Senior Guidance Engineer at Jacobs

| Huntsville, AL
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Job Description

Jacobs leads the global professional services sector delivering solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. With $15.0 billion in combined revenue and a talent force more than 77,000 strong, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional, construction- and program-management for business, industrial, commercial, government and infrastructure sectors. For more information, visit

Jacobs Space Exploration Group (JSEG) is comprised of 10 companies and is located at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL (ranked #11 in Best Places to Live by U.S. News). JSEG has been a primary contractor for NASA since 1989 and supports marquee NASA programs, including the Space Launch System, International Space Station, space optics fabrication, earth and space sciences and advanced propulsion system development. As a partner in NASA's next generation of space exploration, our jobs are literally history in the making.

Position Description:

Supporting NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), the Principal Guidance Engineer will use optimal control theory and other techniques in the development and implementation of algorithms for in-flight trajectory optimization. In addition, the Guidance Engineer will use Monte Carlo and other methods to assess subsystem and vehicle performance and capabilities; to conduct trade and sensitivity studies affecting SLS configurations, trajectories, and mission designs; and to develop approaches to mitigate risk in contingency scenarios.

Job Functions:

  • Analysis of launch vehicle and spacecraft multi-body dynamics, equations of motion, and trajectories to assess contact and clearance during liftoff, separation, and jettison events
  • Modeling ascent and in-space environments, errors, disturbances, GN&C algorithms, sensors, actuators, and mechanisms
  • Simulate and analyze nominal, contingency, and failure scenarios during ascent and in-space flight
  • Develop algorithms and tools to analyze 6 DOF trajectories for separations and recontacts
  • Execute/modify existing software/scripts in Python, 8+-, Fortran, C++
  • Generate requirement specifications for separation systems


Day to day activities include:

  • Dynamic modeling of 6 DOF multibody systems
  • Dynamic modeling of vibration/flexing of continuous systems
  • Creating, editing and debugging software written in Python, Matlab, Fortran, and C/C++
  • Optimization and improvement of analysis tools and GN&C models
  • Working with GN&C leads and other engineering disciplines
  • Supporting the verification and validation of technical products
  • Creation and review of engineering and software documentation.
  • Preparing and Presenting technical reports and briefings.



A degree in Aerospace, Mechanical, or Electrical Engineering or related field from an ABET-accredited university is required. Typically, educational requirements are the equivalent of a Ph.D. with a minimum 9 years of experience, Masters with at least 13 years of experience, or BS with at least 15 years of experience. Strong communication, interpersonal skills, and independent problem solving are required. A desire to mentor others and share knowledge is highly desired.

Required Experience:

To be successful in this position, the applicant must be detail oriented, work independently and collaboratively, possess strong communication and interpersonal skills, and will typically possess some of the following skills:

  • Experience with advanced guidance and control algorithm development, such as optimal control theory
  • Experience modeling 6DOF systems
  • Experience with dynamics and orbital mechanics as applied to spacecraft, launch vehicles, or similarly complex systems.
  • Experience with trajectory design and optimization.
  • Strong proficiency in programming, especially with C, C++, Python, or MATLAB
  • Experience with Monte Carlo, design of experiments, and statistical analysis

The Jacobs Space Exploration Group (JSEG) offers a partnership in which you can grow personally and professionally within a framework of strong leadership, competitive compensation, and rewarding career paths. Come join our team on the Engineering Services and Science Capability Augmentation (ESSCA) contract whose work is destined to have a long-range effect on future generations!

For more information on why Huntsville is known as "one of the smartest cities in the nation", check out these websites:

Essential Functions

Work Environment:

Office environment. Requires ability to provide clear, concise, accurate and timely communication, both verbally and in writing (100%). Requires ability to interact professionally with co-workers, management, and client (100%). Requires travel in the domestic USA (< 10%).

Physical Requirements:

Requires sitting for extended periods of time in meetings with peers, management, and with our client at NASA facilities to discuss technical issues. Also, requires sitting for extended periods of time at a desk to write reports and perform engineering tasks. Requires ability to use stairs or elevators for access between floors and multiple buildings at NASA and Jacobs facilities.

Equipment and Machines:

Requires ability to operate a personal computer, a telephone, fax machine, copier, calculator, and other general office equipment (100%).


Our normal workday is 7:30 - 4:30, Monday thru Friday. Regular attendance is a necessity, and adequate arrangements for delegating duties during absences are required. Flexible scheduling.

Other Essential Functions:

The ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and to make rational decisions, and to exercise good judgment is essential (100%). Grooming and dress must be appropriate for the position and must not impose a safety risk/hazard to the employee or others.

Proof of U.S. Citizenship is required.


Jacobs is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding), age, medical condition, marital or domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression and transgender status, mental disability or physical disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, citizenship, low-income status or any other status or characteristic protected by applicable law. Learn more about your rights under Federal EEO laws and supplemental language.
More Information on Jacobs
Jacobs operates in the Consulting industry. The company is located in Dallas, TX, Fort Worth, TX, Irvine, CA, Baton Rouge, LA, Orlando, FL, Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, Reston, VA and New York, NY. Jacobs was founded in 1947. It has 67337 total employees. It offers perks and benefits such as Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Disability Insurance, Dental Benefits, Vision Benefits, Health Insurance Benefits and Life Insurance. To see all 187 open jobs at Jacobs, click here.
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