Principal Systems Engineer

  • Blacksburg, VA
  • Direct Hire
  • Job ID: TX188-2714498

About the job

Our systems researchers work directly with multi-disciplinary project teams to understand key manufacturing challenges and determine how digital technologies can be used to solve them. This includes problem assessment & technology evaluation, application development and testing, automation, integration, prototyping, and more. Our team members are an integral part of our overall eco-system, contributing to a dynamic environment of multiple projects, collaborating with colleagues from a variety of our operating companies, academic faculty & students, suppliers, and other applied research centers.


Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, individuals experiencing disability and BIPOC are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. We are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.


As Principal Systems Engineer, you will provide the team guidance founded on a theoretical basis tempered by industrial experiences to shape durable solutions. You will contribute to the overall leadership helping to shape the methodologies and processes utilized.


  • Transform customer specifications into proof-of-concept demonstrations
  • Design factory automation and coordinated drive systems including hardware integration and programming using off the shelf industrial automation hardware and drives (Siemens, Rockwell, etc.).
  • Contribute to overall (systems, electrical, & mechanical) design and analysis using available technology tools (such as, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Excel, etc.) and analytical methods (brainstorming, thought experimentation, etc.).
  • Collaborate with Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineers to optimize system performance and machine process state sequencing to provide intuitive machine controls.
  • Genuine enthusiasm for the application of research to adding value to manufacturing processes and product development.
  • Approaches work with a collaborative, team first mentality; proactive, positive with a can-do attitude.
  • Employ best engineering practices in the conception, design, and analysis of automated solutions.
  • Maintain a safe working environment and utilize safe work practices in the office, manufacturing spaces, and at production facilities.
  • Provide training to users in the operation and diagnostics of the systems as Subject Matter Expert
  • Collaborate and support all operating companies’ partners throughout project lifecycle.
  • Establish and maintain a network within our operating companies and collaborative partners.
  • Assume responsibility to continually improve your efficiencies and skills



  • PhD/MS - Degree in computer, mechanical, electrical, or similar engineering
  • 10 years of progressive experience
  • Holistic approach to systems design & implementation, including mechanism design, system analysis, inspection requirements, and control strategies.
  • Experience relevant to manufacturing automation systems, utilizing vision, robotics, sensors, and data analysis
  • Proficient programming in at least one of the following languages: Python, Java, JavaScript, C/C++/C#
  • Experience with the implementation of advanced analytical and control techniques such as statistical process control, model predictive control, artificial intelligence, machine learning, precision motion control of mechanisms, etc.
  • Experience implementing manufacturing automation standards, programming, and technologies
  • Experience implementing Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) related technologies to develop adaptive processes utilizing actionable data-based algorithms.
  • Experience leading diverse project teams. Effective communicator with diverse teams and stakeholders.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; clearly conveys ideas at both technical and non-technical levels; must be an active listener.
  • An effective steward of project budgets and schedules.
  • Contribute to the development of the group through mentorship


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