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Senior Principal Ceramic Materials Scientist

Requisition ID: R10103586

  • CategoryCategory: Research and Sciences
  • LocationLocation: Devens, MA, USA
  • Citizenship RequirementsCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Security Clearance TypeClearance Type: None
  • TelecommuteTelecommute: Yes-May consider hybrid teleworking 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 (NGSP), Payload and Ground Systems Division Business Unit, is currently seeking a Senior Principal Ceramic Materials Scientist to support our Xinetics program activities in Devens, MA.

AOA Xinetics (AOX) designs, develops, and manufactures precision, advanced optical products and systems such as deformable mirrors, optical systems, adaptive optics control systems and silicon carbide optical structures for the U.S. Government, commercial customers, and U.S. defense prime and second-tier contractors. Markets for these technologies include civilian astronomy, semiconductor capital equipment, Defense ISR, and Directed Energy. Several potential direct and adjacent application areas also exist. The Company has substantial growth opportunities in support of many U.S. Government and NGSP business initiatives.

AOX delivers industrial photonics systems and development services for a variety of customers and applications. AOX excels in a range of applications from adaptive optical systems, deformable mirrors, wavefront sensors, precision actuators, to photonic systems that acquire and process data in real time for a variety of high availability applications. AOX’s capabilities include lightweight passive and active hybrid CERAFORM silicon carbide optics and precision structures as well as large and small precision opto-mechanical systems supporting electronics and sophisticated controls software.

Learn more about AOX at       


Reporting to the Xinetics Engineering Manager, the Ceramic Materials Scientist will apply knowledge and hands-on experience with synthesis, processing, and characterization of ceramic materials and devices used in various environments. You will lead or support ceramics research efforts through formulation development and materials fabrication, and execution of test procedures and data analysis for the advancement of functional and structural ceramics used in AOX’s products. You will also support the strategy for our team, whose efforts are applied to solving our customer’s critical materials challenges.  Our ideal candidate will foster a collaborative environment with world-class expertise.

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Carry out materials research and development in support of customer's evolving requirements including formulating and synthesizing ceramic materials, designing experiments, and characterizing properties of materials and systems.

  • Analyze data and interpret results, including automating routine data analysis calculations.

  • Document technical work in detail and present to internal and external stakeholders. Contribute to white papers, proposals, and sponsor briefings.

Basic Qualifications:

  • BS in Materials Science, Ceramic Science, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or other related field

  • Nine years' experience with electro ceramic materials synthesis, processing, and/or characterization of materials such as ferroelectrics, piezoelectric, actuators, capacitors, substrates, and other ceramics such as SiC, OR 7 years' experience with a Masters degree, OR 4 years' experience with a PhD

  • Understanding in various characterization and analytical methods such as: XRD, EDS, SEM, PSD, TGA, FTIR, GC/MS, etc

  • Solid basic understanding of mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines in addition to materials science

  • Proficient in MS Office and MS Project

  • Ability to work independently, exercising good technical judgment to solve problems

  • Have a strong record of successful teamwork

  • Have excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Are willing and able to perform work in a laboratory setting, and travel for testing, sponsor visits, conference attendance, and presentations

  • US Citizenship is a requirement for employment

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD in Materials Science, Ceramics, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related field

  • Over 10 years of direct electro-ceramic research and process development

  • Experience in ceramic manufacturing

  • Experience in transitioning successful research projects to production

  • Understanding of and/or ability to conduct, recommend and review multi-discipline analyses (e.g. ANSYS FEM, PSpice circuit analysis, COMSOL Multi Physics, etc).

  • Expert in the use of scientific numerical / analysis packages (e.g. Matlab, Mathematica, etc.)

  • Active Secret or Top Secret Clearance


Salary Range: $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.