Skip to Main Content

Software Systems Engineer

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Laurel, MD
  • Expired: March 13, 2023. Applications are no longer accepted.

Are you passionate about applying software engineering skills to sophisticated and meaningful space systems?

Are you a problem solver ready to contribute to the exploration of space?

Do you work best in an intellectually stimulating environment?

Are you interested in analyzing systems?

Are you interested in defining software solutions to support upcoming space missions?

If so, we are looking for someone like you to join our team at APL!

We are seeking a motivated and creative systems engineering team member responsible for the software-related design, development, and integration of space systems. Our space missions include the robotic exploration of our solar system spanning Sol 's corona to Pluto, and beyond. Our spacecraft technologies help our civilian space and national security space sponsors reason about multiple new technologies including space-based networking, machine learning, cybersecurity, and image recognition. As a member of our team, you will develop novel solutions and new technologies across numerous space missions and embedded real-time systems. You will work with teams of engineers and scientists passionate about innovation and driven to make a real difference. We strive to cultivate an environment that promotes professional growth, a balanced life, and encourage diversity of thought.

Be Part of Something Innovative

Over the past 25 years, the Space Exploration Sector at APL, has pushed the boundaries of what is possible; delivering game-changing impacts to sponsors like NASA and the Department of Defense. This includes historic, science space firsts like New Horizons reaching Pluto, Parker Solar Probe being the first to "touch" the sun, and the DART mission that redirected an asteroid for planetary defense. As a not-for-profit university affiliated research center, APL also delivered solutions to our nation's national security challenges, as proven with the recent Deep Space Advanced Radar Concept (DARC) Tech Demo, and acts as a trusted partner with the US Space Force in space domain awareness and space-integrated warfare.

APL teams are currently developing missions that will advance the search for life in the Solar System through programs such as Europa Clipper and Dragonfly, exploring the lunar and cislunar domains, and providing fundamental knowledge of our Sun's influence on the near-Earth environment through IMAP and other research and technology endeavors. To learn about these APL's mission and projects, and

As a Software Systems Engineer you will...

  • With other systems engineers and subsystem technical leads, build the requirements, context, architecture, and impact associated with software products.
  • Apply systems and software engineering principles to craft, develop, and test spacecraft systems.
  • Coordinate the development and test of operational software.
  • Share knowledge by mentoring other APL staff, engaging with spacecraft engineers, and participating in focused working groups.


You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you have...

  • A B.S. in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related field.
  • Proficiency in at least one of the following programming languages: C/C++, Java, or a comparable language.
  • 5+ years of experience developing aerospace systems.
  • 5+ years of experience in software development and planning.
  • 5+ years of experience in requirements analysis and conducting trades.
  • 5+ years of experience in planning and leading software development projects.
  • 3+ years of experience in systems analysis
  • Good interpersonal skills - capable of working independently or collaboratively on a team.
  • Good written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to obtain a Top Secret/SCI clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must 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 M.S. or Phd. in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or a related field.
  • have experience with embedded software development.
  • have experience in technical management.
  • have experience in performing gap analysis.
  • have experience in risk management.
  • have experience spacecraft flight or ground software development.
  • Active TS/SCI 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

About Us

APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, occupation, marital or familial status, political opinion, personal appearance, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. APL is committed to promoting an innovative environment that embraces diversity, encourages creativity, and supports inclusion of new ideas. In doing so, we are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals of all abilities, including those with disabilities. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in any part of the hiring process, please contact Only by ensuring that everyone's voice is heard are we empowered to be bold, do great things, and make the world a better place.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory


Laurel, MD
20724 USA