ground support

Job Details

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.

As a Technical Program Manager of Mechanical Systems, you will be working in the Payload and Small Spacecraft Mechanical Engineering Section (355) which is responsible for:  (1) the structures, mechanisms, and mechanical systems engineering of payloads and small spacecraft across all phases of the mission life-cycle and (2) developing science-enabling technology, and infusing it into flight missions. In this role, you will:

  • Serve as the Multi-Divisional Engineering, Design, and Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) Contract Technical Manager (CTM) to ensure successful deliverables to various projects and missions.

  • Support all mission phases (A through E) including hardware delivery of multi-million dollar mechanical subsystems

  • Maintain the cost, technical, schedule and documentation compliance of JPL subcontracts

  • Process and monitor subcontract orders and review subcontractor invoices

  • Frequently interact with JPL Acquisition and cognizant engineers in the Request for Proposals, Request for Quotes, and Selection Debriefs processes of JPL subcontracts (including technical evaluations)

  • Collaborate with engineers and project personnel to monitor the technical progress and programmatic milestones, and create risk mitigation plans

  • Work independently on key projects/assignments and administratively report to the 355C Strategic Engineering Partnerships Group Supervisor

  • Assist / lead the acquisition strategy and subcontract structure development and implementation of the follow-on MEDALS efforts.


The MEDALS  program consists of three (3) small business subcontracts andhas executed over 450 multidisciplinary engineering tasks worth over $120M since its inception in 2015. The MEDALS CTM leads all technical reporting to Division 35 and ESD management on this institutional effort and works in partnership with the MEDALS Subcontract Manager. Weekly tasks include: new Subcontract Work Order (SWO) setup, Statement of Work (SOW) reviews, task modifications such as scope changes and no cost extensions, maintaining and reporting status on all active tasks, interaction/interfacing with subcontractors, customer service internal and external to JPL, maintaining the tool for managing the process and approval flow, as well as aiding Acquisitions with subcontractor award term assessments which informs subcontractors of their annual performance.


  • Requires a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, or related discipline with a minimum of 6 years of related work experience; or Master's degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of 4 years work experience; or Ph.D. in similar disciplines with a minimum of 2 years work experience

  • High level experience in multidisciplinary engineering disciplines

  • Demonstrated experience in contract technical management / project management, task planning, cost estimating, cost control, schedule management and hardware delivery.

  • Demonstrated experience in system engineering and/or integration and test of spacecraft hardware

  • Excellent organization skills with capability of managing multiple tasks concurrently

  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written and presentation)

  • Excellent negotiating skills and ability to work with various partners including providing constructive feedback to subcontractor management teams and JPL task managers

Desired Skills:

  • Advanced knowledge of Laboratory policies and procedures, NASA policies and procedures, and government regulations across a range of applications

  • Advanced knowledge of JPL Flight Design Principles and Rules and lessons learned as related to mechanical systems

  • Demonstrated experience with development and delivery of flight hardware including in-house development and subcontracted deliveries

  • Experience in the design and development of spacecraft mechanical systems and mechanical ground support equipment

  • Demonstrated leadership in delivery of a hardware subsystem

  • Experience in risk management

  • Experience and demonstrated interest with training and mentoring engineering staff

  • Experience as part of an integration and test team

  • Demonstrated experience with information technology systems

JPL has a catalog of benefits and perks that span from the traditional to the unique. This includes a variety of health, dental, vision, wellbeing, and retirement plans, paid time off, learning, rideshare, childcare, flexible schedule, parental leave and many more. Our focus is on work-life balance, and living healthy, fulfilling lives as we Dare Mighty Things Together. For benefits eligible positions, benefits are effective the first day of the month coincident with or immediately following the employee’s start date.

For further benefits information click Benefits and Perks

The hiring range displayed below is specifically for those who will work in or reside in the location listed. In extending an offer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory considers factors including, but not limited to, the candidate’s job related skills, experience, knowledge, and relevant education/training. Hiring range for this job may be adjusted based on primary work location outside of Pasadena, California. This adjusted range will be provided to candidates by the Recruiter when applicable.

The typical full time equivalent annual hiring range for this job in Pasadena, California.

$122,096 - $154,336

JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law.

In addition, JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

EEO is the Law.

EEO is the Law Supplement

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available here.

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United States, JPL Campus, Pasadena, California
Posted 5 months ago
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