Senior RF Research Engineer

Pennsylvania State University - University Park, PA 16802
Pennsylvania State University - University Park, PA 16802
Pennsylvania State University - University Park, PA 16802
Job Description


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We are searching for an experienced Research and Development Engineer to manage complex RF and Electromagnetic Analyses, Antenna Design and Construction, and Sensor System Development in our Antenna and Electromagnetics Department at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State University. The successful candidate will contribute to customers' strategic objectives, mentor staff, and develop relationships to seek funding from potential donors. The primary research focus is the development of RF sensor systems ELF to millimeter wave. ARL’s purpose is to research and develop innovative solutions to challenging scientific, engineering, and technology problems in support of the Navy, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Intel Community (IC).

You will:

  • Plan and direct research for multiple large RF sensor development projects involving antenna design, computational electromagnetics, RF propagation analysis, and system design

  • Supervise the work of staff scientists, engineers, and technicians

  • Coordinate research and development activities between disciplines involving RF sensor development, RF and electromagnetic analysis tools, definition of scope, and selection of problems for investigation and development of novel concepts and approaches

  • Devise plans and lead work on extremely complex RF sensor design and RF and electromagnetic analysis problems that impact the design success of current products or addresses broad design issues of future products or technologies

  • Maintain liaison with likeminded research colleagues and units within and outside department, division, and office,; with responsibility for acting independently on technical matters pertaining to RF sensor design and RF and electromagnetic analyses

  • Propose and lead new RF sensor design initiatives

  • Guide programs of national or international significance by identifying future problems and researching trends and opportunities

  • Make substantial contributions to determining feasibility of goals/objectives; evaluate proposed or ongoing projects

  • Direct and/or participate in major proposal preparation and presentation

  • Present papers, lead symposia, and chair committees; participate on advisory/policy boards, journals, and societies

  • Participate and contribute to the strategic plan of the unit

  • Supervise subordinate supervisors or team leaders

  • Mentor assigned staff in the development of technical, project, and business development skills

  • Document data/findings in technical reports, documents, or oral/written presentations

  • Provide innovative problem-solving approaches to enhance RF sensor design capabilities ; use peer network to expand technical capabilities and identify new research opportunities

  • Understand broad strategic objectives and applications of RF sensor design and RF/electromagnetic analysis and contribute, nurture, and maintain relationships with major sponsors of external research and develop grant funding

  • Research and identify follow-on research projects and/or initiate new project concepts;, develop technical proposals, and make presentations to customers/grant sponsors for funding

This position can be filled as a Level 4 or 5, depending on your education and experience. Typical requirements include an Bachelor’s Degree in an Engineering or Science discipline; Master’s Degree preferred, and 14+ years related experience for a Level 4. Additional experience and/or education are required for higher level positions.

Required skills include:

  • Experience in RF sensor design, RF and electromagnetic analysis tools, computational electromagnetics, and implementation of new and established techniques

  • Past success in the application of new methods to solve specific problems

  • Proven successful experience leading a research and development team

  • Effective at presenting in front of large groups of senior level professionals; conveying information to drive action or decision

  • Past successful experience developing technical proposals, writing whitepapers, etc.

  • Fluency in various scientific programming languages including MATLAB, Python, C++, and FORTRAN

  • Demonstrated ability to lead the development of projects using the aforementioned languages

  • Proven ability to read and understand complex applied mathematics and numerical implementations

Preferred skills and experience include:

  • RF sensor development and RF and electromagnetic analysis

  • Ability to learn new RF sensor development/design and RF and electromagnetic analyses methods ​

  • Active government security clearance

Candidates for consideration must submit a cover letter of interest and a resume.

Your work location will be in State College, PA. Although the position primarily requires on-site work, depending on project requirements, there are opportunities to work hybrid on-site/work from home.

ARL at Penn State is an integral part of one of the leading research universities in the nation and serves as a University center of excellence in defense science, systems, and technologies with a focus in naval missions and related areas.

You will be subject to a government security investigation, and you must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Employment with the ARL will require successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen.

ARL 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION on ARL, visit our web site at


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here ( .

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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