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Systems Engineer Principal (Spacecraft Systems Engineer) at Sierra Nevada Corporation

Systems Engineer Principal (Spacecraft Systems Engineer)

Sierra Nevada Corporation Louisville, CO Full-Time
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Are you a bold thinker? We dream big at Sierra Nevada Corporation—advocating the exploration of space, keeping service members safe and creating the systems that keep our world united and sustain our way of living. Join our team! As a Systems Engineer, you will be using your skills and expertise to research, architect, model, simulate, test, certify and improve cutting edge products and services. You'll be developing complex system architectures within contextual modeling platforms, ushering them from operational concept through preliminary and detailed design, simulation, and test using progressive tools. As a cross-functional engineer, you are in charge of system-level ownership of new products and processes through the product lifecycle.

At SNC’s Space Systems Group (SSG) we are not only the creator of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft, but also the designer and manufacturer of rocket engines and components, systems that sustain life in deep space, as well as systems and satellites that improve life here on Earth. The work of our Space Systems team not only supports the U.S. government (including NASA), but also commercial customers and international organizations. [ Link removed ] - Click here to apply to Systems Engineer Principal (Spacecraft Systems Engineer)


  • Bachelor's of Science degree in System Engineering or related discipline and typically 14 or more years of relevant experience

  • The Systems Engineer will develop intimate knowledge of the product technology and a good working knowledge of the associated engineering disciplines.

  • Specific assignments could include mission operations, spacecraft system engineering, payload integration, and technology demonstrations. 

  • Domain expertise in any one, or more, of the following areas:  Spacecraft Structures, Thermal Control Systems (TCS), Electrical Power Systems (EPS), Propulsion (Chemical, Solar Electric), Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C), Avionics, Communication, Flight Software, Mechanisms, spacecraft Integration and Test (I&T)
  • Tools expertise:  DOORS, Rhapsody, DXL, JIRA, Excel VBA
  • Experience in spacecraft testing
  • Experience working on complex systems
  • Excellent communication skills required in both verbal and written
  • Ability to rapidly work with minimal supervision on projects involving both small and large engineering teams
  • Previous experience and skills in project definition, simulation, implementation, lab integration and test
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative, fast paced environment with emphasizes in rapid prototyping and fielding of capabilities
  • Strong propensity for System-level thinking. An ability to understand wide-reaching impacts of decisions across the system.
  • Ability to decompose large complicated problems into manageable pieces, understand problems from different points of view, and explain issues/solutions to other engineers and management.
  • Comfortable interacting with and coordinating subject matter experts whose depth of knowledge may exceed their own while still providing a perspective that comes with breadth of knowledge


The preferred candidate will have a mix of experience with space systems and/or payload development, integration and test for space or near-space applications.  Exposure to mission operations is also of interest.

Problem Solver:

  • Create solutions to complex problems, and integrate disparate systems and concepts
  • Research and analyze alternative technologies; Lead trade studies
  • Author technical and engineering memos to document decisions and solutions as required


  • Support program efforts to interpret customer requirements and decompose them into hardware, software and system requirements and specifications
  • Originate specifications, control documents, verification and validation plans, procedures, reports, or other documentation in support of design and development activities
  • Define interfaces and develop Interface Control Documents (ICD)
  • Create architecture diagrams


  • Develop test plans, test cases, and test procedures including execution scripts
  • Coordinate and execute various test events such as development, risk reduction, requirement verification and other system functional/performance testing utilizing Software-in-the-Loop and Hardware-in-the-Loop test platform configurations, as well as flight hardware/software configurations


  • Participate in and/or lead Technical Exchange Meetings (TEMs) and other formal and informal engineering discussions with teammates, customers, and external stakeholders
  • Brief customers and internal leadership on technical progress, risks, and alternative courses of action
  • Prepare material for, and conduct periodic design reviews or major technical reviews, including design and test/launch readiness reviews


  • Supporting the creation of, and adherence to, process controls, configuration management requirements, and peer review processes to ensure accuracy and completeness of technical products
  • Provide inputs to team status, including schedule, budget and earned value.
  • Metrics definition, tracking and status reporting for the position’s areas of responsibility
  • Refining and updating appropriate sections of the program’s integrated master schedule
  • The ability to obtain and maintain a Security Clearance may be required. [ Link removed ] - Click here to apply to Systems Engineer Principal (Spacecraft Systems Engineer)


This position requires current/active Top Secret with SCI eligibility and current CI polygraph U.S. Security Clearance. U.S. Citizenship status is required as this position needs an active U.S. Security Clearance for employment. Non-US citizens may not be eligible to obtain a security clearance.  The Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility (DoD CAF), a federal government agency, handles the adjudicative aspects of the security clearance eligibility process for industry applicants. Adjudicative factors which affect the outcome of the eligibility determination include, but are not limited to, allegiance to the US, foreign influence, foreign preference, criminal conduct, security violations and illegal drug use

At Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) we deliver customer-focused technology and best-of-breed integrations in the aerospace and defense sectors. SNC has been honored as one of the most innovative U.S. companies in space, a Tier One Superior Supplier for the U.S. Air Force, and as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. [ Link removed ] - Click here to apply to Systems Engineer Principal (Spacecraft Systems Engineer)

Sierra Nevada Corporation is an Equal Opportunity Employer

– Minority / Female / Disability / Veteran, or any other protected status

pursuant to applicable local, state or federal law, ordinance or regulation.


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