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Director, Design Engineering

Requisition ID: R10066162

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location IconLocation: Corinne, Utah, United States of America
  • Citizenship IconCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Clearance IconClearance Type: None
  • Telecommute IconTelecommute: No- Teleworking not available for this position
  • Shift IconShift: 1st Shift (United States of America)
  • Travel IconTravel Required: Yes, 10% of the Time
  • Positions IconPositions Available: 1

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.

Northrop Grumman, Propulsion Systems is seeking a Director of Design Engineering.  The position is located in Magna, Utah.

Role Description and Responsibilities

  • The Director of Design Engineering reports directly to the Sr. Director of Science & Engineering and will lead a team of approximately 180 engineers of diverse scientific and engineering disciplines and experience base.  

  • The position is located at the Utah Promontory facility but also has engineering responsibility and staff at the Utah Bacchus facility and the Utah composite processing facilities in Clearfield, Utah. 

  • The organization includes the Integrated Engineering Case Value Stream team with responsibilities for Case Composite Design and Analysis, Process Engineering and Tooling. 

  • The organization provides cost effective design solutions for developmental and production programs for solid rocket motor, stage and vehicle components and systems.  Design responsibility includes the following components: composite pressurized cases; interstage, fairing, and skirt structures; internal and external insulation; loaded motor design, complex joints and component interfaces; nozzles and flex bearings (gimbal joints); igniters; systems tunnels; attach and jettison hardware; cabling and instrumentation.

  • Design Engineering also is home to a broad and deep Materials and Process group which is integral to all functional organizations. 

  • Key interfaces with the Design group include Analysis, Manufacturing and Quality, Procurement, Tooling, Project and Program offices, Research and Development, Electrical Design, and Digital Thread Engineering.  

  • The new Director of Design Engineering will immediately partner with the Director of Analysis to implement a virtual construct for a Design and Analysis organization, aligned with our major subsystem value streams, and with appropriate homerooms for the discipline areas.  This virtual organization will be piloted for no less than 6 months.  Following the pilot, if appropriate, the two Directorates will be combined.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provide design trades and solutions consistent with internal and external customer needs and requirements (performance, cost, schedule, risk, producibility, reliability).

  • Lead the design during interactive and collaborative Rapid Learning Cycles for the agile development of rocket motors.

  • Homeroom responsibility for Integrated Engineering Case Value Stream Design Process for Analysis, Process, and Tooling; Nozzle Design, Flex Bearing Design, Insulation Design, Igniter Design, Loaded Motor Design, Mechanical Interface Design, Common Materials, Material Obsolescence, Raceway Brackets Design, Raceway Design, Nozzle Closure Design, and Material Usage.  

  • Develop, communicate and implement vision, strategy, goals and metrics to achieve business objectives for safety, quality, customer satisfaction, schedule, cost, risk and continuous improvement.

  • Maintain and grow design and analysis expertise, as well as ensure development of efficient methodologies, tools, standards, and design concept documentation processes with specific ownership for Table Top Reviews, Key and Critical Characteristics, Change Notice Preparation, Design Peer Reviews, and multiple Collaborative Engineering processes  

  • Represent and communicate design and analysis technical capabilities and technologies to internal and external customers.  As requested, present at program technical reviews, proposal reviews, or other technical interchanges.

  • Assure that Design Engineering assumes leadership for Design Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (DFMECA), hardware planned and unplanned design changes, fully engaging and responding to combined DE/ME/QE team requirements and inputs; and actively reviewing component changes that fall primarily under ME/QE accountability.  

  • Assure that Design Engineering function is properly staffed, equipped and trained to meet current and future program requirements.

  • Ensure leadership and key subject matter expert succession plans are in place and be proactive by coaching and mentoring key talent to be able to assume increased responsibilities.

  • Establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with other technical PSD and sister groups and organizations including other disciplines in Science & Engineering, Program Management, Test and Research Operations, Tool Design, Process Engineering, and Cave Value Stream.

  • Utilize effective talent management strategies to attract, retain, develop and engage outstanding people for the organization.

  • Monitor and implement employee development plans.

  • Engage with functional design managers, groups, teams, and individuals to ensure that escalated roadblocks are removed, requirements and resources are defined and adequate, and that delivered products are correct and accurate.

  • Implement and utilize effective knowledge management processes and tools to identify, capture, and daily utilize our collective wisdom, learning, and knowledge.  This shall include subsystem specific command media; subsystem specific, product based design inchstones (no more than 3 week durations); cross subsystem design NxN’s.

Education and Experience Requirements:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of designing solid rocket motor systems and subsystems (Nozzles, Ignitors, Loaded motors, Motor cases, Rocket Motor Assemblies, select structures (skirts, fairings).

  • Seven or more years in a leadership position as well at least 15 years of related experience in a science and engineering role.

  • BS/MS degree in Engineering or Technical discipline (MS degree preferred)

Experience Preferred:

Knowledge and usage of statistical approaches and uncertainty quantification for design/analysis of complex systems

Skills & Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated ability to lead a diverse group, establish clear expectations, inspire commitment, build teams, value diversity and put people first.

  • Understand the culture of large organizations and know how to get things done through formal and informal channels.

  • Communicate an inspired vision that motivates the entire organization. Demonstrated ability to empower and engage team members.

  • Demonstrated history of using data and technical discipline to drive decisions/direction

  • Capability to formulate and execute complex project plans and initiatives.

  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, writing, presentation and critical thinking skills. 

  • Clearly demonstrated commitment to open communication.

  • Proven history of technical innovation in technology development.

  • Conversant in anomaly investigation tools and processes

  • Fluent in Risk assessment and Risk Management tools and processes

  • Demonstrated ability to identify, attract, and retain skilled Engineering talent

  • Ability to use internal personnel based tools and processes (e.g. Merits, Performance Reviews, Promotion Process, Development Plans, Objectives, etc.) to enhance ability of individuals and the organization to contribute to company success.


Salary Range: $155,600 USD - $233,400 USD

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 https://www.saferfederalworkforce.gov/contractors/.

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 http://www.northropgrumman.com/EEO. U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.



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What's great about
Northrop Grumman

  1. Be part of a culture that thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work.
  2. Use your skills to build and deliver innovative tech solutions that protect the world and shape a better future.
  3. Enjoy benefits like work-life balance, education assistance and paid time off.


Did you know?

Northrop Grumman leads the industry team for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most complex and powerful space telescope ever built. Launched in December 2021, the telescope incorporates innovative design, advanced technology, and groundbreaking engineering, and will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe.