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2023 PhD Graduate - Vehicle Design and Technologies Group - we design the future! - KVK

Do you want to research advanced vehicle technologies and then transition that research into real programs supporting national needs?

If you are graduating with a PhD in aerospace or mechanical engineering, you want to be part of the Vehicle Design and Technologies Group - we design the future!
Join our multidisciplinary team of experts across vehicle design disciplines including propulsion, aerodynamics, thermal, advanced materials, mechanical and structural engineering. We investigate basic science and transition it into state of the art vehicle technology enabling innovation and revolutionary new designs. Your research will be applied to conceptualize, design, and prototype advanced vehicles and weapons to meet critical national and warfighter needs. 
Depending on your areas of expertise, some of the ways you can contribute are:
  • Predict and model the aerodynamic characteristics of various air-vehicle configurations including hypersonic re-entry vehicles, supersonic and hypersonic air-breathing concepts, and subsonic fixed-wing or rotorcraft unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).
  • Perform multi-fidelity analysis using commercial and in-house CFD and thermal software in support of vehicle aerothermal design and analysis across various flow regimes from subsonic to hypersonic.
  • Plan and execute ground tests and design models for various wind tunnel and arcjet facilities. Conduct post-test analysis to validate numerical predictions then create and improve high fidelity models.
  • Design future conceptual vehicles, performing detailed multidisciplinary system analysis including integration with launch platforms.
  • Optimize hypersonic propulsion designs including inlet design, flowpath analysis, system integration, test, and evaluation.

You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you...
• Have a PhD in aerospace or mechanical engineering.
• Are experienced in aerodynamics, aerothermal, propulsion, thermal, or structural technologies.
• Have outstanding communications and collaboration skills.
• 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.
• Are able to obtain Interim Secret level security clearance by your start date and can ultimately obtain Secret level 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.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you...
• Experience applying your research to actual prototypes or systems
• Demonstrated leadership skills
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

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.