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Principal/Senior Principal Systems Engineer

Requisition ID: R10110029

  • CategoryCategory: Engineering
  • LocationLocation: Devens, MA, USA
  • Citizenship RequirementsCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Security Clearance TypeClearance Type: Top Secret
  • TelecommuteTelecommute: No- Teleworking not available for this position
  • ShiftShift: 1st Shift (United States of America)
  • Travel RequirementsTravel Required: Yes, 10% of the Time
  • Relocation AssistanceRelocation Assistance: Relocation assistance may be available
  • Number of Positions AvailablePositions 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.

Adaptive Optics Associates – Xinetics (AOA Xinetics), a wholly-owned Northrop Grumman Space Systems, Payload and Ground Systems Division Business Unit, has an exciting opportunity for a Systems Engineer to support business activities in Devens, MA.

AOA Xinetics (AOX) designs and manufactures mission critical optical and photonic solutions. We serve markets worldwide including defense (ISR, directed energy, laser communications ), industrial (freight logistics, semiconductor) and scientific (astronomy). Since its inception, AOX has been ‘working light’ for the betterment of our customers, the protection of our nation and the advancement of humankind.

This position may be filled at either the Principal or Senior Principal level

Learn more about AOX at       


Working closely with the program team, the Systems Engineer performs System technical planning, requirements and interface management, performance analysis/trades, system integration, verification and validation, and risk management.  Systems Engineering activities encompass the entire product life cycle and are performed within program technical, schedule, and cost constraints.   The key attribute of the Systems Engineering role is to exhibit dynamic range, to be able to lead a team as well as perform as an individual contributor executing specific program tasks.

The Systems Engineer will report directly to the BU Systems Engineering Manager.  This position provides an exciting technical opportunity in a high-growth, strategically important business for NGSP. We are looking for an individual with exceptional people skills. Our ideal candidate has excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills; must be highly influential in conversation and have a record of collaborative approach with peers/peer organizations. Specific position responsibilities are as follows:

Direct Responsibilities:

  • Requirements and interface development, decomposition, analysis, refinement, allocation, verification and validation

  • Develops integration, test, verification and validation plans

  • Coordinates/conducts System performance analysis and trade studies

  • Supports/executes modeling and simulation activities

  • Develops and maintains product technical baseline

  • Gate review technical lead (SRR, PDR, CDR, TRR)

  • Interfaces with customers, peers, management, and other organizations (ie PMO, manufacturing, quality, outside suppliers)

  • Works with Program Managers, Chief Engineers and other technical personnel on quotes, proposals and responses to customer technical inquiries

  • Lead problem investigator

  • Travel to customer and supplier sites as required

  • Learn existing business related technologies, keep up to date with new emerging technologies for integration into product portfolio

  • Risk and opportunity management

Basic Qualifications for the Principal (level 3):

  • B.S. degree in Engineering or Physics and 5+ years’ experience or 3+ years with a masters degree

  • Strong multi-disciplinary engineering familiarly

  • Experience executing systems engineering tasks such as System requirements management, integration, test, and verification

  • Preparing and executing detailed program reviews

  • Possess superior analytical and problem-solving skills

  • Ability to establish a solid working relationship with technical staff, managers, manufacturing, quality, and peers

  • Great problem prevention and troubleshooting skills, root cause/corrective action experience

  • Excellent communication skills

  • System architecture development experience

  • US Citizenship is a bona fide requirement

  • Ability to obtain a DoD Top Secret Clearance

Basic Qualifications for the Senior Principal (level 4):

  • B.S. degree in Engineering or Physics and 9+ years’ experience or 7+ years with a Masters degree

  • Additional above requirements

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Masters Degree in Engineering, Physics with concentration in Optics and/or Photonics, or Business Management

  • Experience in DoD, Aerospace, Semiconductor Fab and/or COTs product development and manufacturing

  • Possesses thorough knowledge of optical and photonics principles and applications

  • Understanding of electrostrictive ceramics

  • Ability to lead teams

  • Knowledge/experience with control of adaptive optical systems including adaptive optics, fast steering mirrors, gimbal systems, jitter/beamwalk controls, deformable mirrors

  • Use of first-order mathematical modeling and simulations to assess feasibility, compare technologies and validate experimental results

  • Space based optical systems

  • Silicon carbide optics and structures

  • FMEA experience

  • Active DoD Top Secret Clearance


Salary Range: $104,600 USD - $157,000 USD
Salary Range 2: $129,700 USD - $194,500 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.