Data Scientist I – Systems Analysis, Modeling & Architecture

at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Published February 10, 2023
Location Pasadena, United States of America
Category Data Science  
Job Type Full-time  


Job Details

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


The Project Systems Engineering & Formulation Section provides lifecycle leadership in the formulation, planning and execution of the project systems engineering function for JPL space flight missions from concept development through completion of post-Launch checkout and commissioning. Providing formulation services from concept ideation, to the full expression of that concept in formulation phase products, the creative and innovative personnel within this section are responsible for the leadership for project-wide systems engineering efforts, and the delivery of project-level systems engineering products. The section’s expertise spans a wide array of project products and disciplines, including: Project system and mission architectures, project-level trade studies, risk management, programmatic, architecture, and system modeling and analysis, and Identification and evaluation of advanced technologies, among others.

Innovation drives so much of what we do at JPL, and our inclusiveness helps drive that innovation.


We seek a self-motivated individual who can work well both independently and in a team environment to serve as a Data Scientist for our Systems Analysis, Modeling & Architecture Group (312C). You will develop data-driven models and tools that are web-based in support of JPL projects and advanced concept studies.

Reporting administratively to the Technical Group Supervisor and working closely with formulation and Project Systems Engineering teams, you will be responsible for developing statistical analysis, including data collection and normalization, performing analysis on varied sets of space mission programmatic, technical, performance and risk data (both hardware and software), developing models and tools to perform data analytics, and using data analytics to develop models to support Formulation activities. In addition, you will participate in architecture, system and subsystem design trade studies that address cost as a function of technical performance, schedule, and risk.

Tasks include:

  • Perform data collection and normalization using NASA space mission datasets, web searches, collection of lessons learned, and face to face interviews.
  • Perform data normalization and imputation.
  • Perform analysis on disparate databases using mathematical, statistical, and machine learning techniques.
  • Develop analysis and estimation models and tools using data analytics methods such as exploratory data analysis, data mining and statistical methods
  • Develop tools that are web-based and Excel-based in support of concurrent engineering studies, formulation customers, and NASA HQ.
  • Conduct online surveys and face-to-face interviews in support of lessons learned and cost growth studies,
  • Effectively communicating results to internal and external customers management using state-of-the-art visualization tools and techniques
  • Development, evaluation, and delivery of cost estimation models for estimating the costs of Missions, Instruments, and Software
  • Develop new ways of visualizing data in support of concurrent engineering teams (A-Team, Team-X, Team-Xc)
  • Engage current and new customers in applying statistical and mathematical techniques to new systems engineering problem sets.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Data Science, Operations Research or related disciplines with 1 year of related experience; Master’s degree in similar disciplines.
  • Experience and knowledge in one or more of the following areas: cost engineering, reliability, systems engineering, aerospace engineering.Strong understanding and application in modeling and tool development, including the application of numerical, Monte Carlo methods Algorithms/Data Structures, programming systems, optimization, probability and stochastic systems, machine learning, financial engineering.
  • Desired experience with the statistical R Program and associated packages; Mathematica; MATLAB; Microsoft Excel VBA Macros; and programming languages such as C/C++ and Python;
  • Interest or experience in supporting concept development teams on real-time concurrent engineering studies, in the role of cost and programmatic analyst.
  • Experience as a key participant in systems engineering and architecture studies, trade studies, and an understanding of relationships between, cost, schedule, risk and technical performance.
  • Must be a self-motivated individual who can work independently and in a diverse team environment.
  • Requires excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills.

Desired Skills:

  • Demonstrated understanding of mathematical and statistical modeling methods and applications, and implications to systems, and underlying physical processes.
  • Experience with data visualization methods.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Proven ability to deal with multiple issues, tasks, and priorities concurrently.
  • Experience with development and delivery written and presentation products.

Please see the Discipline Matrix on the HR Knowledge Base Website under Job Classifications.

JPL has a catalog of benefits and perks that span from the traditional to the unique. This includes a variety of health, dental, vision, wellbeing, and retirement plans, paid time off, learning, rideshare, childcare, flexible schedule, parental leave and many more. Our focus is on work-life balance, and living healthy, fulfilling lives as we Dare Mighty Things Together. For benefits eligible positions, benefits are effective the first day of the month coincident with or immediately following the employee’s start date.

For further benefits information click Benefits and Perks

The hiring range displayed below is specifically for those who will work in or reside in the location listed. In extending an offer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory considers factors including, but not limited to, the candidate’s job related skills, experience, knowledge, and relevant education/training. Hiring range for this job may be adjusted based on primary work location outside of Pasadena, California. This adjusted range will be provided to candidates by the Recruiter when applicable.

The typical full time equivalent annual hiring range for this job in Pasadena, California.

$78,832 - $104,104

JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law.

In addition, JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

EEO is the Law.

EEO is the Law Supplement

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available here.