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Ball Corporation / Ball Aerospace Principal Engineer - Mission Systems Architect - Microwave in Boulder, Colorado

Powered by endlessly curious people with an unwavering mission focus, Ball Aerospace pioneers discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most.

We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely. For more information, visit Ball Aerospace Career Site at or connect with us on LinkedIn at , Facebook at , Twitter at or Instagram at .

The Engineering Strategic Support Unit comprises the organizational talent and technical leadership that enables the successful delivery of high-impact discriminating technologies for our customers’ missions. Our collaborative, cross-functional teams are committed to innovation, integrity, continual learning and strong execution.

Principal Engineer – Mission Systems Architect - Microwave

This engineering position will have an emphasis on Microwave Sensor Development and Performance for a variety of observing missions and is for a systems engineer who is creative, flexible, and comfortable handling many diverse and sometimes open-ended assignments.

What You’ll Do:

  • Provide engineering support across multiple and diverse new business pursuits by developing concepts to meet customer mission needs.

  • Design sensor collection strategies for new sensors and missions in support of civil space new business pursuits (earth sciences, planetary sciences, and astrophysics). Includes modeling signatures of targets of interest and understanding environmental effects and sensor behavior to determine the expected signature and design optimal collection strategies.

  • Characterize the performance of advanced remote sensing systems; activities include sensor characterization, calibration, algorithm development, and field testing. Experience with building and operating airborne sensors is desirable.

  • Develop calibration approaches and methodologies for airborne and spaceborne remote sensing instruments. Interact with customer community to develop calibration methodologies and approaches in support of new business pursuits and IRAD and CRAD efforts.

  • Develop signal and image processing algorithms for airborne and spaceborne remote sensor data; develop, enhance, test, and evaluate algorithms to support deriving geophysical variables from sensor data.

  • Develop, enhance, test, evaluate, and integrate scientific algorithms in high-level scientific computing languages (MATLAB, IDL, Python).

  • Define, execute, and lead IRAD and CRAD efforts; report results of these R&D studies through technical reports and presentations, both internally and to external customers.

  • Define, execute, and report on trade studies that provide data for decision making to our customers.

  • Prepare and give presentations to peers/management/customers; present at conferences and workshops to external science and engineering groups.

  • Lead and/or support technical proposal development.

  • Support existing microwave programs across Ball business units, including civil and defense programs.

  • Maintain a regular and predictable work schedule.

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships within the department, the Strategic Business Units, Strategic Support Units and the Company. Interact appropriately with others in order to maintain a positive and productive work environment.

  • Perform other duties as necessary.

What You’ll Need:

  • BS degree or higher in Engineering or a related technical field is required plus 12 or more years related experience.

  • Each higher-level degree, i.e., Master’s Degree or Ph.D., may substitute for two years of experience. Related technical experience may be considered in lieu of education. Degree must be from a university, college, or school which is accredited by an agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education, US Department of Education.

  • MS or higher in Remote Sensing or Microwave or Electrical Engineering or a related technical field is strongly preferred.

  • Customer Relationships: Knowledge of missions and customers across core technologies areas. Knowledge/experience working with critical customer base, including science communities studying atmospheric and surface (land and ocean) processes.

  • Demonstrated experience leading multi-disciplinary teams.

  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing mission concepts, either airborne or spaceborne.

  • Experience in most or all phases of hardware program execution, including early planning, design reviews, manufacture, assembly, integration, test, sell-off, and on-orbit mission operation.

  • Demonstrated experience in systems engineering processes, including requirements development, concept of operations, requirement allocation, change management, verification and validation.

  • Excellent presentation skills with documented presentation experience to science/technical audiences.

  • Experience in producibility of designs with cost, budget, and schedule constraints.

Working Conditions:

  • Work is performed primarily in an office, laboratory, production floor, or clean room, outdoors or remote research environment.

  • May occasionally work in production work centers where use of protective equipment and gear is required.

  • May access other facilities in various weather conditions.

  • Travel and local commute between Ball campuses and other possible non-Ball locations may be required.

Relocation for this position is available.

Compensation & Benefits

  • HIRING SALARY RANGE: $142,000 - $179,000 (Salary to be determined by the education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities of the applicant, internal equity, and alignment with market data.)

  • This position includes a competitive benefits package. Click here at to learn more.


Ball Aerospace is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or disability status.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Minority, Female, Disabled, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Veterans