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MAX Spacecraft Lead

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado is looking for a Deputy Spacecraft Lead to lead the spacecraft team on a deep space mission to explore the inner solar system and the asteroid belt. The goal is for the Deputy Lead to mentor under the current Spacecraft Lead and then take over the lead role when the current Spacecraft Lead retires (1-3 years). The mission duration is approximately 6-1/2 years in the development phase (launch in 2028) and 5 years in the flight phase. The spacecraft team is responsible for the spacecraft flight hardware and associated simulators.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

LASP is a world-renowned space science research institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. CU receives more NASA funding than any public university in the country, due in large part to LASP programs. Professional engineers work closely with scientists and assembly technicians in designing and building space flight hardware while helping mentor students as entry-level engineers working on these programs. LASP is particularly proud of a work environment that supports employee creativity and productivity and offers opportunities for diverse experiences and a broad range of responsibilities.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Manage the day-to-day activities of the spacecraft team including setting priorities, managing personnel tasking, and dealing with personnel issues.
  • The main point of contact to the mission management team for the spacecraft teams.
  • Represent the spacecraft team at peer reviews and milestone reviews.
  • Provide engineering guidance to the spacecraft team on architecture and design decisions.
  • Assist the spacecraft team in creating and managing subcontracts for spacecraft and simulator hardware and software.
  • Set the spacecraft team schedule to deliver the spacecraft and simulators to the program per the program schedule.
  • Work with the I&T team to manage the integration of the spacecraft, simulators, and GSE, and, ultimately, the observatory.
  • Work with the Program Manager to manage spacecraft team costs.

What You Should Know

  • Able to travel domestically (up to one trip per quarter).
  • Due to US Export Control restrictions, only US Citizens and Permanent Residents may apply.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

$119,300.00 - $187,750.00.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be dynamic. Be impactful. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A Bachelors degree.
  • 10+ years of experience designing, building, and flying space systems.

What You Will Need

  • Strong systems engineering skills and experience including requirements development, decomposition, and verification.
  • An inherent understanding of trade studies and analyses at the system, subsystem, and component levels.
  • Experience in managing large teams.
  • Experience creating system-level analyses.
  • Experience managing subcontracts.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • A willingness to mentor/teach.
  • An interest in working with international partners.
  • Outstanding organizational skills and an ability to work to a timeline with specific product delivery dates.
  • Comfort level working problems "creatively" that don't have defined starting or ending points. Creativity to look at problems from different perspectives. Confidence to put forth potentially non-traditional solutions to your superiors.
  • Ability to self-manage, prioritize tasks and report on status during team meetings.
  • Ability to take feedback, learn new skills, learn from mistakes, and review your own work.
  • Computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Project).
  • A passion for space exploration.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience with deep space missions.
  • Experience with bi-prop and solar electric propulsion systems.
  • Experience with rendezvous and proximity operations.
  • Experience in each of the project lifecycle phases (concept development, requirements derivation, analysis, design, integration, test/verification, launch, commissioning, and operations).
  • Experience with DOORS Next, Python, Matlab.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume or CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.

If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.

The position will be open until filled. Applications will be screened as they are received.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: