Product Assurance Manager

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Archive Date: 
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Management
Institution Classification/Type: 
SOFIA / Universities Space Research Association
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Product Assurance Manager is responsible for planning, directing, and implementing all Safety, Reliability, Maintainability and Quality Assurance activities within the approved SOFIA program schedule, resource, and budget constraints.  This Manager is responsible for establishing and maintaining effective coordination between the SOFIA Mission Operations (SMO) group, and the other functional organizations and personnel within the organization.  This Manager reports to the SOFIA Associate Director for Project Management and Integration.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for ensuring that the development and delivery of all hardware and software is in full compliance with the contractual, regulatory and specification requirements for Safety, Reliability, Maintainability and Quality Assurance. 
  • Responsible for successfully implementing and managing a Quality Assurance program that meets applicable requirements.  Perform periodic audits of development and operations activities and documentation to ensure all activities are being conducted in accordance with contractual and regulatory requirements.
  • Responsible for successfully implementing and managing a System Safety Program which includes a review of all modifications to Science and Mission systems to identify potential hazards or hazardous operations. Assure complete documentation of all Science and Mission system and operational hazards and the approaches taken to control such hazards. Coordinate these activities with NASA Safety & Mission Assurance.
  • Responsible for monitoring Science and Mission System discrepancy documentation and resolution.  Includes analyzing root cause of discrepancies/non-conformances and ensuring corrective actions are implemented.  Includes report status of these issues.
  • Responsible for successfully implementing and managing an Occupational Safety and Health Program that is compliant with all applicable Federal, State, and local regulations. Responsible for EHS, pandemic contact tracing and quarantine requirement implementation, and OSHA reporting for USRA SOFIA employees at both NASA Armstrong and NASA Ames.
  • Responsible for successfully implementing and managing an effective Reliability and Maintainability program to meet SOFIA Program requirements.  
  • Responsible for assuring that analyses, modeling, and testing are performed as necessary to verify compliance with reliability and maintainability requirements, and to demonstrate the ability of the SOFIA System to meet all applicable requirements. The Product Assurance Manager will coordinate all Product Assurance activities with the other functional elements within the organizations to ensure required deliveries/milestones are met on time and within budget.
  •  Additional Responsibilities:
  • Ensure that USRA and NASA management remains informed regarding significant safety, reliability, maintainability, and quality assurance issues.
  • Teamwork and the ability to work effectively with co-workers, customers, and supervisor in a professional and courteous manner is an essential function of this position.

Required Qualifications:


  • Bachelor's degree (B. A. or B. S.) from an accredited four-year college or university.


  • Minimum of ten years of experience in engineering, system engineering, system safety, quality assurance, or experience in a related technical field is required.
  • Experience as a project leader or group leader with some project management responsibilities on one or more technical projects with at least three subordinates over a minimum period of one year. Supervisory or managerial experience on one or more technical projects is desired.

Knowledge Skills & Abilities:

  • Working knowledge of government contractor work environment desired.  NASA or NASA contractor work experience preferred.
  • Work experience in compliance with NPR 8715.3, NASA General Safety Program Requirements and with NPD 8730.5, NASA Quality Assurance Policy or equivalent desirable.
  • Work experiences in Data Management and Configuration Management a plus.
  • Applicants must possess the ability to work with a diverse group of scientists, engineers, technicians, and administrators.
  • Demonstrated success in project planning, and resource planning and allocation, management of multi-disciplinary teams in a matrixed R&D organization and/or operations environment is desirable.
  • Proficiency in use of computers and applications is required.  Ability to develop proficiency in PowerPoint, Word, Excel (or equivalent applications), Internet and e-mail are essential.

 Supervisory Responsibilities:

None initially, a qualified individual with demonstrated capability may be tasked with supervisory responsibility as the organization develops and if the need arises. Oversight of subcontractor activities is required.

Language, Mathematical and Reasoning Skills:

Excellent written and verbal communication in English is required, fluency in written and spoken German a plus.

Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.  Ability to write routine reports and correspondence, speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization.

Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume, ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry. Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.

Ability to identify, define and analyze complex problems and draw valid conclusions. Possess the ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical information in mathematical or diagram form (including engineering and manufacturing drawings) and deal with multiple subjective and objective criteria.

Work Conditions:

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit, use hands.  Keyboarding for large time spans each day will be a significant part of this position. The employee may need to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Position may require domestic and international business travel.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee may occasionally be exposed to fumes or airborne particles.  The employee may be exposed to moving equipment, vehicles, and mechanical parts.   The noise level in the work office environment is typically mild.  The environment on the aircraft during flight operations may become noisy and tiring. The employee must be capable of performing all duties in a technical/scientific setting including offices, laboratories, shops, and aircraft maintenance facilities as well as on the aircraft/observatory, both while on the ground and during flights.  This position is based at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center Building 703 in Palmdale, CA but travel is required to NASA AMES Research Center in Moffett Field, CA.

The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job.  It is not construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities, or requirements. Other duties may be assigned.

Applicants should apply to the posting at USRA Careers and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita. Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer: Minorities / Females / Protected Veterans / Disabled / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, November 8, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Monday, November 8, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Ben Tanis
Street Line 1: 
7178 Columbia Gateway Dr Columbia MD 21046
Zip/Postal Code: 
United States of America
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Ben Tanis