Principal Systems Engineer (Spacecraft Engineer)

Sierra Nevada Corporation
October 15, 2020
Louisville, CO
Job Type


We are seeking an experienced Systems Engineer with a Bachelor's degree in Systems Engineering or a related Engineering field and at least 14 years of relevant experience. In this challenging, fast-paced environment, you'll have the opportunity to apply your knowledge and experience to design and create the most groundbreaking aerospace and defense technologies - those that exist today and those that will shape tomorrow.

What to look forward to:

As a Systems Engineer at SNC, you will be using your skills and expertise to research, architect, model, simulate, test, certify and support cutting edge products & services. These cover a very wide range: from state of the art mission payloads and electronic systems through highly integrated aircrafts, to orbital and space exploration systems. You'll be responsible for developing complex system architectures within contextual modeling platforms, ushering them from operational concept through preliminary & detailed design, simulation and test using industry leading tools. As a cross functional engineer, you are responsible for 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. Learn more about SSG

The Principal Systems Engineer (Spacecraft Lead Engineer) reports to the Program Manager on the program he/she is supporting and works in concert with the lead subsystem engineers and IPT leads in execution of the program. The Principal Systems Engineer (Spacecraft Lead Engineer) is the technical lead of the Systems Engineering & Mission Analysis team and is the Program Manager’s technical liaison. Additionally the Principal Systems Engineer (Spacecraft Lead Engineer) is responsible for the Cost Accounting Management of the System Engineering & Mission Analysis IPT. The Principal Systems Engineer (Spacecraft Lead Engineer) is responsible for decomposition of requirements, generation and allocation of specifications, control documents, plans and reports in support of the development. Additionally the Principal Systems Engineer (Spacecraft Lead Engineer) is responsible for the program analysis function, including showing predicted mission performance against proposed requirements. The Systems Engineer supports programs from the early phases of program capture through integration and test, as well as launch and operations. The Principal Systems Engineer (Spacecraft Lead Engineer) should have intimate knowledge of the product technology and a good working knowledge of the associated engineering disciplines.


  • Lead the Systems Engineering & Mission Analysis Team in the generation and decomposition of requirements, allocation of specifications, control documents, plans and reports in support of the development activities
  • Work directly with the Program Manager and Chief Engineer to ensure the successful technical, schedule, and cost execution of the Systems Engineering & Mission Analysis cost account
  • Support the engineering team on refining the system architecture during all phases of the system lifecycle
  • Work closely with the chief engineer and manufacturing in developing the Engineering Program Plan (EPP)
  • Lead the program efforts to interpret customer objectives, and generate requirements, and decompose them into hardware 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
  • Lead analysis efforts showing anticipated and measured performance against mission level performance
  • Lead Integrated Product Team(s) activities, documents meetings and tracks action items
  • Support the chief engineer in tracking the Engineering Program Plan
  • Prepare material for, and conduct periodic design reviews
  • Execute engineering design and development activities consistent with Customer quality, cost and schedule requirements
  • Ensure that all specifications, designs and developments adhere to SNC standards and customer requirements
  • Provide support in the development and maintaining of configuration baselines for systems and sub-systems


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

  • Demonstrated knowledge of engineering principles and practices

  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary design & development teams

  • Knowledge of requirements development, system design, integration, Verification and Validation (V&V) principles


  • Experience with requirements management and system modelling tools, such as DOORS, Rhapsody, NoMagic, MATLAB

  • Knowledgeable of industry standard mechanical design principles, to include, but not limited to requirements management, Model Based System Engineering (MBSE), verification and validation (V&V)

  • Experienced or certified in INCOSE standards

  • Prior experience in the Aerospace and Defense Industry

  • Previous experience leading baseline definition and maturation in a complex development setting, including the use of high impact trade studies and other measures

  • Establishing and tracking key Technical Performance Measurements (TPM)

  • The ability to obtain and maintain a Security Clearance may be required Learn more about the background check process for Security Clearances


  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Secret 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. Learn more about SNC

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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