AST Software Systems, Computer Engineer

Greenbelt, Maryland
Aug 23, 2019
Aug 31, 2019
Full Time


The Science Data Processing Branch at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD is currently seeking interested applicants for an AST Software Systems engineer to serve as a junior computer engineer, responsible for software engineering, software, data and information systems development expertise program/project initiatives and development.
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  • Assists in the development or modification of conventional system components for flight, ground and/or science systems.
  • Follows existing guidelines and established methods and techniques to assist more senior engineers in the review and evaluation of procedures used for testing qualification, specialty hardware and software, and associated data and software systems.
  • Aids in the evaluation of test results and in assessing the operational readiness of hardware and software.
  • Participates in the development of test and checkout documentation requirements under the supervision of a mentor or more experienced engineer.
  • Coordinates and collaborates with others on standard design, test or simulation requirements.
  • Participates in developing system specifications, acceptance testing, and evaluation of system components.
  • Assists in applying software and computer engineering methods and techniques to store, manipulate, transform, or present data and information from flight, ground, and science systems.
  • Serves in an oversight capacity for standard problems that are recurring or routine.
  • Participates in exploring solutions to improve the performance and/or reduce cost and the complexity of flight, ground, and science data systems and associated software and computing systems and environments.
  • To be successful in this position the following skills are highly desired: Embedded hardware/software development, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, PCB design, FPGA/VHDL, knowledge of programming languages, and/or embedded operating systems.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel may be required for training or other work-related duties

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Position subject to pre-employment background investigation.
  • A one-year probationary period may be required.
  • This position will be filled at the GS-07 or GS-09 grade levels only; the full performance grade level of this position is a GS-13 grade. Selectee can be promoted without further competition.


Applicant must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade, which has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies needed to successfully perform the duties of the position described above.

In addition to applicants meeting the academic major and coursework requirements:

Qualification Requirements for the GS-07:

One year of specialized experience to qualify at the GS-05 level in studying or assisting in aerospace related research, development design, operations, or experience applying basic knowledge of theories, concepts, principles, and methodology sufficient to support working with computer languages and their applications in software/hardware and data systems or basic knowledge of applying machine learning techniques.


Completed 1 full academic year of graduate study in an appropriate field.


A combination of experience and graduate study in an appropriate field.

Applicants may also qualify at the GS-7 level by meeting one of the Special Provisions:

a. Are in the upper third of their class, based on completed college work at the time of filing an application.
b. Have an average of 2.90 or better on a 4.0 scale for either all completed college work at the time of application or all college courses completed during the last 2 years of the undergraduate curriculum.
c. Achieved a grade average of B+ (3.5 on a 4.0 scale) or better in the major field of study where such field is fully qualifying. This is either the average of all completed college work in the major field of study at the time of application or the average of all college courses completed in the major field of study during the last 2 years of the undergraduate curriculum.
d. Elected to membership in one of the national honorary scholastic societies meeting the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies (other than freshman honor societies). These honor societies are listed at ACHS
e. Completed 12 months of student trainee experience that includes one work period equivalent to the GS-5. OR At least 15 months of appropriate student trainee experience which includes one work period equivalent to the GS-4 level. One work period is 2 months or 320 hours.
f. Successfully completed a 5-year program of study, or at least 160 semester hours, leading to a bachelor degree.
g. Have a professional engineering degree, and up to 12 months of experience gained as a technician or technologist equivalent to the GS-5 or higher level.
h. Successfully completed all requirements for two bachelor's degrees, one in an appropriate field of science or engineering.
i. Have six months of directly related/specialized experience or training, including 3 months gained after the junior year of college. This experience may have been obtained on a part-time or intermittent basis and may have been paid or unpaid.
j. Received honors or elective positions indicating superior leadership outside of the applicant's academic setting. Additionally, the applicant's academic standing must have been in the upper half of the graduating class.
k. Have pattern of completing courses that include unusual preparatory value or direct relation to the particular aerospace specialty for which they are being considered.

Qualification Requirements for the GS-09:

Have one year of professional, directly related specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 level in the applying knowledge of computer languages and their applications in software/hardware and data systems or applying knowledge of principles, methods, and tools for designing, developing, testing software systems or experience applying machine learning techniques to support flight and ground software systems.


Completed all requirements for a master's or equivalent graduate degree in an appropriate field.


Completed two (2) full academic years of graduate education in an appropriate field.


Have an equivalent combination of experience and graduate study as discussed above.


