Flight Research Laboratory Research Technician - 11594BR

Flight Research Laboratory Research Technician

Aerospace Engineering
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

The Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas is seeking applications for a Flight Research Laboratory Research Technician with broad skills related to education and flight research of manned and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The successful candidate will have a detailed knowledge of U.S. airspace regulations, a FAA Remote Pilot Certificate with a UAS rating, skills to fabricate UAS parts and integrate propulsion and electrical systems, the ability to support UAS operations (including teaching and mentoring students), and knowledge of working with UAS ground stations and software. The employee would also be responsible for maintaining and ensuring safety in departmental labs (e.g. Propulsion and Avionics Lab) and testbeds. The technician will play a role in the department inventory and space control. They will supervise some Aerospace Engineering student helpers as appropriate. This position also requires travel to remote locations both in the US and overseas no more than twice in a 12-month period, with sites including polar regions (e.g. Greenland and Antarctica) for which medical clearance from the granting agency (e.g. NSF, NASA) is required. Due to U.S. export control regulations (ITAR) this position requires the successful candidate to be a US citizen.

Job Description

  • 30% Support all flight education and research activities
    • System readiness
      • Perform systems inspections, including software, wiring, propulsion, avionics and flight mechanics systems
      • Develop ground test documents, conduct ground test experiments and collect/document relevant information
      • Assist students and faculty advisors in the design and operation of experiments, devices, and prototypes
    • Flight operation
      • Develop flight test documents, supporting research and educational goals
      • Coordinate with flight test team, pilots, FAA, FCC, other agencies and test sites
      • Maintain applications of FAA Certification Of Authorization, FAA Part 107 Certification Of Waiver, and all related reporting
      • Coordinate logistics of flight tests
      • Prepare flight test team for operation including spare parts lists, hardware and software required for flight tests, and ensuring flight test team tasks are appropriately delegated
    • Flight test operation
      • Actively engage in achieving research and educational flight test goals and enforce safety requirements/standards
  • 30% Assist in systems integration, design and development of UAS’s
    • Install, program and test servos and actuators
    • Install and test avionics (e.g. IMU, autopilot, GPS, pitot tube, etc.), and propulsion systems
    • Assemble and fabricate aircraft parts (e.g. wings, fuselage, etc.)
    • Fabricate, assemble, install and test wiring harnesses
    • Paint and finish equipment
    • Design electronic circuits, test systems and program avionics systems
  • 20% Direct student support
    • Prepare and deliver instruction to students on technical materials
    • Provide active mentoring in experiential learning
    • Support students in their research and education
    • Develop and monitor compliance for flight, equipment, and safety training
    • Assist in instruction, lectures and laboratories of AE classes, including but not limited to developing and performing demonstrations, developing multimedia and technology resources for classes, collecting data, and leading hands-on labs
  • 20% Develop and maintain labs, including but not limited to propulsion lab, avionics lab, and all related hangar facilities
    • Manage equipment, including organizing, maintaining, and troubleshooting current equipment and requisitioning new equipment and supplies as needed.
    • Maintain instruments and equipment, including equipment in the propulsion lab, avionics lab, and machine shop
    • Supervise, train, schedule, and evaluate one or several aerospace engineering students.
    • Develop systems for lab usage as needed

Required Qualifications

  1. US citizen due to U.S. export control regulations (ITAR)
  2. Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering or a related field with a focus in Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  3. A minimum of three years of UAS piloting, flight operations and flight test support experience
  4. Current FAA remote pilot certificate
  5. Strong written communication skills as demonstrated in application materials, work history, and/or educational pursuits

Preferred Qualifications

  1. A minimum of five years of UAS piloting experience
  2. A minimum of one year experience in manned flight operations and flight test support
  3. A minimum of one year experience with reciprocating propeller operations and testing
  4. A minimum of one year experience with structures and materials typical to small UASs
  5. A minimum of one year experience with wiring harnesses and connectors
  6. A minimum of one year experience with ArduPilot (Pixhawk), Paparazzi Autopilot, QGroundControl, or similar
  7. Experience with applications of FAA Certification of Authorization, FAA Part 107 Certification of Waiver
  8. Previous management experience, leadership training, or site lead experience is highly desired
  9. Manned aircraft piloting license
  10. Knowledge of or experience with sensor selection and integration, and data collection/conditioning in lab settings
  11. Knowledge of or experience with aerospace avionics and communications systems
  12. Programming experience in MATLAB/Simulink, C/C++, Python, Linux/Ubuntu, SSH, Robotic Operating System (ROS), or similar
  13. A minimum of one year experience teaching or mentoring

Additional Candidate Instructions

  • A complete application consists of a Resume/CV, Cover Letter, and at least 3 professional references.
  • Only complete applications will be considered.
  • Application review has been extended as of July 31 and will continue until a qualified pool of applicants is identified.

Contact Information to Applicants

Amy Borton

Advertised Salary Range

Commensurate with experience

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Aerospace Engineering
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins:
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