Research Engineer I

Mississippi State University (Ms) Starkville , MS 39760

Posted 2 months ago

Position Function:

Responsible for conducting research, development, test & evaluation to support Raspet Flight Research Laboratory (RFRL) aerospace projects, with a focus upon unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and under the direction of Senior Research Engineer. Works with government and commercial customers, academic partners and other research stakeholders to identify objectives, ensure appropriate materials and equipment are available, schedule facilities/personnel/resources, develop cost estimates and quotes, set project milestones, and prepare proposals. Designs, fabricates, assembles and tests component parts and test articles as required, and selects, procures, installs and configures test equipment. Prepares and executes data collection and analysis plans, analyzes results, draws appropriate conclusions and prepares reports. Collaborates with MSU faculty and other researchers as appropriate. Manages project plans and ensures project activities are in compliance with approved budgets.

Salary Grade:

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges. For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:

The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory (RFRL), the premier manned and unmanned aviation research facility in the nation, was established in 1948. RFRL possesses a rich heritage in full-scale aircraft research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E), particularly in advanced flight test. RFRL's rich history includes dozens of aviation "firsts," particularly in the application of cutting-edge composite structures in aviation. Today, RFRL's focus is to perform advanced research, development, and testing of: 1) Manned and Unmanned Aircraft; 2) Automated Flight Control Systems; 3) Aircraft Sub-Structures and Components; 4) Ground and Airborne Sensor Systems, including Detect and Avoid; and 5) Ground and Maritime Robotics. MSU's unique position as the only university that is both the FAA-designated lead for the national UAS Center of Excellence, and an FAA-designed UAS Test Site, provides unparalleled capability to conduct world-class research and comprehensive flight testing for unmanned aircraft, ground control systems, component systems, and key supporting technologies such as detect and avoid. In addition to our flight RDT&E capabilities, RFRL also offers cutting-edge composite materials design, fabrication, prototyping, and low-rate initial production through the Marvin B. Dow Stitched Composites Development Center. RFRL also regularly helps grown aviation-related companies and innovative technologies through our role as a technology incubator. Throughout our illustrious aviation history, RFRL has been dedicated to outstanding research programs, strategic alliances with industry and government, and close collaboration with academic units of the university. Raspet offers faculty, staff, students, industry, and government agencies a facility with experience and capability for composite fabrication, structural testing, UAS and component RDT&E, in-flight sensor evaluation, and flight test instrumentation and test assistance.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1.Supports RFRL's aerospace researchers on UAS RDT&E projects, tasks, research and tests.

2.Assists with RFRL customer interactions to define and validate RDT&E requirements and objectives and assists in the development of project plans to include staffing requirements and timelines, building research and test teams and determining work assignments.

3.Participates in requirements analysis and decomposition tasks, verification/validation planning and execution, interface specification and development.

4.Assists in the creation of research/test plans, test cards, and provides test execution support.

5.Assists design efforts and execution of experiments to evaluate the efficacy of selected approaches, tools, materials and systems.

6.Works with team responsible for design, fabrication, and assembly of test articles as required.

7.Helps document baseline system configurations and ensures appropriate configuration/change management documentation is completed and updated, as appropriate.

8.Participates in aircraft system and component reliability assessments against appropriate criteria, standards, and methods of compliance to determine airworthiness.

9.Assists the engineering team in the integration of component systems into test aircraft and ensures functionality, reliability, and continued airworthiness.



  1. Assists with selection, procurement, installation and configuration of test equipment.

  2. Supports planning, scheduling and execution of ground and flight test activities.

  3. Assists with preparation, execution, data collection. Assists researchers with documentation of findings.

  4. Contributes to authorship of technical reports that capture effort performed including objectives, approach, data generated, analysis of data, conclusions and recommendations.

  5. Assists in the maintenance of engineering documentation and supports manufacturing, assembly, integration and test activities.

  6. Adheres to appropriate safety precautions and procedures during all phases of RDT&E.

  7. Participates in execution of quality assurance functions, project evaluations and assessments as required.

  8. Identifies and recommends project changes and interventions as required to achieve project goals and deliverables.

  9. Prepares and submits appropriate progress and summary reports as specified.

  10. Enforces, supports, and complies with documented policies, procedures and plans to ensure product quality and a safe work environment.

  11. Performs related duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications:

B.S. in Engineering or Computer Science.

Less than one year experience in a related field.

This position is limited to US citizens and US permanent residents.

Preferred Qualifications:

2 years direct experience in engineering or related discipline.

FAA Pilot's license.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

1.Ability to read and interpret detailed engineering drawings.

2.Computer skills including Microsoft Office.

3.Strong verbal and written communication skills.

4.Work in a team environment with fellow research engineers, technicians, professors and students.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

The position will require the employee to conduct active flight testing. Employee will be required to work in an outdoor environment in close proximity to aircraft, aircraft fuel, batteries and other hazardous materials. Employee is required to wear personal protective equipment.

Physical requirements include frequent sitting, talking, hearing, walking, and standing. Occasionally requires reaching, climbing or balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling handling objects with hands, and lifting up to 55 pounds.

Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically.

Externally exposed to deadlines; set and revised beyond one's control; interruptions influence priorities; difficult to anticipate nature or volume of work with certainty beyond a few days; meeting of deadlines and coordination of unrelated activities are key to position; will involve conflict-resolution or similar interactions involving emotional issues or stress on a regular basis.

Instructions for Applying:

Apply online and attach a resume and cover letter.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.


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Research Engineer I

Mississippi State University (Ms)