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Principal/Sr Principal Physicist

Requisition ID: R10050585

  • Category IconCategory: Research and Sciences
  • Location IconLocation: East Hartford, Connecticut, United States of America
  • Citizenship IconCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Clearance IconClearance Type: Interim Top Secret
  • 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.

AOA Xinetics (AOX), a wholly owned Northrop Grumman Space Systems, Payload and Ground Systems Division Business Venture, is a leading supplier of complex electro-optic and photonic systems and subsystems that control and manipulate light waves for a variety of applications. We are seeking a Physicist to support our Special Programs Business Unit in East Hartford, CT. This position may be filled at either the Principal (3) or Senior Principal (4) level.


We are seeking a candidate with a strong background in computation and physical science interested in applying their skills to problems of relevance to national security. Comfortable seeking novel solutions to physical and modeling problems that few other people in the world are working on. Able to reconstruct algorithms described in textbooks and scientific literature and evaluate their effectiveness against challenging metrics. Enjoys technical deep dives and is willing to iterate on a solution many times as a program evolves. Committed to supporting their previous work product by debugging, upgrading, and training others in the methods. Able to take initially vague questions and sharpen them through numerical exploration to meet stakeholder’s needs. Past experience with inverse and design problems a plus. Experience with machine learning – especially as applied to physics problems – will be beneficial. While the job is anticipated to be mainly in the modeling, simulation, and design realm, strong collaboration with the experimental team will be required and knowledge of laboratory techniques and pitfalls is helpful. Ability to communicate results to stakeholders with a variety of technical backgrounds is required.


  • Construct high-fidelity simulations of optical, electrical, and mechanical assemblies and experiments

  • Develop in-house simulation tools, appealing to first principles of optics and physics if necessary

  • Leverage a combination of home-grown solutions and commercial tools such as COMSOL, Lumerical, and BeamProp to arrive at decision-quality data in a judicious timeframe

  • Apply advanced algorithms to design optical systems with challenging requirements

  • Incorporate experimental data into simulations and designs and use modeling to suggest new experiments

  • Document algorithms and train other staff to use and extend them

  • Present results in a way that tells a compelling story to colleagues and customers

Basic Qualifications for a Principal (Level 3)

  • MS in Physics or Optics with 8 years experience, or 3+ years experience with a PhD in Physics or Optics

  • Demonstrated ability to simulate physical systems

  • Familiarity with a data processing environment such as MATLAB or Python

  • Ability to communicate complex concepts effectively to technical staff

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a top secret clearance

  • US Citizenship is a bona fide requirement

Basic Qualifications for a Senior Principal (Level 4)

  • MS in Physics or Optics with 10+ years experience, or + years experience with a PhD in Physics or Optics

  • Demonstrated ability to simulate physical systems

  • Knowledge in a data processing environment such as MATLAB or Python

  • Ability to represent complex concepts effectively to internal and external personnel on significant technical matters

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a top secret clearance

  • US Citizenship is a bona fide requirement

Preferred Qualifications

  • Active Top Secret clearance

  • Experience simulating optical and electromagnetic systems

  • Prior experience with COMSOL, Lumerical, and BeamProp

  • Experience with machine learning techniques such as deep neural networks and reinforcement learning

  • Experience with computational imaging

Salary Range: $101,400 USD - $152,200 USD
Salary Range 2: $125,800 USD - $188,600 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

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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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.