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Mechanical Engineer in Mountain View, CA at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 9/28/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

The Mechanical Engineer will provide technical mechanical engineering support to the lead Systems Engineer and other efforts on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The Mechanical Engineer will work on projects to complete the necessary design and manufacture of cryostat support equipment including racks, carts, and modifications. In addition, the Mechanical Engineer will assist in the preparation of documents to support testing, verification and validation of the designs once manufactured.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Mechanical engineering course work and understanding of basic mechanical engineering discipline.
  • Ability to prepare manufacturing level drawings
  • Create, modify, and maintain CAD models
  • Mechanical analysis experience and ability to perform simple analytical analysis
  • Good communication skills and ability to write and revise documents and procedures
  • Additional Responsibilities:
    • Work with manufacturing to coordinate final product delivery
    • Engage the academic community in research work through research collaborations, visits, invited guests, workshops, conferences, etc.
    • Ensure the protection of NASA and USRA intellectual property with respect to commercial and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) concerns through disclosures, patent applications, and adherence to NASA's scientific and technical information dissemination guidelines.
    • Support efforts by USRA Management to ensure that USRA conducts its business operations in an effective, cost competitive, and professional manner
    • Complete required trainings as scheduled

Required Qualifications:

  • Must be qualified for a U.S. Government Public Trust clearance.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent.


  • Experience in mechanical analysis.
  • Experience in supporting a lead engineer with drawings and analysis to assist in final hardware manufacturing, assembly and testing.
  • 2+ years’ experience with CAD
  • Experience developing procedures

Licenses, Certifications:

  • n/a

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Understanding of mechanical designs and preparation of manufacturing level drawings in support of hardware design and manufacturing.
  • Understanding of large assembly CAD models
  • Understanding of structural FEA for parts and assemblies
  • Teamwork and the ability to work effectively with co-workers, customers, and supervisor in a professional and courteous manner is an essential function of this position
  • Understanding of configuration management for large hardware developments and ability to work within the existing


Working Conditions:

This job primarily operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, etc. Extensive online usage. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit, use hands.  Keyboarding for large time spans each day will be a significant part of this position.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee may occasionally be exposed to fumes or airborne particles.  The employee may be exposed to moving equipment, vehicles and mechanical parts.  The noise level in the work office environment is typically mild.  The environment on the aircraft during flight operations may become noisy and tiring. The employee must be capable of performing all duties in a technical / scientific setting including offices, laboratories, shops, and aircraft maintenance facilities as well as on the aircraft / observatory, both while on the ground and during flights.  The employee may need to lift and / or move up to 50 pounds. 



This position is based at NASA AMES Research Center Moffett Field, CA but significant travel is required to Armstrong Flight Research Center and international business travel for long lengths of time.

Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.  Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity


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