Principal Research Engineer

Luna Labs

Job Description:

The Systems Group of Luna Labs seeks a Research Engineer to lead research and development (R&D) efforts related to Corrosion and Condition Based Monitoring. The successful candidate will lead a contract research team that develops technologies by engaging with government and industry customers, acting as technical lead and program manager on multiple simultaneous R&D efforts, and writing proposals to secure future research funding.

Company Overview:

Luna Labs is a product development company leveraging contract research to generate solutions in the fields of aerospace, defense, and healthcare. Our diverse capabilities in engineered systems, materials, and biotech allow us to collaborate to address unique and complex problems faced by our customers. Luna Labs’ Systems Group builds small, tough, long-lasting, embedded systems that capture difficult-to-obtain data to enable decisions that save time and money.

The Systems group is broadly active in environmental monitoring, asset monitoring, nondestructive evaluation, and data analytics. Our most mature environment severity and corrosion monitoring products are fundamentally changing the way materials are tested, and assets managed. The research and product teams collaborate to identify, mature, and commercialize emerging technologies to support asset maintenance and sustainment.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead and manage the contract research engineering team
  • Manage the contract research program of the Systems group and oversee project management of contract research projects, including planning, scheduling, and budgeting
  • Guide technical efforts for ongoing R&D programs through planning, experimental, and prototyping phases
  • Develop near- and long-term program plans and delegate tasks to internal staff and external collaborators
  • Analyze data from technical efforts, interpret results, and communicate findings to customers through technical reports and presentations
  • Guide innovations through the product development lifecycle, from concept to commercialization
  • Work with the rest of the Systems group leadership to write funding proposals that align with the strategy and product development
  • Teach, coach, and mentor junior engineers

Experience and Qualifications


(Due to government contracting regulations, U.S. Citizenship is a firm requirement.)

  • A Master’s degree in an appropriate discipline (Mechanical, Materials, chemical, etc.) is preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline (Mechanical, Materials, chemical, etc.) with an MBA is acceptable.
  • Minimum of 5 years of research/industry experience
  • Minimum of 2 years as a principal investigator
  • Minimum of 3 years of project management experience
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Experience with laboratory measurement techniques and instrumentation

Beneficial Experience:

  • Experience with electrochemical and corrosion processes, structural health monitoring, condition-based maintenance, and/or nondestructive evaluation
  • Experience in at least one of the areas: Vibration, Acoustic, Ultrasonic, Electromagnetic, Electrochemical
  • Digital signal processing
  • Sensor system design and development
  • In-Situ Monitoring
  • Proficiency with at least one programming language (Python, Matlab, LabVIEW, etc.)
  • Continuous Process Improvement (Lean, Six Sigma) or Quality Management


  • Health Tech & Software
  • Biomanufacturing

Job Type



Charlottesville, VA

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