Operational Systems Engineer

Systems Engineering
AMDS - Air and Missile Defense Sector

Do you like complicated problems, working with diverse technical systems and have a prior experience in Navy operations? If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL!

We are seeking an Operational Systems Engineer to help us lead teams developing and designing future advanced combat systems with a specific focus towards non-kinetic effects. You get to work with the government and the combat systems engineering agent to integrate diverse capabilities. You will be a recognized subject matter expert (SME) within the lab on operational issues, including tactical employment!

When you come to the lab in this role you will participate in the integration of diverse sensors and weapons systems to create future combat systems, specifically to integrate non-kinetic and directed energy capabilities in a way to be operationally and technically feasible.

As a Operational Systems Engineer you will...

  • Provide systems engineering expertise and develop system requirements for next-generation combat systems. 
  • Develop, integrate and analyze defensive and offensive combat systems, to include all phases of the Kill Chain (Find-Fix-Track-Target-Engage-Assess) in the greater context of kill webs in order to achieve increased operational effectiveness.
  • Use your technical knowledge and operational experience-informed leadership to help integrate non-kinetic/directed energy systems onto Navy platforms. 

To meet our minimum qualifications for the job, you must have...

  • A BS degree in electrical engineering, mathematics, physics, computer science, or other related field
  • At least 3 years of related professional and/or operational experience in surface combat systems.
  • Active-duty experience in operational use of Navy combat management systems.
  • At least 2 years’ experience conducting performance analysis, requirements analysis, systems integration, or requirements engineering activities for DoD systems.
  • strong speaking and writing skills.
  • Are able to organize tasks, collaborate with other and coordinate your work across multiple concurrent projects.
  • Are willing and able to support 15% local travel and 5% travel within CONUS. Occasional opportunity to ride USN ships and work at US Navy testing sites around the country.
  • Hold an active Secret security clearance, and be able to obtain Top Secret level security clearance. If selected, be subject to a government security investigation and meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.
  • Can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To ensure the safety and well-being of the community, APL has established a policy requiring that all staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. All staff members must provide proof of full vaccination or have an approved medical or religious accommodation by their start date.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you have...

  • An MS in systems engineering or a closely related field.
  • A Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) degree or diploma from a professional military secondary education institution (Naval War College, Army War College, Air War College, Naval Post Graduate School, etc).
  • At least 6 years of professional experience in surface warfare or related fields.
  • Experience in developing weapons systems and tactics.
  • A background in design, experimentation and validation of, or systems engineering applied to surface combat or weapons systems.
  • Worked previously with NAVSEA Defense Acquisition Programs or OPNAV staff, specifically N9 / N2N6.
  • Effectively lead technical projects with previous project management experience.
  • An active top-secret clearance.


Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation’s most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates. At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL’s campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at


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