Make a game-changing next move.

Learn more about the opportunities in Coatue's portfolio.

Sr Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer

Sierra Space

Sierra Space

Multiple locations
Posted on Monday, June 24, 2024
Are you an experienced spacecraft GNC engineer looking for a new challenge? Are you excited by the prospect of using your talents to build and protect the space economy of the future?

As a Senior Guidance, Navigation, and Control Engineer, you will be using your skills and expertise to design and analyze satellite hardware and software configurations, design and test GNC algorithms, build and test flight software, create and use design tools, build and analyze simulations, and more for various small satellite programs. Your technical duties involve the design, development, evaluation, and test of new products and software throughout the product lifecycle.

The design of configurations and algorithms stem from understanding, analyzing and evaluating satellite and constellation capabilities, mission concepts, and system requirements. Your work will ensure we meet customer requirements by making data-driven decisions in architecting, planning, building and testing the design in a testbed prototype and subsequent delivery of the end product. Along the way, you will build tools and contribute to analyses of various architectures that include space vehicles, satellites, sensors, communications, and ground infrastructure; evolving or creating new approaches based on analysis results. You will also contribute to evaluating the mission effectiveness of the candidate approaches, balancing mission objectives against factors such as development and lifecycle costs.

The successful candidate will have experience with at least most portions of the software life cycle (concept development, requirements definition, design, development, testing, and deployment). Additionally, the successful candidate will have experience doing GN&C-related analysis such as performance analysis, multi-sensor fusion and estimation/filtering, sensor processing and/or other advanced GN&C analyses. This individual has a strong working knowledge of Matlab and Simulink and experience with code development. Object-oriented design using the C and C++ languages is a plus, as is having experience in deploying and testing flight code on embedded processors. Experience with Agile Scrum is desired. Local area travel between Louisville and Centennial may be required.

Sierra Space-based in Louisville, CO with operations in Madison, WI, Durham, NC, Huntsville, AL, Houston, TX, and Kennedy Space Center, FL—designs and manufactures the Dream Chaser spaceplane and other advanced spacecraft, commercial space destinations, satellites, propulsion and environmental systems, spacecraft subsystems and components for the U.S. government (including NASA), commercial customers, and international organizations. Learn more about Sierra Space


  • Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, or other related discipline and typically 10 or more years of relevant GNC experience
  • Higher education may substitute for relevant experience
  • Relevant experience may be considered in lieu of required education
  • Understanding of engineering principles and practices
  • Experience with Computer Aided Engineering tools, analysis and simulation
  • Ability to work in multi-disciplinary design and development teams
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI US Government clearance


  • Masters of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, or other related discipline and typically 7 or more years of relevant GNC experience
  • Active TS/SCI US Government clearance
  • Experience with system modeling tools, such as MATLAB/Simulink and STK
  • Experience with C/C++
  • Experience with Python
  • Experience with GNC analysis and simulation
  • Previous experience with navigation filters and fault detection algorithms
  • Experience with related aerospace vehicles, sensor suites, and missions
  • Exposure to vehicle stability principles and control system design and analysis
  • Experience with auto-code generation
  • Experience in RPO development and test
  • Knowledge of the ramifications imposed on GNC design by RPO activities
  • Experience with containerization and microservices
  • History of leading baseline definition and maturation in a complex development setting, including the use of highly integrated trade studies and analysis of alternative designs
  • Experience providing technical oversight of junior engineers
  • Experience providing scheduling and budgetary inputs for GNC efforts
  • Experience with Agile/Scrum methodologies
  • Background in the Aerospace and Defense Industry


This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Top-Secret U.S. Security Clearance. U.S. Citizenship status is required as this position needs an active U.S. Security Clearance for employment. Non-U.S. Citizens may not be eligible to obtain a security clearance. The Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility (DoD CAF), a federal government agency, handles the adjudicative aspects of the security clearance eligibility process for industry applicants. Adjudicative factors which affect the outcome of the eligibility determination include, but are not limited to, allegiance to the U.S., foreign influence, foreign preference, criminal conduct, security violations and illegal drug use.

Physical/Mental/Emotional Requirements:

  • Frequently walk, sit, stand, climb stairs and steps
  • Frequently repeat same hand, arm, and finger motion many times to include finger and hand dexterity
  • Rarely lifting or carrying up to 20 lbs.

Working Conditions:

  • Rarely exposed to outdoor elements (high/low temperatures, sun, rain/snow, etc.)
  • Rarely exposed to fumes or hazardous chemicals/materials
  • Rarely exposed to loud noises

Application Deadline: This role will remain posted until a qualified pool of candidates is identified.

At Sierra Space we deliver customer-focused technology and best-of-breed integrations in the aerospace and defense sectors. Sierra Space has been honored as one of the most innovative U.S. companies in space, a Tier One Superior Supplier for the U.S. Air Force, and as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. Learn more about Sierra Space

With 30+ years of proven spaceflight heritage, Sierra Space has provided more than 4,000 space systems, subsystems and components to customers worldwide, and participated in more than 500 missions to space, including to Mars. The company has technology in production and in development to enable space habitats for short- and long-duration space travel, a fleet of Dream Chaser spaceplanes, and the first free-flying commercial space station. Please visit to learn more about Sierra Space, its business areas, capabilities, programs, products and services.

Estimated Starting Salary Range:

$120,552.10 - $180,828.15

Sierra Space offers annual incentive pay based upon performance that is commensurate with the level of the position.

Sierra Space offers a generous benefit package, including medical, dental, and vision plans, 401(k) with 150% match up to 8%, life insurance, 3 weeks paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and more.

At Sierra Space, our mission is to dream, innovate, inspire and empower the next generation to transform humanity through technology and imagination. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we welcome our employees to bring their whole selves to their work. Sierra Space is committed to fostering an inclusive, accepting, and diverse environment free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. Contributions to Sierra Space come in many shapes and styles, and we believe diversity in our workforce fosters new and greater ways to dream, innovate, and inspire.