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Aerospace Engineer, Hypersonic Navigation, Guidance & Control

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 689735

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Posting Duration:

This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the ‘posting date’. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time.

NNSA Requirements for MedPEDs:

If you have a Medical Portable Electronic Device (MedPED), such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, drug-releasing pump, hearing aids, or diagnostic equipment and other equipment for measuring, monitoring, and recording body functions such as heartbeat and brain waves, if employed by Sandia National Laboratories you may be required to comply with NNSA security requirements for MedPEDs.

If you have a MedPED and you are selected for an on-site interview at Sandia National Laboratories, there may be additional steps necessary to ensure compliance with NNSA security requirements prior to the interview date.

Salary Range:

$88,600 - $172,300

*Salary range is estimated, and actual salary will be determined after consideration of the selected candidate's experience and qualifications, and application of any approved geographic salary differential.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

We are seeking a Navigation, Guidance and Control (NGC) Engineer who will design, prototype, and validate next generation hypersonic flight algorithms while developing advanced 6-DOF hypersonic flight simulation capability. The common hypersonic simulation framework is continuously anchored to reality based on experimental flight tests and is used to drive a rapid algorithm-in-the-loop variant for performance assessments and a real-time variant for robustness testing of actual hypersonic flight software running on a flight computer!

The selected candidate will contribute to a high-fidelity 6-DOF simulation and develop new autonomous flight algorithms for hypersonic strike applications with over a decade of successful flight test pedigree. The baseline NGC flight software product for our nation's leading hypersonic programs, developed by NGC staff, requires integration & testing of next generation sensors and algorithms using advanced modeling and simulation capability for upcoming flight tests. Efforts will focus on dynamic system modeling, simulation architecture design, and algorithm development.

The research & development culture encourages the team to contribute to all areas of design, development, and test and truly own their meaningful contributions to these flight programs. This person will also collaborate with sister NGC organizations who focus on low-to-mid Technology Readiness Level (TRL) technologies. These organizations are managed as a team and the unified goal is to mature NGC technologies from concepts to an integrated flight system solution.

On any given day, one may be called upon to:

  • Derive equations of motion for rigid-body and multi-body dynamic systems

  • Design and develop new simulation models for emerging technologies enabling advanced hypersonic boost-glide capability

  • Apply dynamics expertise to verify simulation component and system model functionality

  • Design, implement, test, and tune new algorithms for navigation, guidance, and control of flight systems

  • Analyze and assess flight system NGC performance characteristics

  • Contribute to simulation architecture design and development

  • Participate in qualification of hypersonic flight software to achieve total confidence for flight test activities

  • Coordinate and collaborate with external program partners to meet program-level objectives and achievements

    Periodic travel may be required to support system-level integration testing and flight test activities. Trip durations can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on assigned roles and responsibilities. Due to the nature of the work, the selected applicant must be able to work onsite.

Qualifications We Require:

  • Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a relevant field

  • Experience using MATLAB and/or Simulink

  • The ability to acquire and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Advanced degree (PhD) in one of the above fields

  • Experience applying various attitude parameter sets, transformations, and attitude kinematics

  • Experience using analytical methods to derive of equations of motion

  • Working knowledge of flight mechanics (aerodynamics, lift, drag, roll/pitch/yaw)

  • Experience with the following:

  • Deriving and simulating differential equations for aerospace systems

  • Navigation sensors, such as Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) and Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers

  • Implementing estimation techniques such as the extended Kalman filter

  • Designing, implementing, and tuning various types of feedback controllers

  • Control system analysis

  • Trajectory design

  • Actuation systems such as Thrust Vector Control (TVC) and cold-gas Attitude Control System (ACS)

  • Multi-body and Flexible-body dynamics

  • C/C++ and Object-Oriented Programming

  • Possess a strong dedication to positive teaming dynamic, strong written and verbal skills, and detail oriented

  • An active DOE Q-level security clearance; or other equivalent active security clearance such as DOD Top Secret

About Our Team:

The Navigation, Guidance, & Control (NGC) Department (05442) develops and delivers integrated, system-level NGC solutions for the hypersonic strike domain space, enabled by embedded software development and test for real-time applications. Our multi-disciplinary team establishes confidence in our software products through high fidelity six degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) dynamic modeling & simulation (MODSIM), Continuous Integration & Continuous Deployment (CI/CD), Software-in-the-Loop (SWIL) testing, Hardware-in-the-Loop (HWIL) testing, and integrated system testing. We work closely with sister departments to mature emerging NGC technologies and verify weapon system integration compatibility. Sponsored by the Department of Defense, we team with industry throughout the development cycle which ultimately culminates in high consequence flight test demonstrations. We take pride in our reputation for delivering robust, high-performance hypersonic flight control solutions for our sponsors and a responsibility for transitioning this next-generation technology to industry to enable an operational hypersonic strike capability for the warfighter.

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:

  • Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide

  • Extraordinary co-workers

  • Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world

  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities

  • Flexible work arrangements for many positions include 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks, with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work, and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)

  • Generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at:*These benefits vary by job classification.

Security Clearance:

This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE) security clearance.

Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Furthermore, employees in New Mexico need to pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to Kirtland Air Force Base. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

If hired without a clearance and it subsequently becomes necessary to obtain and maintain one for the position, or you bid on positions that require a clearance, a pre-processing background review may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for a DOE security clearance need to be U.S. citizens. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Members of the workforce (MOWs) hired at Sandia who require uncleared access for greater than 179 days during their employment, are required to go through the Uncleared Personal Identity Verification (UPIV) process. Access includes physical and/or cyber (logical) access, as well as remote access to any NNSA information technology (IT) systems. UPIV requirements are not applicable to individuals who require a DOE personnel security clearance for the performance of their SNL employment or to foreign nationals. The UPIV process will include the completion of a USAccess Enrollment, SF-85 (Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) and OF-306 (Declaration of for Federal Employment). An unfavorable UPIV determination will result in immediate retrieval of the SNL issued badge, removal of cyber (logical) access and/or removal from SNL subcontract. All MOWs may appeal the unfavorable UPIV determination to DOE/NNSA immediately. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the MOW may try to go through the UPIV process one year after the decision date.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Job ID: 689735

Apply Now


  • Worklife Balance
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Generous Paid Time Off
  • Exceptional 401K Savings Plan
  • Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance
  • Wellness Programs
  • On-site Amenities
  • Vacation Buy Plan
  • Telecommuting Arrangements*

*with management approval

Life in New Mexico

  • Affordable housing, reasonable cost of living
  • Minimal traffic congestion compared to larger cities
  • Outdoor recreation - Ski, snowboard, hike, etc.
  • Experience rich culture and history
  • International Balloon Fiesta
  • Green chile – NM Cuisine
  • Museums, Parks, Sports

Learn more about Life in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sandia invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law, EEO is the Law Poster Supplement, and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Sandia is a drug-free workplace. As a national laboratory funded by a U.S. government agency, we are subject to federal laws regarding illegal drug use. Illegal use of a controlled substance, including marijuana even in places where it does not violate state law, may impact your ability to obtain and/or maintain a Department of Energy security clearance, and may result in the withdrawal of an employment offer or termination of employment.

Sandia is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and providing reasonable accommodation in its application process for qualified individuals with disabilities. If you have difficulty using our online system due to a disability and need special assistance or accommodation, please send an email with your request to the Job Accommodation Specialist in (NM) . Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation are made on a case-by-case basis.