Thermal Vacuum Engineer

Location US-OH-Sandusky
Posted Date 1 month ago(4/25/2023 11:09 AM)
Job ID
# Positions
Experience (Years)
Type of Position
Experienced (Non-Manager)
Visa Requirements
Citizen only


The Space Environments Complex (SEC) at the NASA Glenn Research Center, Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio is searching for an engineer to utilize technical standards, principles, theories, and concepts to develop test plans and procedures in support of thermal and Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) testing. 


This individual will provide engineering support and leadership in the planning, design, and technical execution for an assigned test or facility project at the SEC.  Responsibilities include:

  1. Preparing the thermal vacuum test environment; setup, installation, and operation of test sensors including accelerometers, thermocouples, residual gas analyzer (RGA), and Thermal Quartz Crystal Microbalance (TQCM/CQCM), and various styles of vacuum instrumentation.
  2. Providing overall project management for an assigned test project including developing detailed project plans and project schedules with task lists, durations and assignment of resources. When given the assignment as the lead project engineer, the engineer has the responsibility for the overall execution of the project plan.
  3. Providing technical expertise and guidance in overall planning, and execution of test projects in the assigned facility as well as planning, coordination, and support of maintenance activities. This will include daily coordination with the test team, generation of work instructions to the technical staff, via task orders or other approved means, and general reporting to contractor and customer management.
  4. Providing technical expertise to the users of the ground test facilities in planning test projects to ensure proper match of facility requirements with capabilities, balance of resources, and integration of schedules.
  5. Coordinating with electrical test engineering and data and instrumentation technicians to prepare facility to meet test and operational requirements.
  6. Analyzing mechanical system requirements to match system capabilities with test requirements.
  7. Supporting large and small scale aerospace ground testing projects, including design of mechanical systems and/or test hardware, oversight of mechanical hardware fabrication, oversight of system and hardware installation, data analysis, instrumentation specifications, and final report generation. Test projects cover a wide variety of test types in a space simulation chamber.
  8. Creating documentation logs to track and schedule preventive maintenance, record failure trends, and monitor equipment history to improve production and throughput efficiency.
  9. Upgrading and improving equipment systems to increase operating performance and product quality.
  10. Participating in cost proposals by estimating test engineering tasks, tooling costs, and developing test plans.
  11. Conducting design of experiments and experimental error analyses.
  12. Developing presentations and presenting at design reviews, safety reviews, and other technical presentations.
  13. Providing periodic status reports on each assigned task to contractor and customer management.
  14. Preparing documentation supporting facility development efforts.
  15. Preparing specifications and purchase requisitions for facility hardware.
  16. Providing support for training of other engineers and technicians.


This position requires:

  1. A Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering (e.g. Aerospace, Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical, etc.) or equivalent and two years' applicable experience.
  2. Understanding of electronic test systems involving data acquisition, sensors, and signal conditioning. Experience with Thermal Vacuum testing, utilizing TC’s, RTD’s, PLC’s, HMI systems, and PID based heating / cooling systems and controllers.
  3. Direct knowledge of aerospace thermal vacuum facilities; other test facilities such as propulsion test stands, vibration, and acoustic testing is highly desirable.
  4. Knowledge and understanding of aerospace testing and facility operations, mechanical test systems involving hydraulics, high vacuum, pneumatics, fluid mechanics, fluid dynamics, gas flow dynamics, thermal dynamics, aerodynamics, and mechanical design.
  5. Experience with assembly, integration, and test of space hardware systems.
  6. Familiarity with contamination control methodologies, including precision cleaning, verification techniques, outgassing analysis, thermal vacuum bakeout, visual inspections, and cleanroom operations.
  7. Experience with cryo-pumps, cryo-compressors, turbo pumps, roughing pumps, pneumatic gate valves, cryogenic systems (primarily liquid nitrogen systems), and helium mass spectrometer leak testers.
  8. Ability to interpret, and sometimes create and modify, electrical schematics, detailed mechanical drawings, and P&ID (Process and Instrumentation Diagrams).
  9. Ability to train test technicians in thermal vacuum concepts, safety, and proper testing protocols.
  10. Task complexity and duration may vary, therefore, excellent organizational and time management skills, and flexibility and adaptability are highly desirable.
  11. Tasks involve interfacing with customers, management, engineers, and technicians, therefore, excellent oral and written communication skills are highly desirable, as well as the ability to function in a team environment.


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