with the Mission Systems SE and Mission Planning Engineer in the development of scenarios to validate end-to-end ground system capabilities. 
  • Lead anomaly resolution of JPL ground system components integrated into a larger complex system.  
  • Assist program in ground system technology transfer to industry partners.
  • Exercise broad discretion and independent judgment in devising and developing techniques to evaluate and decide among unique approaches and solutions to major problems.


Bachelor's degree in Engineering or related technical discipline with a minimum of 9 years of related experience; or Master's degree in engineering or related technical discipline with a minimum of 7 years of related experience; PhD with a minimum of 5 years of related experience.

Responsibilities include:

  • Wide-ranging experience and advanced knowledge in space systems engineering lifecycle activities and products including ground system architecture; trade studies; system-level, subsystem-level and interface requirements definition, flow-down and verification; and risk management;
  • In-depth knowledge of ground system architecture practices and in the integration and deployment of large scale ground systems;  
  • Proven ability to effectively interface frequently with program customer, stakeholders and industry partners
  • Extensive track record of technical problem solving skills
  • Demonstrated technical leadership and teaming skills
  • Ability to negotiate and collaborate across multiple organizations
  • Experience in DoD systems engineering lifecycle practices; and knowledge and experience in applicable DoD policies and procedures pertaining to ground systems.

Must be a U.S. Citizen with an active Top Secret (TS) clearance based upon Single Scope Background investigation (SBBI) within a 5-year scope and must be approved for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) accesses


Preferred Skills:

  • Background in large scale Software Systems Engineering.
  • Hands-on experience with Linux, Java and Python.
  • Working knowledge of Cloud Computing.
  • Experience managing technical subcontracts.
  • Expertise in commercial and government best practices applied to the design and deployment of ground systems. 
  • Demonstrated ability to mentor and coach others.

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JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law.

In addition, JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

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