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Technical Program Manager, Mechanical Systems

Company: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Location: Pasadena
Posted on: August 23, 2019

Job Description:

Job Details

Job ID: 10902

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That's our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers-literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission-your opportunity-is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you're driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you're ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


This unique opportunity is part of JPL's Mechanical Systems Engineering, Fabrication and Test Division which engages in research, technology development, and the creation of advanced mechanical, thermal, propulsion, and electronic packaging systems with expertise that spans the full breath of mechanical disciplines and is applied from architectural concept development through operations.

As a Technical Program Manager of Mechanical Systems, you will be working in the Payload and Small Spacecraft Mechanical Engineering Section (355) which is responsible for: (1) the structures, mechanisms, and mechanical systems engineering of payloads and small spacecraft across all phases of the mission lifecycle and (2) developing science-enabling technology, and infusing it into flight missions. In this role, you will be responsible for:

  • Serving as the multi-divisional Engineering, Design, and Analysis Lab-wide Support (MEDALS) Contract Technical Manager (CTM) to ensure successful deliverables to various projects
  • Supporting all mission phases (A through E) including hardware delivery of multi-million dollar mechanical subsystems
  • Maintaining the cost, technical, schedule and documentation compliance of JPL subcontracts
  • Processing and monitoring subcontract orders and review subcontractor invoices
  • Frequently interacting with JPL Acquisition and cognizant engineers in the Request for Proposals, Request for Quotes & Selection Debriefs of JPL subcontracts (including technical evaluations)
  • Collaborating with other engineers and project personnel to monitor the technical progress and programmatic milestones, and create risk mitigation plans
  • Work independently on key projects/assignments and administratively report to the 355C Strategic Engineering Partnerships Group Supervisor

    Note: The MEDALS subcontract has 3 small business subcontractors which has executed over 360 multidisciplinary engineering tasks. Over the last year, MEDALS awarded over $32M in JPL work on 75 different tasks and 193 task modifications. The MEDALS CTM leads all technical reporting on this institutional effort and works in partnership with the MEDALS Subcontract Manager. Weekly tasks include: new Subcontract Work Order (SWO) setup, Statement of Work (SOW) reviews, task modifications such as scope changes and no cost extensions, maintaining and reporting status on all active tasks, interaction/interfacing with subcontractors, customer service internal and external to JPL, maintaining the tool for managing the process and approval flow, as well as aiding Acquisitions with subcontractor award term assessments which informs subcontractors of their annual performance.


    • Requires a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, or related discipline with a minimum of 9 years of related work experience; or Master's degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of 7 years work experience; or Ph.D. in similar disciplines with a minimum of 5 years work experience
    • High level experience in multidisciplinary engineering disciplines
    • Demonstrated experience with program or task management
    • Demonstrated experience in system engineering and/or integration and testing of spacecraft
    • Excellent organization skills with capability of managing multiple tasks concurrently
    • Demonstrated ability to plan work including integrating cost and schedules
    • Excellent communication skills (oral, written and presentation)
    • Excellent negotiating skills and ability to work with various partners including providing constructive feedback to subcontractor management teams and JPL task managers

      Desired Skills:

      • Advanced knowledge of Laboratory policies and procedures, NASA policies and procedures, and government regulations across a range of applications
      • Advanced knowledge of JPL Flight Design Principles and Rules and lessons learned as related to mechanical systems
      • Demonstrated experience with development and delivery of flight hardware including in-house development and subcontracted deliveries
      • Experience in the design and development of spacecraft mechanical systems and mechanical ground support equipment
      • Demonstrated leadership in delivery of a hardware subsystem
      • Experience in risk management
      • Experience and demonstrated interest with training and mentoring engineering staff
      • Experience as part of an integration and test team
      • Demonstrated experience with information technology systems

        Work Authorization


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        JPL is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer and will, whenever possible, actively recruit and include for employment members of underrepresented minority groups, females, disabled veterans, protected veterans, and otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. JPL will hire, transfer, and promote based on the qualifications of the individual to ensure equal consideration and fair treatment of all.

        JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. For more information about "EEO is the Law" click here: eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf

        The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available at

        If you are interested in applying for employment with Jet Propulsion Laboratory and need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, contact our Human Resources department at (818) 354-5150 or via email at

        Written requests may be mailed to: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Attention: Staffing and Employment Programs, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Mail Stop T1720C, Pasadena, CA 91109







Keywords: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Catalina Island , Technical Program Manager, Mechanical Systems, IT / Software / Systems , Pasadena, California

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