A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in Aeronautical Engineering, Aeronautics, Aerospace Engineering, Astronautical Engineering, Astronautics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Ceramic Engineering, Ceramics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science*, Earth and Planetary Science, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics (Pure or applied), Applied Mechanics, Engineering Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Metallurgy, Meteorology, Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Engineering Physics, Oceanography, Optical Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, Engineering Physics, Space Science, Structural Engineering, Welding Engineering or other appropriate physical science or engineering field.

Degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position.

The accreditation, type of degree, and course work taken will determine if the basic education requirement is met.

*Note: Curriculum must include 30 semester hours of course work in a combination of Mathematics, statistics and computer science. Of the 30 semester hours, 15 must be in any combination of statistics and mathematics which includes differential and integral calculus.

Engineering degree programs must be from a school with at least one engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). To find out if a degree meets this requirement, go to (

ABET or Foreign accreditation requirement applies to foreign education. Applicants who have completed part or all of their education outside the U.S. must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is comparable to the education received in accredited educational institutions in the U.S. If selected, a written evaluation translated in English of any foreign education must be completed and provided to the Human Resources official making the offer. Please indicate in your resume that you have had your foreign education formally. Failure to provide this evaluation may result in your being found unqualified for the position.

Applicants must complete the following fields in USAJOBS Resume Builder, Step 2. Education section in order for education qualifications to be considered for this position:

-College/University Name
-Degree/Level Attained
-Completion date

The education information provided on your resume must support meeting the education requirements listed. If you do not provide the required information you will be disqualified.

Additional information

Any applicant tentatively selected for this position may be required to undergo a pre-employment background investigation. Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. See 'How You Will Be Evaluated' for definition of well qualified. Federal employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP consideration must indicate their eligibility when applying for a position. The USAJOBS resume asks you to identify your ICTAP eligibility; the NASA Supplemental Information asks you to identify your CTAP eligibility. If you are selected for the position, you must be prepared to submit proof that you meet the requirements for CTAP/ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent Performance Rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location.

As a condition of employment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. In order to receive preference in hiring, you must clearly identify your claim for veterans preference on your resume.

NASA's Applicant Guide ( provides the information needed to assist you in determining whether or not you can claim 5 or 10 point veterans preference. You should not submit documents to prove your eligibility for veterans preference at this time. However, you must be prepared to submit proof of veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus proof required by that form) as requested by the Human Resources Office. Veterans preference will only be considered based on what is supported For instance, if you claim 10-point preference, but are only able to document 5-point preference, you will be considered accordingly. If you fail to provide the required
documents within the stated time period, we may withdraw a job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.

Your USAJOBS account asks you to assign a name to each of your resumes. When you apply to a NASA position, we will show you the text of the resume you have submitted, but we do not maintain the name you have assigned to that resume. If you wish to keep track of that information, we recommend you make note of it at the time you apply.

Fair Employment Opportunities for Applicants
NASA Credit for National Service

Current Federal employees must meet three months after competitive appointment restrictions by the closing
date of announcement.

As identical vacancies are identified, additional selections may be made.

Identification of promotion potential in this position does not constitute a commitment or obligation by management to promote the employee. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for an actual assignment and performance of higher level duties.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

NASA uses an automated system (Resumix) that matches the competencies extracted from your resume to the competencies identified by the selecting official for the position. Based on the competencies you match, you are placed in one of three categories identified as 90, 80, or 70 pt. quality categories, which are defined as:

90 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and has experience in the same or similar job that has demonstrated superior proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

80 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

70 pt. Category - Fails to meet criteria described in the 80 pt. category.

Additional application guidance is available in NASA's Applicant Guide .

Information for Veterans : The Category Rating Process protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligibles who meet qualification requirements and have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed at the top of the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher.

For the purpose of the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) and the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), candidates rated in the top quality category are considered well-qualified.

You must meet qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents

NASA's application process has been specifically developed to ensure that we only ask you for the information we absolutely need to evaluate your qualifications and eligibility. In order to apply for this position, you only need to submit your resume and answer the screening questions and supplemental information. No additional documentation is accepted at the time of application. (For example you need not submit narrative 'KSA' statements; they are not required and will not be evaluated.) In this way we allow you to focus on preparing a resume that best describes your background and abilities. For assistance in preparing your resume, consult the Applicant Guide . Nothing further is required until requested by the Human Resources Office. At that point, we may ask you to submit documentation to support statements made in your resume. For example, we may ask you to provide academic transcripts or proof of Federal employment status. If you are claiming veterans' preference, we may ask you to submit proof of veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus proof required by that form). If you fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may withdraw a job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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