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OPIR Mission Payload Project Leader/Sr Project Leader

The Aerospace Corporation , El Segundo, CA, United States
Employer Description

A trusted partner. A national resource. A leader in national security space. We are THE Aerospace Corporation.  A team that takes pride in our readiness to solve some of the most complex technical challenges in existence. With challenges spanning government to commercial, you’ll have the unique opportunity to work on projects that are literally evolving our nation's space and launch capabilities. We all share a common passion and aspiration – to serve a mission much bigger than ourselves.  When you join our team, you’ll be part of a rare collection of thought leaders and game-changing innovators.  Are you ready to launch your career?


Contribute to mission success of the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Development Corp, working in Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Space Systems Development of the Space Development Division.  Primary responsibilities include providing Space Segment systems engineering expertise and leadership in support of mission payloads for Next Gen Polar OPIR Space Systems. This position supports Aerospace Lead POCs for Raytheon and Northrop Grumman + Ball mission payload suppliers.


The selected candidate will demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Initiative to lead space systems projects to fruition through requirements development, design development, fabrication assembly, test and verification
  • Leadership to proactively identify technical and programmatic risks, strategically plan for their mitigation, and lead teams to successful issue or assessment resolution
  • Ability to work cooperatively in a team or group environment as a leader and/or member, effectively communicating and coordinating with other members including customer, contractor, and consultants
  • Ability to build and effectively lead multi-disciplinary teams of Aerospace, customer, and contractor personnel to timely and successfully resolve complex issues
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, communication skills both written and oral, and strong briefing proficiency
Job Description

Key Functions

Support Aerospace OPIR Payload Systems Director with development of Next Gen Polar mission payloads by    

  • Actively maintaining and enhancing positive customer relationships with the Air Force Next Gen Polar program manager and his/her staff while providing support that exceeds customer expectation
  • Fostering positive and collaborative working relationships with Next Gen Polar prime and mission payload suppliers
  • Providing technical leadership to program office and ETG teams for development of timely high-quality technical products that emphasize technical rigor and accountability
  • Proactively and regularly communicating with management and customer regarding program status, issues, and risks.  This includes weekly reports and watch lists
  • Assisting with managing labor, travel and overhead budgets
  • Leading iMAT-related documentation of efforts to assure mission success
  • Applying disciplined systems engineering methods, processes, and tools in support of Next Gen Polar mission payload development across the acquisition cycle (pre-acquisition planning, source selection, design reviews, integration and test, to early operational testing)
  • Providing systems engineering leadership for requirements definition, acquisition strategy development, and technology insertion. This includes decomposition of requirements, flow down to lower level subsystems, and documentation of flow-down rationale 
  • Working closely with contractors on requirements, capability, cost, and risk trades.  Presenting findings and recommendations to the customer
  • Providing systems engineering expertise and leadership across all phases of space systems development
  • Participating in program status assessments and independent risk assessments that inform management of perceived technical problems and recommend mitigation plans
  • Building and effectively leading multi-disciplinary Aerospace teams to address mission payload technical and programmatic risks.  This includes strategically planning for their mitigation and leading to successful issue or assessment resolution
  • Collaborating with other Aerospace personnel to focus technical expertise in multiple technical disciplines to enable concurrent engineering approaches to address complex problems 
Job Requirements


  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, mathematics or related technical field
  • 8 or more years of engineering/scientific experience, including experience in systems engineering and/or program management environment
  • Secret security clearance with ability to obtain and maintain TS/SCI security clearance
  • 1 – 2 years of experience with project management of space systems acquisition and development including budgets and staffing allocations
  • Experience coordinating multidisciplinary technical teams formed to solve complex problems
  • Experience presenting technical material to government customers
  • Occasional travel is required



  • Experience with optical IR payloads
  • Active TS/SCI 
23 January 2020
22 February 2020
Bachelor's Degree
Research and Development
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