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Principal Engineer Test (Static Load) – Space Components

Requisition ID: R10059124

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location IconLocation: San Diego, California, 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.

Job Summary

We have an exciting opportunity within our Static Load Test Engineering team for a Principal Test Engineer position (Level 3). This position will support the Static Load and Dynamic Load Test functions at Northrop Grumman Space Components, San Diego. The Test Engineering functional group performs physical and mechanical verification of spaceflight hardware, fabricated for aerospace applications. The successful candidate will be someone who has a strong technical background and is a hands-on engineer, comfortable working hand-in-hand with technicians, handling flight hardware, and running tests.

This role requires strong experience developing technical solutions to complex problems which require the regular use of ingenuity and creativity. A Principal Engineer is expected to work with minimal direction, exercising considerable latitude in determining technical objectives of assignments. This position guides the successful completion of major programs and may function in a project leadership role. This role designs, develops, and implements tests and fixtures, plans and arranges the labor, schedules, and equipment required for testing. The role also provides the parameters for testing, specifies tests to be performed, compiles data, and defines changes required in testing equipment, testing procedures, manufacturing processes, or new testing requirements.

Primary responsibilities of the position include:

  • Create test plans and procedures from customer requirements and/or program team direction
  • Collaborate with Design and Tooling engineering to create test fixture designs, and model test setups electronically
  • Oversee assembly and validation of test fixtures and test setups. Perform physical and/or static load tests and document into customer deliverable reports
  • Support continuous improvement and lean initiative tasks, including current state process definition, identification of non-value added activity, and future state planning
  • Represent Test function with customer engineers. Communicate with internal management and customers during Test execution
  • Mentor new engineers


  • Experience and familiarity with the behavior of space composite materials, adhesives and construction
  • Direct experience in the handling and static load testing of composite flight hardware
  • Expertise with test instrumentation (strain, load, temperature) and electronic data acquisition, including test troubleshooting
  • Experience with vibro-acoustic testing including swept sine, random, sound pressure exposure, etc.
  • Proficient in 3D modeling software (NG uses NX - training is available if applicant experience is in another system)
  • Proficient in Microsoft office applications (Word, Access and Excel) to document results
  • Ability to read, write and interpret written instructions, blueprints, or shop drawings in English
  • Demonstrated ability to convert customer defined requirements into clear, written procedures
  • Problem solving skills utilizing superior mechanical ability, the ability to multitask, and ability to prioritize work, are required
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new skills and follow written procedures
  • Identifies opportunities for continuous improvement with a focus on customer service excellence.
  • Must be able to work within established procedures for data control
  • Excellent documentation, organization and communication skills
  • Possesses strong interest in space composite materials science
  • Initiative, self-starter, adaptable, team player, and high motivation for excellence
  • Ability to work independently and under pressure in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
  • Ability to work flexible hours, overtime, and weekends as needed based on demanding manufacturing schedules
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excels in a team environment


  • 5 Years with Bachelors in an Engineering Discipline; 3 Years with Masters; 0 Years with PhD.
  • 2 years’ experience in Structures Testing and Static Load Testing

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Background in force limited vibration  
  • Active in-scope DoD Top Secret clearance

Salary Range: $92,200 USD - $138,400 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

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.