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NSA hiring Computer Design Engineer – Entry to Experienced Level (N1202125)

NSA - National Security Agency

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Fort George G. Meade Complex, MD
Pay Plan: GG, Grade: 15/1 to undefined/10
Open: 2023-02-10, Close: 2023-04-07

With the ever-increasing technological complexities in the world of supercomputers, we need talented computer and electrical engineers to be part of our team architecting, designing and verifying the next generation of high performance computing solutions (HPCS) that will support of our mission. Our goal is to provide supercomputers of the highest quality to ensure the success of the NSA and its partners.

The areas of responsibility may include one or more of the following:

– Accelerating application performance using Register Transfer Level (RTL) design
– Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) firmware development and integration
– RTL design closure using logic simulation, functional verification, synthesis, and timing analysis
– Printed Circuit Board (PCB) logic design, simulation and test
– PCB layout
– Signal Integrity / Power Integrity
– Commercial systems acquisition and contracting
– Create and maintain documentation on technical information
– Operate specialized scientific and technical equipment
– Attend conferences and communicate with people in a particular technical field to keep abreast of new technologies and information
– Conduct research including studies, experiments, and investigations
– Research emerging technologies for application(s) within the Agency
– Serve as a subject matter expert to support research and development efforts
– Work with customers to clarify their needs and to determine how their needs can be met
– Modeling and simulation to evaluate design alternatives

Job Summary
As an Engineering and Physical Science professional, you will use your skills to create the systems and tools that will be used to enhance the operation of intelligence. You will advise, administer and perform scientific projects, such as planning, designing, and constructing specialized equipment, and ensuring adherence to sound engineering and scientific standards and principles. The NSA offers multiple areas of focus for facilities engineers, including computer, architectural, electrical, mechanical, and structural. In addition, we are seeking skills that include computer design, microelectronics, radio frequency design, and systems engineering. Apply your science and engineering skills to protect the nation.

The qualifications listed are the minimum acceptable to be considered for the position.

Degree must be in professional Engineering, Physics or Astronomy from an accredited college or university, or a relevant professional technical field (e.g. chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, geology).

For all of the above 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.

Relevant experience must be in digital equipment design, assembling computers, electronic design automation (EDA) tools, hardware description language (HDL), and/or printed circuit board (PCB).


With a professional Engineering degree, entry is with a Bachelor’s degree and no experience. With a degree in Physics or Astronomy or a relevant professional technical field, entry is a Bachelor’s degree plus 1 year of relevant experience.


With a degree in professional Engineering, 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 Physics or Astronomy or a relevant professional technical field, entry is a Bachelor’s degree plus 3 years of relevant experience, or a Master’s or Doctoral degree plus 1 year of relevant experience.


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.

The ideal candidate is someone with excellent problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills who is:

– Motivated
– Creative
– Able to work effectively across several different functional areas in a collaborative environment
– Well-organized and able to handle multiple assignments
– Customer service and requirements focused
– Detail oriented

Knowledge and experience in one or more of the following is desired:

– Concepts, theories, and methods for designing, analyzing, testing, and verifying large scale computational and data storage systems
– Translate conceptual designs into technical specifications
– Designing digital logic (e.g., FPGAs, ASICs)
– Experience using Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools
– Unified Verification Methodology (UVM)
– Applying engineering principles to design and layout PCBs
– Firmware development for configuring and controlling hardware devices
– Evaluate information in technical documents to understand its importance and significance
– Operate specialized scientific and technical equipment
– Applied Cryptography and Mathematics
– Programming Languages (C, C++, OpenCL, Perl, Python, TCL)
– Hardware description languages (VHDL, Verilog, SystemVerilog)
– Computer System Architecture and Design
– Computer Networks and Security
– CPU and GPU processor architectures
– Memory, interconnect, and storage architectures

Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule
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 ranges vary by location and work level. This position is hiring for Maryland.

Salary Range: $77,745 – $172,075 (Entry/Developmental, Full Performance, Senior)

On-the job training, Internal NSA courses, and external training will be made available based on the need and experience of the selectee.

Typical work schedule is Monday – Friday, with basic 8hr/day work requirements between 0600 and 1800 (flexible).

How to apply
U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants. NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations. 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.

Due to time sensitive communications regarding your application, please ensure your spam filters are configured to accept email from Please review the job posting thoroughly to ensure you meet the described qualifications and are aware of all associated requirements. To apply for this position, please click the ‘Apply’ button located at the top right of this posting. After completing the application for the first time, or reviewing previously entered information, and clicking the ‘Submit’ button, you will receive a confirmation email. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible, as job postings could close earlier than the closing date due to sufficient number of applicants, or the position is no longer available. You may be asked a series of questions depending on the position you apply for. Your responses will be used as part of the application screening process and will assist in determining your eligibility for the position. Be sure to showcase within your resume those experiences relevant to this position. Failure to provide the required information or providing inaccurate information will result in your application not being considered for this position. Only those applicants who meet all position qualifications, may be contacted to begin employment processing. Please remain diligent in monitoring email and your SPAM folder. 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.

This position is a Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans’ Preference to eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans’ preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility.

DCIPS Disclaimer
The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority.

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