May 16, 2024

Hardware/Software Design & Analysis Engineer - Entry to Experienced Level (Maryland)

  • National Security Agency
  • Fort Meade, MD, USA
Engineering Information Technology Science

Job Description

With the ever-accelerating technological advances and growing system complexity, NSA needs Hardware/Software Engineers to design, develop, construct and evaluate electronic hardware and software processing components. These components are typically subsystems of communication, collection, processing or analysis systems. Hardware Software Engineers utilize electrical, computer, mechanical, and materials engineering knowledge and skills to design, assemble, test, analyze and reverse engineer electronics hardware in support of the NSA mission. The National Security Agency (NSA) currently has opportunities for two types of Hardware/Software Engineers positions: Hardware/Software Design Engineers, and Hardware/Software Analysis Engineers. Applicants may also be considered for NSA Development Programs. 1. HARDWARE/SOFTWARE DESIGN ENGINEERS are hired into positions supporting a broad range of specialized skills including Computer Engineering, Computer Programming, Computer Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Communications Engineering. Positions will be in an office directly supporting a technical mission. The responsibilities of a Hardware/Software Design Engineer may include: - Designing, developing, testing, and/or evaluating computer or computer-related equipment. - Designing, developing, testing and evaluation of programmable hardware devices or digital circuits. - Programming, modifying and/or configuring system software that manages the computer hardware and provides services to the applications. - Applying software engineering principles to design, develop, test, and evaluate/modify software applications. 2. HARDWARE/SOFTWARE ANALYSIS ENGINEERS are hired into positions supporting a broad range of specialized skills including Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering and Applied Mathematics. Positions will be in an office directly supporting a technical mission. The responsibilities of a Hardware/Software Analysis Engineer may include: - Design, develop, construct, test, or analyze firmware, hardware or software components. - Develop new or utilize existing methods and tools to analyze or protect specific hardware, software or firmware. - Develop/recommend mitigation strategies and techniques. - Develop and implement hardware forensic methodologies and applications. - Test, evaluate and/or reverse engineer microelectronic components (FPGA, ASICs, PCB, Microcontrollers, etc.), technology and equipment. - Program, modify and analyze system software/tools that control microelectronics hardware. - Apply hardware and software engineering principles to design, develop, test, and evaluate/modify applications and systems. NSA DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS Applicants may be considered for one of three Development Programs: the Resident Signals Engineering Program (RSE), System Engineer Development Program (SEDP) or the Applied Computing Development Program (ACDP). 1. The RSE Program is a 4-year technical development program focused on the collection, processing, and analysis of signals in any environment and in any media. The RSE Program offers selected technical personnel unique opportunities for self-directed diversity tours in core mission areas where they will learn about, and provide solutions for, many of the toughest technical problems facing the Agency. 2. The SEDP prepares recent college graduates (engineering-related degrees) for a career in systems engineering at NSA. Applying systems engineering tradecraft and building a network while working with leading NSA experts prepares SEDP engineers for advanced or leadership assignments. The SEDP covers the breadth of systems engineering core competencies, including technical/analytical, technical management, and organizational/business processes. During the three-year full-time program, SEDP engineers rotate assignments to gain exposure to various NSA mission areas, attend systems engineering training and visits throughout the IC, and earn DoD DAWIA and other important credentials. 3. The ACDP is a three-year full-time development program designed to provide entry-level information technology specialists (that is, individuals with degrees in computer science, engineering, computer security, information systems, information technology, and related degrees and experience) the opportunity to acquire the skills and technical capabilities necessary to successfully execute NSA's mission. In this program, participants gain a depth of knowledge in a breadth of information technology disciplines, including system/security, software engineering, software project management, and system architecture. ACDP participants work in teams and with NSA technical leaders to solve current and future challenging IT problems.

Are you an Engineering, Computer Science or Applied Mathematics professional who enjoys working with hardware to understand its basic operation? Would you like to apply these skills in support of the Intelligence Community mission? NSA is seeking experienced professionals in computer design, microelectronics, radio frequency design, and systems engineering to solve emerging challenges. Apply your science and engineering skills to protect the nation.

