Associate Design and Test Engineer

    • Job Tracking ID: 85347-339985
    • Job Location: Birmingham, AL
    • Job Level: Mid Career
    • Level of Education: BA/BS
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: 05/04/2022
    • Years of Experience: 3+
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Job Description

This position works as part of a team within the Space & Propulsion Systems Department.  More than 50% of the position will entail supporting the department with design of components, fixtures, and assemblies associated with material evaluation projects for systems within Commercial Space, the Department of Defense, NASA and their government subcontractors. The temperature range for design of components for testing and evaluation would consist of cryogenic to ultra-high temperatures at 1 atm and vacuum. The remaining 50% of the position will be implementation of designs in mechanical and thermal test lab facilities that were developed and designed in the past 10-20 years. In addition, the engineer in this position will contribute to further development and advancement of newer test facilities via additional electronic control, utilization of PLCs, and further advancement of the LabVIEW VIs. This position will also entail thermo-mechanical design associated with project, facility, and test development to assist others in pushing new technologies in the labs and proposing testing efforts in support of RFP/RFQs. Candidates with interest and knowledge in the areas of thermo-mechanical design, structural composites, high-temperature materials, mechanical testing, and heat transfer are encouraged to apply.  The candidate must be proficient in SolidWorks and exhibit strong initiative with demonstrated competency executing design plans and projects. Planning, prioritizing, and goal setting are key skills necessary for this position. Knowledge of programming, mechanical design, mechanical testing, and heat transfer are desired.

Key Responsibilities

Others may be added

  • Manipulate SolidWorks models and full documentation of system and specimen design.
  • Execute design and analysis of specimen geometries.
  • Incorporate use of COMSOL or other FEA when designing components associated with a test facility or test fixture
  • Demonstrate competency of design of experiment as it pertains to mechanical testing.
  • Implement designs in test facilities through testing and evaluation with a goal of optimizing facility design.
  • Conduct analysis of test data and research results and arrive at interpretations of material behavior.
  • Coordinate all results with team members and develop technical reports to the customer detailing test results, assessment of material performance, and future recommendations.
  • Maintain knowledge and awareness of engineering discipline through familiarity with current engineering literature and state of technology in the field.
  • Apply engineering concepts, theories, and practices in creative and innovative ways.

Position Specific

  • Participate in conceptual design and technical evaluation of designs.
  • Work with SPS team to create, manipulate, and optimize existing designs of test facilities and fixtures
  • Implement products of designs in complex thermo-mechanical applications and optimize based on results
  • Advance electronic control systems associated with current test facilities.
  • Prepare reports and specifications associated with design and implementation. 
  • Must demonstrate an ability to learn quickly in a complex, high technology environment.
  • Performs other duties as required by supervisor

Experience and Skills

Minimum Qualifications

  • US Citizenship required.
  • Must be able to obtain/maintain security clearance at a level equivalent to Department of Defense (DOD) SECRET
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant discipline with 3 to 5 years' experience in mechanical testing and design at elevated temperatures or vacuum or MS with vacuum experience and 2 years of mechanical testing experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Proficient in SolidWorks, MATLAB, and FEA tools.
  • Demonstrated history of technical excellence with keen attention to detail.


Organizational Core Values

  • Integrity – We adhere to a code of sound ethical behavior that builds trust and confidence in all we do. We clearly communicate expectations and provide reliable results and candid feedback to our employees, customers and stakeholders.
  • Safety and environment – We are an environmentally conscious, safety first organization. We value our employees and our planet and conduct our business consistent with that priority.
  • Excellence – We understand and consistently meet or exceed our internal and external customer’s expectations.  We are accountable for timelines, quality and cost.
  • Individual and community focused – We promote an open, collaborative and supportive environment by respecting the rights and contributions of every individual.  We openly communicate information and ideas to our stakeholders; customers; employees; and the larger community.
  • Innovation – We explore ideas and create solutions to global needs.  We use science and engineering to solve the world’s most difficult problems.


Job Specific Behaviors

  • Attention to Detail - Ensures details of assigned tasks are followed.
  • Quality Orientation - Accomplishes tasks by considering all areas involved; no matter how small; showing concern for all aspects of the job; accurately checking processes, procedures and tasks; being watchful over a period of time 
  • Planning and Organization - Systematically identifies issues to be addressed and plans a course of action for self to ensure the accomplishment of specific objectives.
  • Technical Expertise - Applies functional knowledge, skills, experience and judgment to accomplish a result, serve customers better and contribute to the organization’s intellectual capital.  
  • Drives for Results - Establishes stretch goals and demands excellence. Demonstrates a strong commitment to organizational success; works to do what is best for all stakeholders.

Work Environment & Conditions

This position involves work in an office and laboratory environment and could require the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) including:

  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection (varies based on tasks)
  • Shoe covers

Physical Demands

  • In performing the work for this position, the engineer must be able to:
  • Perform work utilizing a computer for extended periods of time.
  • Sit for extended periods of time without being able to leave the work area.
  • Stand for extended periods of time without being able to leave the work area.
  • Climb ladders and stairs in performing the work.
  • Walk for considerable distances in performing work.
  • Lift objects frequently in performing work.
  • Pull or push objects on a regular basis.
  • Reach for objects above head or below waist.
  • Stoop or crouch by bending at the waist or by bending legs.
  • Withstand exposure to low and high temperature levels that result in significant body discomfort



Domestic travel may be required.

Job Benefits

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Tax Savings Accounts (HSA / FSA)
  • Life Insurance
  • Short Term Disability
  • Long Term Disability
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • 401k
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  • PTO
  • Education Assistance Program
  • Paid Holidays
Kratos Defense is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. EOE, Minorities, Females, Vet, Disabled, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or any other protected class.
All qualified job seekers are encouraged to apply. Kratos Defense is committed to America's veterans by providing opportunities for them to continue contributing after service to our nation. We also work to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.
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