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Sr. Manager & Sr. Engineer, Software (Aeronautics) in Mountain View, CA at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 1/22/2019

Job Snapshot

Job Description

USRA is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology. USRA works across disciplines including aeronautics, biomedicine, planetary science, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations. USRA engages the creativity and authoritative expertise of the research community to develop and deliver sophisticated, forward-looking solutions to Federal agencies and other customers - on schedule and within budget.

USRA is seeking a full-time Technical Area Lead for Aeronautics for our NASA Academic Mission Services (NAMS) program in Mountain View, CA. The Technical Area Lead will direct USRA’s tasks associated with the aeronautics and aerospace systems and be responsible for providing technical direction for the development, design, and systems integration from definition phase through implementation. The team provides software development for prototype and fielded versions and future enhancements of air traffic management software systems and works closely with NASA personnel, other government agencies and industry.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for strategic planning, development, and performance of Research and Software Engineering Task Orders associated with aeronautics and aerospace systems.
  • Develop and implement budget, personnel, and research project strategic planning to ensure long-term success.
  • Serve as the direct liaison for preparation, execution, and monitoring the work.
  • Responsible for coordination and integration of overall USRA aeronautics tasks.
  • Assign Task Managers and ensure all deliverables are provided in accordance with task-specific as well as overall contract requirements.  In the absence of the Task Manager for a task, the Technical Area Manager is expected to provide the required technical direction.
  • Responsible for cost estimates, budget and schedule compliance, technical performance, and contract compliance. 
  • Coordinate with the scientific and technical staff and various affiliated working group leads to ensure the research tasks are identified and on track and make adequate progress to ensure the milestone defined are achievable within constraints of the available project resources.
  • Provide oversight of research projects and software development to create and maintain a vibrant research environment.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with other research groups and researchers to foster communication and interdisciplinary linkages.
  • Provide vision and leadership to broaden the applicability of techniques to other collaborations. Lead investigations, ensuring the highest quality in both research execution and output.
  • Represent Aeronautics and Aerospace Systems in meetings and conferences in matters related to accomplishments of research objectives.
  • Responsible for staff management including directing, monitoring and evaluating the work of employees, providing performance feedback and development opportunities and intervening to correct performance problems.

Required Skills:

  • Strong leadership skills for a technical enterprise including organizational, problem solving, negotiation, decision making, research and analysis, and interpersonal and motivational skills.
  • Demonstrated project management experience associated with fiscal and personnel management; resource allocation, and subcontractor management.
  • Advanced analytical skills in the areas of resource management, technical leadership, interpretation of scientific results, careful reading of legal policies and procedures, and preparation and management of budgets.
  • Technical project management skills to oversee the progress of several research projects (including subcontract projects) to ensure that milestones are met in a timely manner.

Required Experience:


  • M.S. in Aeronautics, Aerospace Engineering, or Computer Science or related degree and a minimum of ten (10) years leadership experience in aerospace systems.

Desired Experience:

  • Experience in managing, developing, and planning work for performance-based task orders  at a NASA research center or equivalent environment including leading and motivating a team of professional and technical staff.
  • Ability to maintain good morale and productivity. Knowledge of team dynamics.
  • Proven ability to think strategically and creatively, to anticipate trends, and to translate thinking into cogent plans for a large and complex research group.


Working Conditions:

This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, etc. Extensive online usage. This is largely a sedentary role.



Occasional travel.

All interested candidates must apply directly on our website at

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


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