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Principal / Sr. Principal Robotics Software Engineer

Requisition ID: R10047178

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location Icon Location: Fairfax, VA, USA   |  Annapolis, MD, USA +1 more
  • Citizenship IconCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Clearance IconClearance Type: Secret
  • Telecommute IconTelecommute: Yes-May consider hybrid teleworking for this position
  • Shift IconShift: 1st Shift (United States of America)
  • Travel IconTravel Required: Yes, 25% 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.

At the heart of Defining Possible is our commitment to develop advanced technology to support future multi-domain missions. We’re looking for innovators who can help us define, develop, and demonstrate advanced autonomous systems in swarming, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

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, but they’re also making history. By joining in our shared mission, we’ll support yours of expanding your personal network and developing skills, whether you are new to the field or an industry thought-leader. At Northrop Grumman, you’ll have the resources, support, and team to do some of the best work of your career.

Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Intelligent Systems (AIS) operating unit within the Emerging Capability Development (ECD) organization is looking for an AI Software engineer to support our growth in autonomous systems, to include swarm control and robotics. This position may support a variety of programs and customers, to include projects from DARPA, AFRL, Army, and Navy. The location of this position is in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. The position is currently being filled as a remote position with local travel required between sites (Leesburg, VA; Baltimore, MD; Annapolis, MD). The amount of time required on-site will vary on a per project basis and is cyclical based on robotic testing requirements and/or security requirements.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Design and develop software for autonomous systems in swarming, robotics, and/or artificial intelligence
  • Iteratively test and improve software through simulation testing and frequent field testing
  • Work on-site at interim test locations in the Washington, DC, metro area as required by program needs
  • Incorporate feedback from testing, experimentation, and end users
  • Work in a small geographically dispersed team and apply excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Travel to field experiments as required by program needs

This position can be filled at the Principal or Sr. Principal Level.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Principal AI Engineer: 5+ years with BS; 3+ years with Masters; and 0+ years with PhD
  • Sr. Principal AI Engineer: 9+ years with BS; 7+ years with Masters; 4+ years with PhD
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Robotics, or related STEM degree
  • 5+ years of software development experience
  • Active Secret clearance or ability to obtain clearance
  • Proficiency with C++ and Python
  • Fundamental knowledge of basic data structures including: arrays, lists, graphs, binary search trees, self-adjusting BSTs, voxel grids, hash maps, etc.
  • Experience developing in Robot Operating System (ROS)
  • Experience working in a Linux environment
  • Experience with Unity or Unreal engine
  • Development experience in three or more of the following areas:
    • Navigation with full understanding of the sensor feed requirements, sensor feed analysis, local path planning, and actuation pipeline
    • Digital signal processing, especially filter design and tuning
    • Localization: Global positioning using GPS, SLAM, etc.; Odometry using laser scans, wheel encoders, visual odometry, etc.
    • AI applied to robotics: Behavior trees, Markov Processes, Deep Learning, Reinforcement Learning, Optimization
    • Mobile ad-hoc networks including technologies, protocols, and diagnostic strategies.
    • Simulation experience: modeling control systems, error conditions, and noise.
  • Excellent communication skills and experience working in a team

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of software development experience
  • Master’s degree in Computer Science or Robotics
  • Experience developing in ROS 1 and ROS 2
  • Experience with PX4 / Ardupilot firmware development experience
  • Experience with swarm systems or multi-agent systems
  • Experience with computer vision
  • Active Secret clearance

This position reports to Fairfax, VA, USA, however, this position can also be worked from Annapolis, MD, USA.


Salary Range: $122,800 USD - $184,200 USD
Salary Range 2: $152,200 USD - $228,200 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.