Research Scientist Contamination Transport

Requisition ID: 40084 

All Locations: El Segundo, CA (California)  

A trusted partner. A national resource. A leader in national security space. We are THE Aerospace Corporation.  A team that takes pride in our readiness to solve some of the most complex technical challenges in existence. With challenges spanning clandestine to commercial, you’ll have the unique opportunity to work on projects that are literally evolving our nation's space and launch capabilities. We all share a common passion and aspiration – to serve a mission much bigger than ourselves.  When you join our team, you’ll be part of a rare collection of thought leaders and game-changing innovators.  Are you ready to launch your career?


Effective contamination control is critical to space mission success.  Understanding the underlying physical and chemical processes that contribute to spacecraft contamination plays a key role in developing mitigation strategies and enhancing space mission performance. The candidate will have continuous learning opportunities to collaborate with experts from a wide range of technical areas, such as material science, thermal, fluid mechanics, optics, and propulsion.  In addition, the candidate will also have opportunities to be mentored by experienced staff members and gain insights into programmatic aspects in supporting US government space programs.  


The candidate will perform applied research and customer program support in the area of contamination transport and space vehicle component surface degradation effects relevant to space programs.  The candidate is expected to design and execute laboratory experiments, collect and analyze data, and present the scientific results in reports, conferences and journal publications.  The scientist will participate in developing contamination transport simulation modeling capabilities.  In addition, the candidate is expected to contribute to research proposals and to leverage his/her expertise to address contamination issues in support of various space system programs.  The candidate will be expected to lead experimental investigations and play key leadership roles in program support relevant to spacecraft contamination issues.


Key Functions


  • Lead applied research and customer program support in the area of contamination transport and degradation effects relevant to space programs
  • Lead laboratory experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting scientific results in reports, conferences and journal publications 
  • Plan contamination transport simulation modeling capabilities
  • Initiate research proposals and leverage his/her expertise to address contamination issues in support of various space system programs
  • Communicate with line management, inter-organization personnel, program office contact, and customer contact to provide timely and expert support to multiple programs
  • Act as point-of-contact for technical activities and provide independent assessments relevant to spacecraft contamination control
  • Serve as a mentor for developing staff by providing technical guidance and insight
  • Play key leadership roles in program support relevant to spacecraft contamination issues




  • Bachelor’s degree in physical sciences such as chemistry, physics, or a closely related field
  • At least eight years of relevant experience
  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with other members of the laboratory in a team environment, and to establish and maintain effective working relationships with program office, contractors, and customers
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and coordinate teams to resolve technical issues
  • Show high levels of innovation, creativity, initiative and leadership
  • Some travel
  • The ability to obtain and maintain security clearance



  • A Ph.D. in physical sciences is highly preferred
  • Hands-on laboratory experience is highly desirable
  • Expertise in analytical modeling and computer programming (e.g., Python/Matlab) is beneficial
  • Preferred experience shall include designing and conducting unique experimental studies, performing data analysis, and presenting scientific results at symposia and in peer-reviewed publications


Transcript Requirement

Transcripts are required for this position.


Additional Requisition Details

System Job Title: RES SCIENTIST  

Clearance Requirement: Secret 

Access: None 

Polygraph: None 

Relocation Available:  Yes 

Employment Type: Regular 

Work Schedule: Full Time 


Company Statement

The Aerospace Corporation has provided independent technical and scientific research, development, and advisory services to national security space programs since 1960. We operate a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office, and support all national security space programs. We also apply more than 50 years of experience with space systems to provide critical solutions to technologically complex systems in such areas as communications, shipping, law enforcement, and cyber, among others.

From our inception, our highly skilled technical staff has focused on ensuring the success of every mission and developing the most effective and economic space-related hardware and software in the world. Our greatest asset is the technical expertise of our people. Our state-of-the-art laboratory facilities are staffed by some of the leading scientists in the world.


Equal Opportunity Commitment

The Aerospace Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We believe that a diverse workforce creates an environment in which unique ideas are developed and differing perspectives are valued, producing superior customer solutions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, gender identity or expression, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, or disability status.

You can also review The Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law poster and the supplement, as well as the Pay Transparency Policy Statement.

The Aerospace Corporation
Full time
El Segundo, California 90245, US