System Engineer III- (Fault Protection) - Project Discovery

flight systems

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.

Formed in 1936, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federally funded research and development center managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech.) JPL joined NASA as an FFRDC when the agency was founded in 1958.
JPL helped open the Space Age by developing America’s first Earth-orbiting science satellite, creating the first successful interplanetary spacecraft, and sending robotic missions to the solar system.
Today JPL continues its world-leading innovation, implementing programs in planetary exploration, Earth science, space-based astronomy and technology development while applying its capabilities to technical and scientific problems of national significance.
Above all, we are explorers. At JPL we promote collaboration, innovation, integrity, and excellence in distinct academic areas. We turn ideas for science investigation into the reality of groundbreaking space missions, partnering with our strategic business teams to guide JPL into the future.

Project Discovery Reentry Program Description

JPL understands that we all have different life and career journeys, and we invite you to make us your next step. The Project Discovery reentry program marks the next milestone of inclusivity at JPL as a commitment to equitable career development and advancement opportunities. If you have taken a career break and are ready to return to work – this program is for you!

JPL and Project Discovery are part of the STEM Reentry Task Force, the groundbreaking career reentry initiative co-led by the Society of Women Engineers and iRelaunch.

The JPL Project Discovery Re-Entry program is looking for talented professionals who are looking to restart their careers after an absence from the workforce for one or more years. This paid one-year returnship role will enable you to work on projects that match your expertise, interests and abilities and could lead to full-time employment. During the returnship program you will have the opportunity to update your skills in a contemporary work environment. You will have access to the latest tools and technologies available and work alongside multidisciplinary teams to hone your expertise and deliver on client-critical solutions. You’ll be able to experience the breadth of JPL resources while developing new skills and building new relationships.

Note: As a temporary position, this assignment may last up to 12-months.  However, please note that you are not under any employment contract and your temporary employment status can be terminated at any time, with or without notice. 

Job Description:

If you are passionate about spacecraft design, we invite you to join the Flight Systems Engineering, Integration and Test Section. We provide systems engineering for the design and implementation of spacecraft for the laboratory’s key flight projects. Our work spans spacecraft systems engineering, payload systems integration, electrical systems integration, fault protection and autonomy design, landing systems design, spacecraft assembly and test, systems verification and validation, and systems modeling.,

Note: Fault Protection is an exciting and cross-cutting systems engineering discipline with the charter of ensuring that the mission can be accomplished in the presence of an off-nominal condition or event (“fault”). Fault protection engineers perform rigorous analyses to understand all of the ways the mission can fail due to a fault, and they architect complex software behaviors to autonomously detect those faults and to restore system functionality. As a result, fault protection engineers develop a strong technical knowledge across the breadth of a particular flight system, as well as a depth in several areas. Their knowledge of the system behavior in off-nominal conditions makes them essential for diagnosing and responding to in-flight anomalies.

We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced Systems Engineer III to join the Autonomy and Fault Protection Group, reporting administratively to the Technical Group Supervisor and programmatically to the Project Fault Protection Lead. Your initial assignment will be to serve as a fault protection engineer on one of the many exciting projects at JPL, including Psyche and Mars Sample Return. Some of your initial tasks may include performing various fault protection analyses, planning and executing fault protection testing in a hardware/software venue, performing analysis and review of test data, and assessing risks associated with issues found in testing.

You will work independently and within a team environment, collaborating on tasks performed across a spectrum of disciplines and have excellent writing and oral presentation skills.

Tasks may include but not limited to:

  • Be a member of a project fault protection team, reporting to the fault protection lead

  • Be responsible for guiding the autonomy and fault management requirements, principles, practices, and products for space system architectures, working closely with other subsystem engineers and flight software developers to ensure a robust design

  • Be responsible for verifying and validating a subset of the fault protection design by running suites of tests on various hardware and software-based test venues

  • Assess the impact of deficiencies identified in testing and conveying possible solutions and risk to project leadership


  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Physics, or related technical discipline with a minimum of 6 years of professional experience, or Master’s degree with a minimum of 4 years of experience, or Ph.D with a minimum of 2 years of experience.

  • Significant knowledge in one or more of the following areas: systems engineering, aerospace engineering, and reliability trades/analyses

  • Familiarity with the principles, theories, concepts, designs, analyses, and techniques applied in autonomous space systems and fault protection

  • Significant knowledge of the function and operation of spacecraft systems and subsystems

  • Ability to synthesize the unique discipline knowledge of a broad range of technical subject matter experts

  • Be a self-motivated individual who can work independently, in a team environment

  • Must have excellent written and oral communication skills

Preferred Skills:

  • Comfortable with architecting and assessing complex autonomous software behaviors

  • Ability to work independently on major project assignments, with accountability for technical performance, budget and schedule

  • Ability to participate in requirements development for systems

  • Excellent problem-solving skills

  • Ability to deal with multiple issues, tasks and priorities concurrently

  • Ability to interact effectively across multiple disciplines with government and non-government agencies

  • Experience leading tasks and coordinating working groups on large-scale projects in system development, test, and/or operations

  • Experience with development and delivery of system documentation, such as requirements documents, test plans, and release description documents

  • Experience with functional requirement development and translation into system / subsystem / architecture, design, and implementation

  • Willingness to obtain a security clearance if asked.

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.

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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 4 months ago
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