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Sierra Nevada Corporation | SNC Sierra Nevada Corporation | SNC

Principal System Engineer (Comms Subsystem Lead)

  •  Posted 13 Days Ago
  •   Full time
  •  Louisville, CO
  •  R0007944

SNC is currently seeking exceptional candidates who wish to be a part of the commercial space revolution. Our fun, fast-paced and collaborative team designs, builds, and flies the Dream Chaser Cargo System, an ambitious flagship program to create our Nation's only commercially reusable space plane. With your help, we will conduct many safe and successful missions over the next decade to deliver critical cargo to and from the International Space Station. These flights for NASA will enable us to build an unprecedented commercial space transportation network around the Dream Chaser, which provides affordable, cutting-edge orbital capability and return to Earth services onto runways around the globe. The future of space transportation is now. The Avionics COMM Hardware (HW) Lead reports directly to the Avionics Software & Communications director and is responsible for ensuring the COMM HW design meets all program requirements, is delivered on time and within budget. The Avionics Software & Communications directorate is responsible for designing and delivering an integrated avionics, software and communication system to the Dream Chaser program. The COMM hardware consists of the Baseband Processors, RF Subsystem, RF Control Units, and Decryption Units. The Principal Systems Engineer responsibilities include the following: supervisor to the COMM HW team, maintaining the groups’ schedule, leading COMM HW trade studies and ensuring all the hardware work together to provide required functionality. The COMM lead position is roughly 60 percent programmatics and 40 percent technical.


  • Supervisor of the COMM HW group
  • Maintain COMM HW group schedule
  • Maintain higher level technical understanding to ensure hardware works at the integrated assembly to meet requirement functionality
  • Support AS&C Director in managing budget and Earned Value Management (EVM)
  • Support AS&C at Management Level meetings as needed
  • Support AS&C in managing directorate risks
  • Support Directorate subsystems in metrics and progress reporting
  • Support Directorate in developing product structure
  • Ensure that SNC Engineering design standards, documentation and processes are followed
  • Ensure that design, documentation and approvals are within schedule and budget
  • Support employee mentoring and development
  • Support the Subcontract Program Manager to ensure giver/receiver vendor products are delivered on time for the COMM HW
  • Periodic travel to vendor locations
  • Lead system engineering activities including but not limited to requirements identification, verification and tracking, interface definition and ICD development, working with design organizations and cross-functional teams, supporting I&T and mission operations planning, etc.
  • Ensure the system level integration design meets program requirements
  • Lead preparation and conduct of major technical reviews, including design and test/launch readiness reviews; may serve as a technical interface to customer or other stakeholder organizations
  • Author technical and engineering memos as required.
  • Interpret customer requirements and decompose them into hardware and system requirements and specifications
  • Originate specifications, control documents, verification and validation plans, procedures, reports, or other documentation in support of design and development activities


  • Follow SNC policies, procedures and work instructions for all technical activities
  • Punctuality to work each day and prepared to work scheduled work hours
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Responsible for thoughtful adherence to all SNC Policies, Procedures, and Compliance regulations (internal and external)
  • Responsible for timely execution of all personnel-related activities such as Time Sheet completion, Performance Evaluations, Salary Reviews, Succession Planning, etc.
  • Responsible for leadership oversight and for ensuring Department/Team training


Minimum physical requirements to perform all duties and responsibilities, as defined by management

SNC job descriptions are meant as summarizations only. They do not necessarily reflect all duties and responsibilities of a position


  • At least 14+ years previous experience
  • Requires a BS in a related field (engineering discipline).
  • Excellent communication skills required. The candidate will be expected to communicate effectively in presentations to large audiences, person to person, and in the products they develop.
  • Ability to rapidly work with minimal supervision on projects involving both small and large engineering teams
  • Previous experience and skills in project definition, simulation, implementation, lab integration and test
  • Must be able to work in a highly collaborative, fast paced environment with emphasizes in rapid prototyping and fielding of capabilities
  • Minimum Fundamental Knowledge, Skills and Abilities as stated in SNC’s Responsibility Matrix.
  • Experience in working with space programs
  • Strong propensity for System-level thinking. An ability to understand wide-reaching impacts of decisions across the system.
  • Ability to decompose large complicated problems into manageable pieces, understand problems from different points of view, and explain issues/solutions to other engineers and management.
  • The candidate must be comfortable interacting with and coordinating subject matter experts whose depth of knowledge may exceed their own while still providing a perspective that comes with breadth of knowledge
  • Experience in spacecraft RF COMM Systems design and development


  • BS in Electrical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Aerospace Engineering or related field; Masters preferred
  • Experience managing technical teams
  • Project management experience; especially earned value management
  • Experience working with integrated product teams
  • Experience with requirements management and verification
  • Experience with hardware testing and configuration management processes is a bonus
  • Scrum process knowledge
  • Experience working with NASA; human spaceflight programs is a bonus
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Must be able to work in a highly collaborative, fast paced environment