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Saab Global
Installation in HQ

Senior Staff Machine Learning Engineer

Home Office, Indiana, United States of America
Closing date: 30 July 2024

Job Description:

At Saab. Inc we are building a team of experts that will create the next state-of-the-art in AI/ML and dual use, multi-domain Autonomy solutions.  As the Senior Staff Machine Learning Engineer, you will be directly contributing to progressing Saab Inc’s forward-looking vision in AI/ML/Autonomy.  In this role you will lead teams and directly contribute to solving open problems at the intersection of Autonomy, Reinforcement Learning, Multimodal Perception and Control from the research to operational prototypes. You will work on multiple applied research projects in collaboration with other Saab scientists and engineers and external university researchers and graduate students. You will be integral to all aspects of the research lifecycle including writing proposals and whitepapers, formulating problems, defining research scope, developing new solutions, conducting experiments, synthesizing results, gathering data, building prototypes, and communicating the significance of your research. You will push the state of the art (SOTA) in Perception guided Reinforcement Learning for creating best in class autonomy solutions aligned with Saab Inc’s business objectives.   Your research will result in high quality publications in leading AI/ML conferences and journals. 

Additional responsibilities include working closely with senior leadership in writing high quality proposals in response to government agency announcements. Translating customers’ needs into company priorities is important: this means supporting the Customer Success, Business Development, and Sales teams closely, working hand-in-hand with Operations and Engineering to deliver results. 

This position, while remote, requires frequent travel to our university partners in IN and occasional travel to other university partners in the Mid-West (Michigan, Illinois, Ohio) and the East coast (Virginia, DC, Boston, Rhode Island, Syracuse) regions as necessary to support in-person milestone updates to our external customers and also to maintain continuity of effort and interactions.   Some travel to our San Diego office is also expected. 

This position is a perfect match for a visionary scientist/engineer who is passionate about the unlimited potential of machine learning/AI/data mining/statistics for solving real world problems and empowering society and industry.  To be successful in this role, you are a leader, a team player, and mission focused. You have a research-to-product mindset. You will be cross-functional. You are empathetic, curious, and incredibly detail-oriented and organized. You read documentation thoroughly and are comfortable asking questions and seeking help. You are an independent worker and critical analytical thinker.


  • Be the resident expert and continuously monitor the SOTA in machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL), reinforcement learning (RL) and multi-modal perception methods as enablers for a variety of Autonomous system applications. Stay informed and be up-to-speed on all relevant trends, advancements and breakthroughs.

  • Ability to operate as an engineering point of contact for senior leadership and customers.

  • Create and shape an inclusive, collaborative, and inspiring working culture in working closely with teams of professors and graduate students in the co-development of solutions to satisfy all customer expectations and milestones.

  • Assist university project PI’s in managing and progressing all project milestones by continuously monitoring progress, pre-empting roadblocks and providing actionable solutions.  

  • Lead the technology transfer of research results to Saab Inc’s internal applied engineering teams and assist in productionizing in a co-development mode.

  • In collaboration with the various engineering functions within Saab Inc, identify applications and uses case that can benefit from ML/RL/Perception. Work closely with product SMEs to develop solutions for enhancing product capabilities.

  • Create and publish high quality, applied and research, publications and represent Saab in US defense forums and at top conferences such as, RSS, ICRA, CoRL, CVPR, ICLR, ICML, NeurIPS, ICCV, AAAI.

  • Support all internal strategic planning and operations reviews including post hoc analyses and lessons learnt.  Support PI’s with milestone reviews with internal and external customers. 

  • Mentor junior engineers and assist with learning and knowledge share related to ML/DL/RL within Saab Inc.

  • Ensure effective and efficient implementation of planning and operation processes, assisting the program manager in understanding technical progress and forecasting future work requirements.

  • Socialize key milestones with industry, academia, and government through conference presentations, technical paper publications, and media relations.

Compensation Range: $154,300-$204,500

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:

Required Skills/Experience:

  • Advanced degree in Engineering, Machine Learning, Robotics, or a related analytical discipline.

  • R&D experience, MS (7+yrs), PhD (3+ yrs), in Machine Learning, RL and multi-modal Perception with demonstrated applications in one or more areas of Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, UxV’s or a related area.

  • Demonstrable in depth understanding of perception guided Reinforcement Learning/Neural-Control for real world use cases

  • Deep expertise in RL algorithms, including model free methods (deep reinforcement learning, policy gradient methods, value-based methods, A2C etc.) and model-based approaches.

  • Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, with experience in deep learning frameworks (e.g., TensorFlow, PyTorch, Keras) and RL libraries (e.g., OpenAI Gym, Stable Baselines, MuJoCo, PyBullet, etc.) and robotics platforms (e.g., ROS).

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, with the ability to translate theoretical concepts into practical solutions and prototype implementations.

  • Experience with mission analysis, customization, and development of product, managing project risk, deployment of product, user training program management, customer support, and product sustainment and maintenance.

  • Willingness to interface on an interdepartmental level and be an agent of change for product modernization via practical and strategic adoption of emergent AI/ML technologies.

  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to build effective working relationships is a must, especially across government and industry.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with a proven ability to communicate well with peers and different levels of management and the customer.

  • Proven leader who motivates, inspires, and teaches others.

  • Strong work ethic and self-motivate and pro-active in seeking out the best solution/s.

  • Must exhibit leadership for executing practical application of engineering processes on a development program and maintaining engineering rigor while balancing cost, technical, and schedule.

  • Strong technical leadership with a research-to-product mindset, including experience leading teams of senior researchers and engineers.

Desired Skills/Experience:

  • Demonstrated experience in developing and applying SOTA CV solutions in, object detection, collision avoidance, path planning, navigation and SLAM in applications such as AV’s, UxV’s, Robotic navigation.

  • Demonstrated experience in working with multimodal perception modalities and good understanding of DL based CV architectures, including few-shot models such as YOLO, Faster R-CNN, SSD etc.

  • Demonstrated research publications in major conferences (RSS, ICRA, CoRL, CVPR, ICLR, ICML, NeurIPS, ICCV, AAAI, etc.)

  • Experience developing and deploying RL algorithms on embedded systems or edge devices for real-time applications.

  • Knowledge of specific domains relevant to one or more autonomous systems such as UAVs, USVs, UUVs.

  • Experience with multimodal sensor fusion and fusion techniques for perception applications is a strong plus. Experience with 3D data and representations (pointclouds, meshes, etc.) 

  • Experience with novel pipelines and architectures for convolutional neural nets and Vision Transformers.

  • Experience leveraging backbones for novel purpose-built use cases such as, MTL, edge deployment backbones with Mobilnet, etc are a plus.

  • Deep mathematical/statistical understanding of learning architectures, learning theory, uncertainty quantification, explainability, etc. is a plus.

  • Experience with Multi-Agent Systems, Game Theory, Bayesian Networks.

  • Experience in Modern control theory including Adaptive/Robust control, Optimal Control, MPC, Neural decision making, Barrier functions, Reachability etc.

  • Experience with Safe-RL, Hierarchical RL, Massively Parallel RL, RLHF.  

  • Experience with simulation environments for training and testing autonomous systems, such as Gazebo, AirSim, or PX4 SITL.

  • Demonstrated experience leading fundamental and/or applied research projects focused on autonomous systems.

  • Experience working in the DoD contracting industry.


Citizenship Requirements:

Must be a U.S. citizen. Applicants selected may be subject to a government security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.

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.