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Chief SAR Mission Systems Engineer


  • Posted on: January 8, 2021

For those who dream of advancing our space in the Universe and on Earth, we’ll take you there.

Serving the world from our Canadian home and our global offices, MDA is an international space mission partner and robotics & space operations, satellite systems and geointelligence pioneer with a 50-year story of firsts on and above the Earth. Today, we’re leading the charge towards viable Moon colonies, enhanced Earth observation, communication in a hyper-connected world, and more.

We’re fueled by a pioneering spirit that carries us beyond. And together we enable highly skilled people to continually push boundaries and tackle big challenges requiring solutions that endure and inspire.

Are you ready to launch the next stage of your career in the new space economy? We would love to hear from you!

We’re on the hunt for a Chief SAR Mission Systems Engineer on our Geointelligence team at our Richmond office.

Our mission is to turn data into insight. From detecting changes in fragile ecosystems to monitoring northern ice floes and shipping routes, our near-real time data of Earth observation and the environment makes our Geointelligence team a leader in geospatial imagery, ground stations, enterprise geospatial systems and defence programs.

MDA has been a leader in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems for over 50 years, and has been the prime contractor for all three of Canada’s space-based SAR missions: RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2, and the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, RCM.

The SAR Mission Systems Engineer will join our diverse and talented engineering team to together write the next chapter to follow that legacy. This senior technical leadership position works in partnership with our Engineering, Business Development, and Operations teams to lead the development and evolution of our Space-based Earth Observation SAR Mission offerings and capabilities, to develop advanced SAR solutions for the coming decade.

Space-based SAR Earth Observation missions continue to grow in importance in Canada, and around the globe. As a leader in space-based SAR missions, MDA is positioning itself to continue its leadership in missions of the future. The SAR Mission Systems Engineer will play a fundamental and leading role as we forge ahead with the next generation opportunities.


This position can be tailored to the skills and career aspirations of the applicant; however it is anticipated that as SAR Mission System Engineer you will perform the following duties:

  • Provide the engineering leadership that significantly influences MDA’s business directions, technical initiatives, solutions, and technical execution, in support of MDA goals.
  • Provide technical leadership in our engineering and operations organizations.
  • Establish and demonstrate ownership in all phases of the full system or product life-cycle for large complex mission critical systems, leading key decisions pertaining to all aspects of system design and to resolve critical issues and broad design matters.
  • Assume SAR Mission System Engineering roles that are instrumental in the successful execution of programs and projects that are fundamental to realization of corporate growth and strategic plans.
  • Support business development by creating innovative and cost-effective solutions that meet our customer’s requirements and operational needs.
  • Provide technical leadership in our Business Development activities:
  • Help define direction of future MDA of offerings.
  • Address future concepts, products, and technologies.
  • Recognize the potential of technology trends and different technologies can offer, creating solutions to customer problems, and demonstrating initiative to transition from Proof of Concept to an offering.
  • Help position MDA in the global marketplace.
  • Lead technical responses to customer requirements.
  • Interact with customers, suppliers, and partners.
  • Contribute significantly to selling success
  • Represent MDA nationally and internationally and reinforce recognition with our customers and partners as world leader in SAR.

Requirements (experience/skills):

  • A University degree in Engineering, Applied Science, Computer Science, or Science from an accredited institution.
  • 20+ years of relevant SAR and Space Systems engineering experience:
  • Earth Observation space missions.
  • Comprehensive SAR understanding, including payloads, processing techniques, and applications:
  • Interferometry
  • Bi-static and Multi-static
  • Maritime applications
  • Understanding of performance, cost, and schedule tradeoffs including major tradeoffs as they relate to payloads, SAR performance, impact on bus and space systems design, ground segment, and launch.
  • Demonstrated experience successfully identifying and pursuing new opportunities and establishing new offerings leading to substantial expansions of existing markets or the creation of new businesses.
  • Knowledge of remote sensing a plus, but not required – however a successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate a keen interest in learning and working in this domain.
  • Demonstrated progressive analytical skills, innovative systems level solution development capability, exceptional leadership, and technical execution strengths required for successfully defining and delivering large, complex, mission critical systems that are fit for operation.
  • Created and fostered strategic high- value research programs and/or projects with external agencies & customers that opened significant new opportunities and enabled business success.
  • Self-starter able to perform in a dynamic team environment.
  • Strong interpersonal and negotiating skills, understands dependencies and stakeholder needs, and effectively and extensively with customers, partners, sub-contractors, and project team members, building effective and lasting relationships

Comments/Special Considerations:

Successful candidates must obtain and hold security clearance at the Secret level, and pass security assessment for the Controlled Goods Program (CGP) and ITAR.

MDA provides competitive compensation and benefits packages for its employees at all locations. As a MDA team member, you and your qualified dependents are eligible to participate in a benefit plan that provides a comprehensive level of protection through competitive health care including; extended healthcare and flexible drug plans, dental and vision benefits, disability income protection, life insurance, group retirement savings plans; and an employee and family assistance program. Moderate travel can be expected.

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