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Flight Dynamics Engineering

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, California, (US)
Closing date
21 Mar 2023

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Job Details

Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$103,290.00 - $139,128.00 Annually for the SES.1 level

$123,960.00 - $166,992.00 Annually for the SES.2 level

Please note that the pay range information is a general guideline only. Many factors are taken into consideration when setting starting pay including education, experience, the external labor market, and internal equity.

Job Description

We have an opening for a Flight Dynamics Engineer in support of hypersonics programs. Activities include software development, modeling and simulation of hypersonic re-entry bodies, early feasibility studies, and flight testing. You will contribute engineering solutions for guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) work in support of these programs, from systems requirements trade studies through algorithm design and hardware integration, including test data analyses. This position is in the Computational Engineering Division (CED).

This position will be filled at either level based on knowledge and related experience as assessed by the hiring team. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if hired at the higher level.

In this role you will

  • Build digital engineering simulation models for ballistic and non-ballistic re-entry bodies.
  • Assess flight performance of hypersonic vehicles using trajectory optimization and stability analysis.
  • Employ software development best practices including version control, unit testing, and thorough documentation.
  • Support concept trade studies and derive GN&C requirements for future systems.
  • Validate models using flight test data.
  • Contribute as a member of a team with other analysts, code developers, engineers, and subject matter experts to solve technical problems.
  • Report technical approaches and publish as appropriate.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.2 level

  • Develop optimal control / trajectory optimization software.
  • Participate in formal and informal design reviews as required.
  • Work independently and with teams to solve moderately complex engineering analysis problems.
  • Contribute to the development of new engineering analysis capabilities, such as advanced 3DoF trajectory optimization, 6DoF trajectory optimization, and autopilot design.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering, or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Proficient knowledge of constrained optimization and control software.
  • Object-oriented programming experience, especially in Python, Java, C++, Fortran, and/or MATLAB.
  • Experience exercising independent judgment in determining optimal techniques, methods and evaluation criteria for answering engineering questions.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills to effectively work in a team environment.

Additional qualifications at the SES.2 level

  • Master's degree in Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience with model-based aerodynamic vehicle design.
  • Proficient knowledge of industry-standard trajectory optimization tools and methods
  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience with numerical methods and/or numerical optimization.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment and present and explain technical information.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Familiarity with one or more of the following trajectory optimization codes: GPOPS-II, OTIS, POST, TAOS, or similar.
  • Proficient understanding of 3-DoF and/or 6-DoF flight/reentry dynamics and aerodynamics.
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas: orbital mechanics, control theory, six degree of freedom simulations, trajectory estimation, Kalman filtering, hardware/software integration, verification and validation.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Flexible Term appointment, which is for a definite period not to exceed six years. If final candidate is a Career Indefinite employee, Career Indefinite status may be maintained (should funding allow).

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

This position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance. If you are selected, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. Also, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing. Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship.

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory. If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request.

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the go-to laboratory for science and technology solutions to the toughest and most important problems affecting national and global security. If you are interested in contributing to pushing the frontiers of knowledge to build the scientific and technological foundation that will be needed to address national security issues, then we invite you to apply.

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