Research and Development Engineer (Controls Engineer)

Penn State University

Electro-Optics Center in Freeport, PA
Campus City:
Freeport, PA
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Level/Salary Band:
  • 04 – O – Exempt
  • 05 – P – Exempt
Work Unit:
Applied Research Laboratory
High Energy Lasers
Full/Part Time:


The Electro-Optics Center (EOC), located in Freeport PA, a Division of the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State, is seeking a Controls Engineer to join our High Energy Lasers Department to design and analyze of stabilized gimbal systems and associated motion control hardware and software, and work closely with other engineers and scientists within Penn State ARL and at DoD customer laboratories in the design, development, integration and testing of High Energy Laser (HEL) systems and subystems, specifically in the area of stabilized motion control systems. Responsibilities include: Design and analysis of moderate to complex motion control systems utilized for High Energy Laser (HEL) weapon systems; design and analysis of feedforward and feedback control systems for vibration rejection in HEL optical analysis of feedforward and feedback control systems for vibration rejection in HEL optical systems; dynamic system modeling; and support business development activities, including the generation of proposals to potential sponsors. The Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion; we believe this is central to our success as a Department of Defense designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are part of our workforce. This job will be filled as a level 4, or level 5, depending upon the successful candidate's competencies, education, and experience. Typically requires a Master's degree or higher in an Engineering or Science discipline or higher plus ten years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience for a level 4. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher level jobs. A Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, or a related field is desired. Preferred experience includes: Design, development, implementation, and analysis of servo control systems for a variety of application; modeling capabilities using Simulink and Matlab; and Electro-optic system design and analysis. Required experience includes: Software and hardware design and testing of line-of-sight opto-mechanical and opto-electronic systems such as gimbaled pointing mechanisms, High Energy Laser Beam Directors, and electro-optical surveillance systems; design and analysis of servo controllers using classical control system design approaches; hands-on design and implementation of real-time control systems development for opto-mechanical applications; controller implementation using both analog and digital approaches; and generating technical proposals, presenting to both technical and non-technical audiences. You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply. Candidates selected will be subject to a government security investigation. Employment with the Applied Research Laboratory will require successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen. This is a one-year, fixed-term renewable appointment.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088