Planetary Protection Microbiologist - (AER0005AB)

  • Jacobs
  • Primary Location: United States-Alabama-Huntsville-20320-MSFC
  • Nov 10, 2020
Full time Construction

Job Description


Jacobs leads the global professional services sector delivering solutions for a more connected, sustainable world.  With $15.0 billion in combined revenue and a talent force more than 77,000 strong, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional, construction- and program-management for business, industrial, commercial, government and infrastructure sectors. For more information, visit

Jacobs Space Exploration Group (JSEG) is comprised of 10 companies and is located at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL (ranked #11 in Best Places to Live by U.S. News). JSEG has been a primary contractor for NASA since 1989 and supports marquee NASA programs, including the Space Launch System, International Space Station, space optics fabrication, earth and space sciences and advanced propulsion system development. As a partner in NASA’s next generation of space exploration, our jobs are literally history in the making.

Position Description:

This position on the Jacobs ESSCA team is for a Planetary Protection Scientist to provide support for the planning and evaluation of decontamination processes for inert materials. This position will be supporting the Nonmetallic Materials and Space Environmental Effects Branch at MSFC. 


The Planetary Protection Scientist will be responsible for reviewing and developing plans for ensuring that space hardware will not contaminate extraterrestrial environments with mold spores, bacteria, viruses and other microbes from earth.  Duties will include reviewing proposed decontamination plans, contamination control and sampling/testing for contaminants.  Experience with bioreduction techniques such as high heat, irradiation, UV and antiseptic solvents will be beneficial.  The Planetary Protection Scientist will be required to communicate (verbal and written) with customers, engineers, technicians and management to convey relevant information in a timely manner.

This position is for a strong candidate with a background in microbiology or a similar field.  The candidate should have a willingness to adapt to the changing environments of technology development and to stay abreast of new trends in the technology area. Ideal candidates should be able to work in a team environment with engineers and scientists, providing ideas and recommendations on improving testing/processing/planning and sampling of potential contaminants and bioreduction options for space hardware.



A degree in microbiology or a related field is required.  Degree from an ABET accredited institution preferred. Education and experience requirements are the equivalent of a Ph.D., Masters with at least 3 years of experience, or BS with at least 5 years of experience.

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Essential Functions


Work Environment: 

General office environment (80%), Lab environment (20%). Requires ability to provide clear, concise, accurate and timely communication, both verbally and in writing (100%). Requires ability to interact professionally with co-workers, management, and client (100%). Requires travel in the domestic USA (<10%).


Physical Requirements: 

Requires sitting for extended periods of time in meetings with peers, management, and with our client at NASA facilities to discuss technical issues (10%). Also, requires sitting for extended periods of time at a desk to write reports and perform engineering tasks (80%).  Requires ability to use stairs or elevators for access between floors and multiple buildings at NASA and Jacobs facilities (10%).  


Equipment and Machines: 

Requires ability to operate a personal computer, a telephone, fax machine, copier, calculator, and other general office equipment (80%) and ability to operate general lab equipment (20%).


Normal workday is from 7:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Minimal overtime may be required (10%) to meet schedule milestones and to support technical demands of the job. Regular attendance is a necessity and adequate arrangements for delegating duties during absences are required.


Other Essential Functions: 

The ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and to make rational decisions, and to exercise good judgment is essential (100%). Grooming and dress must be appropriate for the position and must not impose a safety risk/hazard to the employee or others.


Proof of U.S. Citizenship is required.


 Jacobs is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding), age, medical condition, marital or domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression and transgender status, mental disability or physical disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, citizenship, low-income status or any other status or characteristic protected by applicable law. Learn more about your rights under Federal EEO laws and supplemental language. 

Primary Location

: United States-Alabama-Huntsville-20320-MSFC

Job Posting

: Nov 6, 2020, 8:05:29 PM


: Engineering



Job Type

: Experienced
Job Classification: Full-Time Regular

Work Locations

620 Discovery Drive 
 Huntsville 35806
Capabilities: Aerospace Technology and Defense Programs and Facilities