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Jacobs Data & Controls Engineer in Moffett Field, California

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Your Impact:


The Data & Controls Engineer performs a scope of work involving study, design, implementation, oversight, and project management of a wide variety of data acquisition, instrumentation, and control systems for facilities and test-related apparatus at the assigned test facilities. Primarily the facilities are the Arc Jet Complex and Ballistic Range of the Thermophysics Facilities Branch at NASA Ames Research Center.


  1. Prepare specifications and purchase requisitions for facility data acquisition, instrumentation, and control hardware and software. Evaluate vendor proposals and provide technical recommendations for procurement.

  2. Collaborate with management, customers, and end-users to gather stakeholder requirements, priorities, and feedback.

  3. Design, code, document, and test software that operates data acquisition and control systems.

  4. Provide technical expertise in the assembly, configuration, and maintenance of PC-based computer systems and industrial programmable logic / automation controllers (PLC / PAC).

  5. Develop, update, and maintain electrical and mechanical schematics for acquisition, instrumentation and control systems.

  6. Develop, update, and maintain procedures for acquisition, instrumentation, and control system checkout, integrated system test, calibration, and operation.

  7. Provide technical direction to technicians and electricians in the installation, checkout, calibration, troubleshooting, and operation of the respective systems at the assigned test facilities.

  8. Develop plans and requirements for upgrading and maintaining facility instrumentation and control system hardware and software.

  9. Provide support for special tasks involving detailed engineering analyses.


Complex requirements for data acquisition, instrumentation, and control systems require considerable creativity and judgement in accomplishing tasks that support project, cost, and schedule requirements.


General guidance shall be provided by the Information, Data, Instrumentation, and Control (IDIC) Group Supervisor. Technical guidance may also be provided by the NASA facility and test engineers for meeting project requirements.


Unusual or Special Physical Requirements of Position: Visual and physical contact with test system hardware and installed test articles. Multiple workstation assignments (office, test facility, control room, laboratory, shops, etc.). Transportation of notebooks, drawings, forms, sensors, etc. required. Ability to hear normal conversation. One eye (minimum) correctable to 20/20. Ability to distinguish eight colors on basic panel displays and wiring. Ability to manipulate small and delicate instruments and wiring.

Description of Work Environment: Work is accomplished in an office, control room, in and around test facility buildings, and within facility test chambers. Movement is required between these work areas as well as trips to the client or user's facility. Must be able to use respiratory protection in confined spaces. Some work areas are high in noise.

Equipment and Machines Involved in Work Tasks: Office and control room equipment includes computers, calculators, electronic instruments, mechanical instruments, and miscellaneous precision measuring devices. May be required to drive government pickup truck to vendors to pick up materials or components or inspect on-going work.

Criticality of Attendance: Work assignments are usually during normal work hours (0630 - 1600), but overtime is sometimes necessary to support meetings, test schedules, and test operations. A “compressed” schedule with 9 hour days and every other Friday off is available. Testing may occur any day or time of day, depending on test requirements. Regular daily attendance is required to maintain team effectiveness.

Other Essential Functions: May provide technical direction and oversight to technicians, as required, for engineering review and completion of work assignments.. Must be able to obtain a NASA badge and gain access to the work facilities.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

General knowledge and understanding of data acquisition and control systems in a laboratory or industrial environment. The Data/Controls Engineer should have direct working knowledge of the following types of equipment: (examples of desired—but not required—proficiencies provided)

• PC computer operations (MS Windows [10] and Macintosh OSX, MS Office)

• Signal conditioning and data acquisition and processing hardware and programming (National Instruments LabVIEW)

• Programmable logic controller hardware and programming (Emerson PACSystems Proficy (formerly GE Automation), Rockwell RSLogix / Studio, Emerson Ovation)

• Human-Machine (i.e., User) Interface hardware and design

• Test instrumentation (multimeter, oscilloscope, pressure / temperature / electrical calibrators)

• Specialized measurement instrumentation (position, pressure, temperature, and flow transducers and switches)

The Controls Engineer typically possesses a BS or higher degree in Computer, Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical or related engineering discipline with 3 or more years of related experience with instrumentation, data acquisition, and control systems. Certification as a Professional Engineer in the fields of Mechanical, Electrical, or Control Systems Engineering is desired, but not required. Certification and additional years of related experience may count as educational equivalency and vice versa. Specialized knowledge / experience of one or more aspects related to Instrumentation and Control Systems are necessary. Good communication and interpersonal skills are highly desirable as the Controls Engineer will interface with other Engineers and Technicians and will be required to produce system documentation and procedures and train personnel.

Jacobs is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding), age, medical condition, marital or domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression and transgender status, mental disability or physical disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, citizenship, low-income status or any other status or characteristic protected by applicable law. Learn more about your rights under Federal EEO laws (https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/posters/pdf/eeopost.pdf) and supplemental language (https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/employers/eeoc_gina_supplement.pdf) .