Principal Research Scientist

California (US)
20 Aug 2020
End of advertisement period
20 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community. 

Job Summary
We are seeking a Principal Research Scientist with expertise in analysis, design, and construction of ultralight carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) deployable structures and experience leading teams from concept prototype to engineering prototype demonstration. The successful candidate will lead a large multi-disciplinary team that is developing novel technologies for spacecraft that generate electric power in space and transmit it to the earth through microwave beaming. The team includes research scientists and graduate students working on the design, procurement, fabrication, and integration and testing activities required for the development of an on-orbit technology demonstration of a novel CFRP deployable structure and deployment mechanism. The successful candidate will be able to interact effectively with project sponsors, team members, and external suppliers, and will be able to prioritize his/her own activities, as well as lead the team’s activities and schedules.

Job Duties
– Establish broad goals for the team, as well as detailed work-plans, timelines, schedule, and milestones.
– Regularly review progress of the team. Identify technical areas for additional subject matter expert review; interface with subject matter experts.
– Review development and construction methods of CFRP deployable structures, deployment mechanisms, and experimental test plans and procedures.
– Oversee milestone, design review, and demonstration preparation campaigns, delivery, and reporting.
– Serve as primary technical point of contact with external launch and spacecraft host provider; responsible for testing and analyses required to support successful integration, on-orbit operations, data collection, analysis, and reporting for mission objectives demonstration.
– Select suppliers and subcontractors. Draft specifications and detailed statements of work. Manage day-to-day interactions with suppliers and subcontractors. Monitor progress and performance and provide detailed feedback.
– Synthesis, publication, and presentation of technical analyses and data through reports, presentations, and scientific publications and conferences.
– Prepare project materials cost estimates and support cost exercises.
– Serve as mentor to graduate and undergraduate students.
– Other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications
– BS and MS degree in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering with at least 10 years of relevant experience.

Preferred Qualifications
– PhD in Aerospace Engineering with at least 6 years of relevant experience.
– Experience leading a team.
– Experience in working with research sponsors, delivering innovative research products on time.

Required Documents
– Resume

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations
If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at