Lead Structures Engineer - Composites

Marion, VA, USA
Required Clearance
Secret, obtainable within reasonable time based on requirements
Employment Type
Full Time
Remote Option
Hybrid (Part-Time Remote), Remote Full-Time
Hiring Company
General Dynamics Mission Systems, Inc.

Basic Qualifications

Requires a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, or a related Science, Engineering or Mathematics field. Also requires 10+ years of job-related experience, or a Master's degree plus 8 years of job-related experience.

CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS: Department of Defense Secret security clearance is required within a reasonable period of time. Applicants selected will be subject to a U.S. Government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information. Due to the nature of work performed within our facilities, U.S. citizenship is required.

Responsibilities for this Position

General Dynamics Mission Systems has an immediate opening for a Lead Structures Engineer - Composites.  This position provides an opportunity to further advance the cutting-edge technology that supports some of our nation’s core defense/intelligence services and systems.  General Dynamics Mission Systems employees work closely with esteemed customers to develop solutions that allow them to carry out high-stakes national security missions.


Lead Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate within the organization to ensure all Structural Engineering activities are completed within schedule, budget, scope, and quality requirements
  • Mentor engineers, guiding them to perform at their best.
  • Lead structural bid and proposal efforts, reviewing the group’s estimates to ensure sufficient coverage and schedule allowance.
  • Perform documentation reviews, ensuring the correct level of quality is achieved.
  • Ensure all specs, processes, codes, and applicable regulations are followed.
  • Identify and propose solutions for potential program / departmental risks
  • Assist Technical Manager with departmental activities as needed.

Structural Responsibilities:

  • Multi-Disciplinary Position – Stress (design and operations support, MRB), M&P (authoring test plans, reports, data regression), Static & Dynamic (normal modes, random vibration), Test Engineering
  • Develop structural models of various product lines (radomes, aerostructures, expandable shelters, tooling, and other misc structures) that will be used for static and dynamic (normal modes, random vibration) analysis.
  • Support development program structural qualification testing, including writing test plans, on site testing coordination, writing test reports, etc. Qualification tests may include static loads, shock & vibration, and bird strike testing.
  • Support nonconforming material evaluations as a member of material review board (MRB) relating to the structural analysis of components and assemblies, and recommend solutions
  • Familiarity with ASTM test standards used in the testing of polymer matrix composite (PMC) solid and sandwich laminates.
  • Support M&P Engineering in the development of material qualification/ certification efforts, including supporting test plan development and reports.
  • Lead the planning and execution of small projects or task elements within larger projects, organizations, or for groups of projects
  • Support technical customer meetings and presentations
  • Support Internal Research and Development projects
  • Conduct feasibility studies and testing of new and modified designs
  • Travel will be required (infrequent to 10%)


  • Strong FEA (Finite Element Analysis) experience utilizing ANSYS (preferred) or NASTRAN (willing to learn ANSYS)
  • Strong structural analysis product experience with composite materials utilizing a wide range of composite manufacturing processes including hand lay-up/autoclave cure and adhesive bonding
  • Experience with analyzing and testing polymer matrix composites
  • Experience in a manufacturing environment in stress and structural design
  • Experience with composites materials testing and qualification methods
  • Ability to analyze material failure data and laboratory test results to determine causes of failure for composite products
  • Ability to quickly understand and interpret the technical, organizational and process aspects of the tasks assigned and relate them to the technical needs of the overall project or organization
  • Ability to interpret engineering drawings and specifications
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including ability to prepare and present technical briefings to senior management and customers
  • High degree of analytic problem-solving skills; solution oriented
  • Experience with design of experiments
  • Familiarity with CNC machining, assembly, and finishing
  • Proficient in MS Office applications – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Experience with Shock and Vibration testing a plus.
  • A Professional Engineer (PE) license or DER is a plus, but not required
  • Experience in a previous lead role is a plus

Position will require the person to be onsite in the Marion, VA office a few days a month, as well as occasionally travel to client site as needed.



Target salary range: USD $158,152.00/Yr. - USD $175,496.00/Yr. This estimate represents the typical salary range for this position based on experience and other factors (geographic location, etc.). Actual pay may vary.

Company Overview

General Dynamics Mission Systems (GDMS) engineers a diverse portfolio of high technology solutions, products and services that enable customers to successfully execute missions across all domains of operation. With a global team of 12,000+ top professionals, we partner with the best in industry to expand the bounds of innovation in the defense and scientific arenas. Given the nature of our work and who we are, we value trust, honesty, alignment and transparency. We offer highly competitive benefits and pride ourselves in being a great place to work with a shared sense of purpose. You will also enjoy a flexible work environment where contributions are recognized and rewarded. If who we are and what we do resonates with you, we invite you to join our high performance team!

General Dynamics is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer that is committed to hiring a diverse and talented workforce. EOE/Disability/Veteran

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