Principal Mechanical Engineer - Space Components Goleta, CA

At Northrop Grumman, our employees have incredible opportunities to work on revolutionary systems that impact people's lives around the world today, and for generations to come. Our pioneering and inventive spirit has enabled us to be at the forefront of many technological advancements in our nation's history - from the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean, to stealth bombers, to landing on the moon. We look for people who have bold new ideas, courage and a pioneering spirit to join forces to invent the future, and have fun along the way. Our culture thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work - and we have an insatiable drive to do what others think is impossible. Our employees are not only part of history, they're making history.

An organization within Northrop Grumman Space Systems' Payload and Ground Systems (PGS) division, Spacecraft Components is a leading designer, producer, and supplier of spacecraft components that power and enable satellites of all classes. Products include spacecraft panels, bus structures, precision optical structures, deployable structural systems and mechanisms, solar arrays, and antenna reflectors. Our products are on virtually every U.S. satellite built in the last 20 years.

Learn more about Spacecraft Components at our website: .

Northrop Grumman Space Systems (NGSP) designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation-related systems to customers around the world. Our main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures.

Working Environment

The position is available at the Northrop Grumman facility in Goleta CA, part of the Northrop Grumman, Space Systems (NGSP) - Space Component Division , which specializes in deployable systems for spacecraft such as solar arrays , instrument booms , and various extendible support structures .

As a Principal Mechanical Engineer at NGSP - Goleta you will be responsible for creating and implementing deployable structures and mechanical mechanisms at the cutting edge of space technology. You will have ownership of your work from the concept creation through the design and analysis phases and may also participate in the manufacturing, testing, and integration of the systems. NOTE: This position is 100% onsite.


  • Create, prototype, design, and analyze structures and mechanisms for moving mechanical assemblies such as solar arrays, booms, and other support structures and mechanisms for satellite subsystems.

  • Develop and refine components and subsystems utilizing design skills, hand calculations, and finite element analysis or other modeling tools as needed.

  • Perform detailed 3D designs, generate CAD drawings and related documents, and support manufacturing and assembly of components.

  • Document test plans and procedures requirements.

  • Participate and present in internal and external (customer) design reviews.

  • Strive for the highest possible structural performance that is also cost effective and assures complete reliability.

  • Manage and track multiple priorities while maintaining a focus towards common project goals of the program team, matrix organization, and customers.

Basic Qualifications

  • 5 years of relevant mechanical design/mechanical engineering experience with a Bachelor of Science degree within a STEM discipline; 3 years of relevant experience with a Masters' degree; 0 years of relevant experience with a PhD

  • 5 years of applicable experience in mechanical design and closed-form analysis with some understanding of finite element analysis software (ANSYS)

  • Ability to multitask and organize/prioritize job assignments in a fast-paced and gated-release engineering development environment.

Preferred Skills and Experience

  • Master's degree in applicable area.

  • Bachelor of Science, MS, or PHD Specifically in Engineering (Mechanical, Astronautical, or Aerospace).

  • 5 or more years of direct Mechanical Engineering experience, preferably in the spacecraft or aerospace industry, with significant project ownership.

  • Proficiency with mechanical computer aided design (CAD) software, preferably design and analysis experience with PTC Creo Parametric.

  • Practical understanding of GD&T (ASME Y14.5-2009)

  • Detailed mechanical design knowledge of structures, mechanisms, release and drive actuators, and material selection.

  • Spacecraft/aerospace materials experience in metals, adhesives, thermoplastics, etc.

  • Working knowledge of applicable manufacturing processes such as machining, finishing, and rapid prototyping.

  • Demonstrable problem solving skills with hands-on project experience.

  • Excellent technical communication skills and strong analytical skills.

  • Self-motivated with the ability to organize and prioritize job assignments and tasks.

  • Ability to work independently as well as in an integrated team and adapt to change and dynamic requirements.

  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint…).

Additional Requirements

  • ITAR Requirements: To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.

Salary Range: $95,000 - $142,400

Employees may be eligible for a discretionary bonus in addition to base pay. Annual bonuses are designed to reward individual contributions as well as allow employees to share in company results. Employees in Vice President or Director positions may be eligible for Long Term Incentives. In addition, Northrop Grumman provides a variety of benefits including health insurance coverage, life and disability insurance, savings plan, Company paid holidays and paid time off (PTO) for vacation and/or personal business.

The health and safety of our employees and their families is a top priority . The company encourages employees to remain up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. U.S. Northrop Grumman employees may be required, in the future, to be vaccinated or have an approved disability/medical or religious accommodation, pursuant to future court decisions and/or government action on the currently stayed federal contractor vaccine mandate under Executive Order 14042 .

Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit . U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.

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