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Mechanical Engineer (Thermal-Structural Analyst)
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland
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Date Posted 04/12/2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Job Description 

Mechanical Engineer (Thermal-Structural Analyst)-19944 


Position Description

Seeking a highly motivated individual with a solid foundation in structural mechanics with an emphasis in high temperature, ablating composite materials for use in thermal protection systems. 


You would be expected to use your knowledge to build up an analysis capability to properly characterize the nonlinear response of composites at high temperatures with interest at the meso to micro-mechanical scale. You would also be expected to identify and apply appropriate failure criteria and mechanisms to assess component and system level performance.  These skills will be used to conduct detailed stress analysis of missile assemblies, rocket motors, thermal protection systems, launchers, and reentry bodies in support of hypersonic glide vehicles. You will participate in industry/government working teams by interacting with sponsors, contractors, and APL staff. You will contribute to the development of multiple new and innovative analysis tools for use within the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Group.

Duties (Listed in order of importance with the estimated amount of time spent at each task): 

1.  Develop finite element models of mechanical assemblies and perform static, dynamic, and thermo-structural analyses.

2.  Work on a multi-disciplinary team to develop sophisticated material models and new analysis tools.

3.  Present analysis results to government agencies and/or contractors and document technical results and new modeling capabilities in technical memoranda.

4.  Actively participate on industry/government Integrated Product Teams. Provide technical expertise and review of contractor analyses.

Note: This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time.



Required Qualifications: 

MS in Mechanical Engineering or closely related field with some exposure using the finite element method.

  • Experience or coursework fundamentals to model and analyze the structural response of composite materials at elevated temperatures.
  • Some experience in the use of a programming and/or scripting language (Python, Fortran, C++).
  • Strong organization and planning skills. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to obtain a Secret level clearance.


Desired Qualifications:


It is desirable that the candidate fulfill one or more of the following qualifications:

  • PhD in mechanical engineering or related field
  • Coursework or relevant experience in the micro-mechanics of composites
  • Coursework or relevant analysis experience in heat and mass transfer of ablating or mechanically eroding, recessing surfaces with moving grids
  • Structural analysis experience involving recessing surfaces and/or deploying geometries
  • The ability to perform transient thermo-structural analyses of complex mechanical assemblies
  • Familiarity with identifying failure modes and calculating failure indices for a range of material types with emphasis on composites
  • Knowledge of general material nonlinearities at high temperature and/or high strain
  • A strong theoretical background with the ability to implement new physics and material models into existing finite element codes
  • Experience applying the principles of fracture mechanics to analyze mechanical systems
  • Coursework or experience modeling fluid structure interaction
  • Exposure to Linux, shell scripting, and/or MPI experience
  • Experience using ABAQUS finite element software and writing user subroutines to aid analysis
  • Ability to work with CAD software


Special Working Conditions: Occasional travel to sponsor, contractor, and peer organization facilities for meetings and reviews.

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. With a wide selection of challenging, impactful work and a robust education assistance program, APL promotes a culture of life-long learning. Our employees enjoy generous benefits and healthy work/life balance. APL's campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at


APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Primary Location

 *United States-*Maryland-*Laurel 


*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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