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Saab Global
Installation in HQ

Principal Aerospace Design Engineer

West Lafayette, Indiana, United States of America
Closing date: 29 April 2024

Job Description:

As Saab continues to grow, we are seeking a Principal Aerospace Design Engineer to support our operation, where we are building the aft fuselage for the U.S. Air Force new military trainer, the T-7A Red Hawk. The ideal candidate has strong leadership skills, thorough knowledge of aviation products in the international aviation industry, and particular career focus on aircraft structures, design experience in manned and unmanned aircraft structures. As a member of the Saab engineering community, you will be involved from the earliest conceptual phases through program/project execution.  In the simplest terms, you will lead the coordination of engineering activities on program/project teams.

This critical role with be the principal technical interface to the customer. This person will need to be a subject matter expert, understanding the project requirements, developing the engineering plan to satisfy those requirements; eventually identifying the skilled staff required to perform the work, as well as the physical assets required to execute the project. The; Integrating the engineering plan into the overall project plan.

Responsibilities Include: 

  • For the initial 6-months to 1- year period, the selected candidate will have the opportunity to work aside of some of our best aerospace engineers, in Sweden, with the guidance of our aerospace systems design team learning the Saab tools, methods, and ways of working in aerospace design.

  • Direct engineering data management, design instructions, and best practices in accordance with Saab design standards

  • After the initial acclimation and knowledge -transfer period of 6 - 12 months, you will develop a strategic staffing plan to hire and direct the team of design engineers who will assist you in the technology transfer of aerospace design in structures, to establish an engineering design capability in the United States with the primary focus on the T7 program.  This will include ensuring the safety, airworthiness, and reliability of all new designs, modifications, and change requests.

  • Develop an overall investment plan that includes capital, IR&D and B&P requirements, working with general management, finance, marketing and sales and the engineering teams to define plan.

  • Establish a relationship with Sweden and USA (Purdue) University to develop research projects and a new talent pipeline.

  • Act as a subject matter expert in design reviews, product evaluations, change requests, and customer engagements as the local US SME in aerospace design, reporting the status of projects to senior levels of management.

  • Partner closely with our business development and R&D teams on proposals and business case development and provide budgetary input.

  • Contribute to a people-first culture in alignment to Saab values, demonstrating core Company values: Trust, Drive, Expertise and Support. 

  • Other tasks and projects as assigned.

Compensation range: $154,000-$204,000

The compensation range provided is a general guideline. When extending an offer, Saab, Inc. considers factors including (but not limited to) the role and associated responsibilities, location, and market and business considerations, as well as the candidate's work experience, key skills, and education/training.

Skills and Experience:

  • Bachelors – Aerospace Engineering or similar design equivalent required 

  • Masters – Aerospace Engineering or similar business equivalent preferred

  • 15+ years of aerospace design experience in structures design and development

  • 5+ years of experience leading large cross functional teams 

  • Material expertise in metallics, composites, and other advanced materials preferred

  • Working knowledge of DoD regulations, including FARs, DFARS, ITAR, EAR, and regulatory requirements in design, testing, and validation including airworthiness specification and testing

  • Strong understanding of FAA Part 23 regulations for aircraft type certification

  • Experience with new product introduction, industrialization, technology transfers, and product readiness development

  • Background in design and simulation tools inside of Siemens and Dassault software systems and digital design systems

  • Excellent communication skills (technical written, presentation, and verbal), interpersonal skills

  • Project management experience, with proven design team leadership, and prioritization expertise

  • Leadership experience with systems engineering capabilities

  • Competence in sub systems design and development for manned/unmanned aircraft is preferred but not a requirement

  • Skilled experience working with international teams 

Citizenship Requirements:

Must be a U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident (green card holder), or protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3).

Drug-Free Workplaces:

Saab is a federal government contractor and adheres to policies and programs necessary for sustaining drug-free workplaces. As a condition of employment, candidates will be required to pass a pre-employment drug screen.


Saab provides an excellent working environment offering professional growth opportunities, competitive wages, work-life balance, business-casual atmosphere and comprehensive benefits:

  • Medical, vision and dental insurance for employees and dependents

  • Paid time off including: minimum of 3 weeks vacation, 5 floating holidays, 8 designated holidays, parental leave, personal illness, bereavement, jury duty, long-term and short-term disability

  • 401(k) with immediate vesting on employer match

  • Tuition assistance

  • Student loan assistance

  • Wellness account, subscription and employee assistance programs

  • Employee stock purchase program with employer match

About Us:

Saab is a leading defense and security company with an enduring mission, to help nations keep their people and society safe. Empowered by its 19,000 talented people, Saab constantly pushes the boundaries of technology to create a safer, more sustainable and more equitable world. In the U.S., Saab delivers advanced technology and systems, supporting the U.S. Armed Forces and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as international and commercial partners. Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, the company has business units and local employees in eight U.S. locations.

Saab is a company where we see diversity as an asset and offer unlimited opportunities for advancing in your career. We are also a company that respects each person’s needs and encourage employees to lead a balanced, rewarding life beyond work. Saab values diversity and is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action employer. All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply and will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran, disability status, or any other federal, state, or locally protected category.