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PhD Physicist (Principal Physicist/Sr. Principal Physicist)

Requisition ID: R10063711

  • CategoryCategory: Research and Sciences
  • Location Location: Corinne, UT, USA   |  Magna, UT, USA +1 more
  • Citizenship RequirementsCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Security Clearance TypeClearance Type: 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.

Northrop Grumman Propulsion Systems is currently recruiting for a PhD Physicist (Principal Physicist/Sr. Principal Physicist) for our Promontory, UT facility. 

Candidate must be a US Citizen with the ability to obtain a Department of Defense Secret security clearance.

Working Environment:

The position is in the Research and Development Laboratories of Propulsion Systems, part of Northrop Grumman Launch Vehicles Division of the Space Sector, which specializes in launch vehicle integration, solid rocket motors and advanced composite structures.  The R&D Labs at Promontory conduct materials research, formulate energetic materials, design and test subscale components and conduct service life programs.

The purpose of this position is to continue replacing empirical models with higher fidelity physics-based material models and to continually improve our rocket motor service life prediction technologies.  Because the models are generally multidisciplinary, we expect the employee to grow into the knowledge base necessary to create such models.


As a physicist in the R&D Labs you will be responsible for creating models of energetic material mixtures and system behaviors of the devices that employ them. You will have ownership of your work from the proposal phase to final conclusions.  You will use linear and nonlinear regression techniques and chemical and mechanical data to parameterize the systems under study. You will then apply boundary conditions of interest (e.g., temperature, humidity, displacement, and load) to the equations governing material behavior, and, using associated error roll-up and uncertainty deliver predicted material and/or system behaviors.  You will also be responsible for designing and overseeing test matrices and their analysis to support validation of the models.

Basic Qualifications:

  • U.S. Citizen (DoD secret security clearance will be required)

  • Ph.D. in physics

  • Familiarity with mechanics, electromagnetic theory, and thermodynamics. 

  • Mathematical skills, both analytical and numerical, including

    • Solving/approximating differential equations, analytically and numerically

    • Approximating difficult nested integrals and sums

    • Working knowledge of many of the special functions

    • Group theory

  • Ability to program in high-level languages: C++, Python, Mathematica.

  • Data analysis and statistics skillset including

    • Monte Carlo

    • Error roll-up

    • Linear and nonlinear regression

  • Design and direction of test programs to support modeling efforts.

Preferred Skills:

  • Good writing and verbal/presentation skills with the ability to:

    • Write proposals

    • Publish technical papers

    • Compile final reports (book-sized) for large, multidisciplinary programs

    • Write/present preliminary white papers to funding agencies

  • Good team-worker, especially the ability to work well with a multi-disciplinary team

  • Familiarity with quantum mechanics, nuclear physics and principles of condensed matter field theory.

  • Able to become familiar with solid mechanics, chemical kinetics, diffusion (and general transport) phenomena, fluid mechanics, polymer physics and viscoelasticity, and particulate/multi-phase mechanics.

  • Able to derive complex material and processing models from the material microstructure, utilizing best available theory, computational tools, and software.  The model types and mathematical techniques may include:

    • Techniques to derive asymptotic solutions to aid in solving stiff equations.

    • Heat transport models

    • Particulate mechanics models

    • Slurry mechanics models

    • Eddy current models

  • Able to assist NDE/Electronics lab in designing new measurements of solid rocket motor related materials and components

    • Eddy current

    • Ultrasound

    • IR imaging

Education & Experience

  • Ph.D. in physics and 0 years of experience

  • Position can be filled one level higher, Ph.D. and 4 years of experience

This position reports to Corinne, UT, USA, however, this position can also be worked from Magna, UT, UT, USA.

Salary Range: $87,600 USD - $131,400 USD
Salary Range 2: $108,600 USD - $163,000 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.