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Sr. Staff Systems / Deputy Chief Engineer

Requisition ID: R10081550

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location IconLocation: San Diego, California, United States of America
  • Citizenship IconCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Clearance IconClearance Type: Secret
  • Telecommute IconTelecommute: Yes-May consider hybrid teleworking for this position
  • Shift IconShift: Any (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.

Join Northrop Grumman on our continued mission to push the boundaries of possible across land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace. Enjoy a culture where your voice is valued and start contributing to our team of passionate professionals providing real-life solutions to our world’s biggest challenges. We take pride in creating purposeful work and allowing our employees to grow and achieve their goals every day by Defining Possible. With our competitive pay and comprehensive benefits, we have the right opportunities to fit your life and launch your career today.

Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems is a premier provider of military aircraft, autonomous systems, aerospace structures and next-generation surveillance, strike and commercial solutions to assist our customers worldwide.  Working closely with our customers and suppliers, these systems and technologies are used for a wide range of missions including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; protected communications; battle management; strike operations; electronic warfare; and missile defense.

We are looking for you to join our team as a Sr. Staff Systems / Deputy Chief Engineer based out of San Diego, CA. As a Deputy Chief Engineer at Northrop Grumman you will have a challenging and rewarding opportunity to be a part of our RQ-4 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) which provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) across the globe. The successful candidate will be exceptionally meticulous, collaborative, open, transparent, and team-oriented with a focus on team empowerment & personal responsibility, flexibility, continuous learning, and a culture of seeking the best performance from each individual.

What You'll Get to Do:

This Deputy Chief Engineer will be responsible for the technical direction, execution, and oversight of all aspects of engineering within the RQ-4 USAF Sustainment portfolio. Within these efforts, a Deputy Chief Engineer is the technical leader for the contract. The Deputy Chief Engineer ensures that all engineering teams adhere to sound engineering processes, in accordance with company policies, procedures, and quality standards. Duties include the following:

  • In partnership with Program Managers, oversees and guides technical teams within the program
  • In partnership with the RQ-4 USAF Chief Engineer and the RQ-4 Enterprise chief engineering team, responsible for supervision/mentorship of the engineering team;
  • Supports contract execution as definitive technical authority for all aspects of engineering on all program elements (hardware/software/support/test).
  • Maintains cognizance over technical activities within and across contract for requirements development, hardware/software design, integration, and verification/validation activities
  • Solves technical problems and provides solutions that are technically sound and programmatically executable
  • Provides technical status and assessment to leadership and customer
  • Supports assessment of cost and schedule impacts of technical decisions
  • Ensures program is adhering to engineering processes and best practices in design, development, fabrication/assembly, test, and sustainment of products for both internal and external customers and is compliant with company policies, procedures, and quality standards
  • As needed, coordinates with functional organization to ensure execution of program statement of work and technical program requirements are met
  • Drives process development, continuous improvement, and affordability initiatives
  • Quickly responds to tasking as directed by the RQ-4 Enterprise Chief Engineer as well as the RQ-4 USAF Chief Engineer
  • Coordinates with the chair of the Technical Review Board regarding upcoming and current change packages

The candidate’s duties will include:

  • Facilitating technical support, review, and approval of engineering documents and drawings
  • Supporting program reviews as an engineering review authority, and assist in resolution of program engineering challenges (technical, financial, and staffing)
  • Coordinating across programs and functions for common efficiencies and operational gains
  • Making decisions that impact the organization’s operations, and services
  • Comprehending and analyzing complex problems and developing solutions
  • Good communication skills, strong interpersonal skills, and good oral and written presentation skills
  • Problem-solving experience in a team environment

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field & 14 years of related technical experience; Master’s degree in a STEM field & 12 years of related technical experience, or PHD in a STEM field & 9+ years of related technical experience
  • Understanding of DoD design process
  • Active DoD Secret clearance
  • Experience in an engineering leadership role that demonstrated team building, organizational, and interpersonal skills
  • Expertise in understanding of the Design, Manufacturing, and Test process
  • Expertise in systems development, integration, and test 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience directly managing or leading engineering teams
  • Experience in Root Cause Investigation & Corrective Action Development
  • Experience with Quality Assurance, Configuration and Data Management
  • Experience managing external suppliers
  • Experience in conducting trade studies
  • Demonstrated success as a Chief Engineer or Deputy Chief Engineer
  • Post graduate degree in STEM or technical management
  • Experience in Agile hardware/software programs
  • Active DoD Top Secret clearance


Salary Range: $173,300 USD - $259,900 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.