The qualifications listed are the minimum acceptable to be considered for the position. For both HARDWARE/SOFTWARE DESIGN ENGINEER and HARDWARE/SOFTWARE ANALYSIS ENGINEER: For engineering degrees, if program is not ABET-EAC accredited, it must include specified coursework.* *Specified coursework includes courses in differential and integral calculus and 5 of the following 18 areas: (a) statics or dynamics, (b) strength of materials/stress-strain relationships, (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics, (d) thermodynamics, (e) electromagnetic fields, (f) nature and properties of materials/relating particle and aggregate structure to properties, (g) solid state electronics, (h) microprocessor applications, (i), computer systems, (j) signal processing, (k) digital design, (l) systems and control theory, (m) circuits or generalized circuits, (n) communication systems, (o) power systems, (p) computer networks, (q) software development, (r) Any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, or soil mechanics. --------- HARDWARE/SOFTWARE DESIGN ENGINEER Degree must be in Engineering, Computer Science, or Mathematics. ENTRY/DEVELOPMENTAL Entry is with a Bachelor's degree and no experience. FULL PERFORMANCE Entry is with a Bachelor's degree plus 3 years of relevant experience, or a Master's degree plus 1 year of relevant experience, or a Doctoral degree and no experience. Relevant experience must be designing, developing, or constructing electronic hardware and software processing components. SENIOR Entry is with a Bachelor's degree plus 6 years of relevant experience, or a Master's degree plus 4 years of relevant experience, or a Doctoral degree plus 2 years of relevant experience. Relevant experience must be designing, developing, or constructing electronic hardware and software processing components and managing people or projects. ----------- HARDWARE/SOFTWARE ANALYSIS ENGINEER ENTRY/DEVELOPMENTAL With a professional Engineering, Computer Science, or Mathematics degree, entry is with a Bachelor's degree and no experience. With a degree in either (1) Physics or Astronomy from an accredited college or university, or (2) a relevant professional technical field (e.g. chemistry, architecture, hydrology, geology), entry is with a Bachelor's degree plus 1 year of relevant experience. For degrees in relevant technical fields, experience must be in one or more of the following: designing and verifying integrated and digital circuit devices, designing and integrating electrical and communication systems, or reverse engineering. FULL PERFORMANCE With a professional Engineering, Computer Science, or Mathematics degree, entry is with a Bachelor's degree plus 3 years of relevant experience, or a Master's degree plus 1 year of relevant experience, or a Doctoral degree and no experience. With a degree in either (1) Physics or Astronomy from an accredited college or university or (2) a relevant professional technical field (e.g. chemistry, architecture, hydrology, geology), entry is with a Bachelor's degree plus 3 years of relevant experience, or a Master's or Doctoral degree plus 1 year of relevant experience. Relevant experience must be in one or more of the following: designing and verifying integrated and digital circuit devices, designing and integrating electrical and communication systems, or reverse engineering. SENIOR With a professional Engineering, Computer Science, or Mathematics degree, entry is with a Bachelor's degree plus 7 years of relevant experience, or a Master's degree plus 5 years of relevant experience, or a Doctoral degree plus 3 years of relevant experience. Degree must be in either (1) professional Engineering, (2) Physics or Astronomy from an accredited college or (3) a relevant professional technical field (e.g. chemistry, architecture, hydrology, geology). Relevant experience must be in one or more of the following: designing and verifying integrated and digital circuit devices, designing and integrating electrical and communication systems, or reverse engineering.

Knowledge, skills, and experience in one or more of the following is desired: - Experience with Agile Software Development. - Experience in one or more of the following programming languages: C, C++, Java, Java Script, VHDL, Verilog, SystemVerilog, etc. - Experience reverse engineering firmware or software. - Experience in Information Assurance analysis or implementation. - Experience organizing and managing their own projects or the projects of small teams. - Understanding of the basic concepts of cryptography and cryptographic systems. - Understanding of the basics of computer networking and low level protocols. - Familiarity with basic electronic components such as ASICs, PCBs, microcontrollers, FPGAs, etc. - Familiarity with electronics debugging equipment such as multi-meters and oscilloscopes. - Experience with application of 2D/3D imaging for hardware analysis. - Experience with embedded or operating system level programming. The ideal candidate has a desire for continual learning along with excellent problem-solving, analytic, and interpersonal skills, who is: - Innovative - Well-organized - Able to handle and prioritize multiple assignments - Able to communicate effectively both orally and written - Able to work effectively across several different functional areas in a collaborative environment.

Pay: Salary offers are based on candidates' education level and years of experience relevant to the position and also take into account information provided by the hiring manager/organization regarding the work level for the position. Salary Range: $85,052 - $187,662 (Entry/Developmental, Full Performance, Senior) Salary range varies by location, work level, and relevant experience to the position. On the job training, internal NSA courses, and external training will be made available based on the need and experience of the selectee. Benefits: NSA offers excellent benefits to include relocation assistance, flexible work schedules, generous leave programs, paid personal fitness time, training and continuing education classes, health and life insurance, Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and a Federal retirement plan. Work Schedule: This is a full-time position, Monday - Friday, with basic 8hr/day work requirement between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (flexible).

How to apply

Apply soonest, as job postings can close earlier than stated end dates due to changes in requirements. It is important to review and note the minimum qualifications, as only those applicants who meet the required qualifications will be contacted to continue the employment process. Please populate the resume tool to showcase any relevant work experience and education related to the position and answer any applicable screening questions. Information collected will be used to determine eligibility, and failure to provide accurate information may result in disqualification for this position. A confirmation email will be sent after submission of the first application and also after any future updates to submitted applications. **Due to time sensitive communications regarding applications, please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept email from noreply@intelligencecareers.gov. For job vacancies that include stated testing requirements, also include the following: @uwe.nsa.gov, @nsa.gov, and @pearson.com** U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. NSA is also committed to the promotion of diversity within its workforce. All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph. Reasonable accommodations may be provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate. Please visit our Diversity link for more information https://www.intelligencecareers.gov/NSA/diversity-and-inclusion.