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MIT Lincoln Laboratory Systems Engineer - Linux / Robotics in Lexington, Massachusetts

The Control and Autonomous Systems Engineering Group, Group 76, works on prototype applications spanning mission areas such as space control, air, missile and maritime defense, communication and tactical systems, homeland protection, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. Through this work the group has gained expertise in dynamic stabilization and platform control, advanced autonomy, pointing, acquisition and tracking, guidance, navigation and estimation, robotics, mapping, intra- and inter-system planning (e.g. swarming), demanding real-time embedded software and firmware control, image processing, machine learning, human-machine interaction, space-qualified electronics, and analog and power electronics. Applied research and development projects include space optical payloads, small satellites, airborne laser radars and imaging systems and autonomous air, ground and maritime systems. Staff members have advanced degrees in electrical, mechanical, aerospace, and computer engineering. The group also collaborates closely with academia and publishes its research in top-tier venues.

Job Description:

Design, develop, and maintain the systems and infrastructure that build and run state-of-the-art robotic capabilities deployed on air, ground, maritime, and space platforms. As a Linux System Engineer supporting MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Control and Autonomous Systems Engineering Group, you will hold a critical role enabling groundbreaking autonomous systems solutions to challenging problems by creating tools that enhance the effectiveness of a talented team of robotics developers and researchers.

You will work closely with the team to understand persistent development and system administration challenges, identify and prototype solutions based on your knowledge of established and emerging tools and best practices, and then establish and maintain production systems and documentation. You will have the opportunity to work on a diverse set of problems and platforms that traditionally span multiple IT roles, such Linux desktop deployment automation, high-performance parallel computing, continuous integration / DevOps, and storage server administration.

Responsibilities include:

  • Develop, document in a wiki, and maintain a process and tools that allow staff to rapidly instantiate and effectively use Linux systems that support Group and Laboratory services and comply with IT requirements on a wide variety of hardware platforms.

  • Own, from ideation to maintenance, infrastructure enabling best-practices robotics software development, such as continuous integration build and test systems, scalable cloud-based simulation, and very large databases for sensor data storage.

  • Build a diverse set of Linux-based services that support group needs, such as storage systems, binary packages and repositories of Laboratory software, wireless and standalone networks, and GPU clusters.

  • Leverage your expertise in Linux to advise and support staff members with their desktop, embedded, and server Linux systems, including troubleshooting and ordering Linux-supported hardware.

  • Maintain awareness of best practices at peer organizations and emerging technologies in order to advocate for Group adoption where beneficial.

  • Resolve the Group’s simple Windows-based IT needs and act as the first point of contact for more in-depth Windows-based IT issues.

Qualifications include:

  • A clear passion for and expert knowledge of Linux systems, including authentication, networking, filesystems (local and networked), encryption, and virtualization / containers, with experience on a variety of platforms, including embedded, desktop, and datacenter.

  • Ability to communicate effectively to explain, advocate, listen, and troubleshoot in many forms, including in-person, electronic correspondence, presentations, issue tracking, wiki and formal written documentation.

  • Demonstrated ability to architect, implement, and secure Linux systems on a variety of platforms using tools and technologies effectively to manage configurations, scale to many systems, and track issues.

  • Experience with software development best practices and developer operations, including build automation, packaging, and distribution.

  • Experience integrating and securing GNU/Linux in an environment where Microsoft Windows in the dominant client operating system.

  • Knowledge and experience with git, GitHub, and other source code management tools; programming and scripting languages such as C++, Python, and bash; the ansible system configuration management tool; and KVM-based virtualization and Docker-based containers.

  • Demonstrated ability to administer a local research computer network, including networking hardware, storage, virtualization, wireless networks, software maintenance, and security considerations.

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Daily desktop use of Ubuntu or other Debian-based distributions.

  • Experience with ROS-based robotics software development and simulation.

  • A preference for open-source solutions with a willingness to consider proprietary software when open-source solutions do not satisfy requirements.

  • Experience with embedded real-time processing hardware and operating systems, such as Linux on ARM, Linux real-time kernel, U-Boot, uClinux, petalinux, and Xenomai.

  • Demonstrated ability to maintain regular contact across divisional and departmental lines with MITLL IT and security resources. Must be capable of identifying security objectives and to rapidly reconfigure systems to report and remediate performance and security issues

  • Willingness to adopt users’ operating system distribution and configuration in order to understand common challenges and pain points.


  • Bachelor's degree plus a minimum of 4 years of related experience OR a Master's degree and two years of experience OR equivalent

For Benefits Information, click

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, disability status, or genetic information; U.S. citizenship is required.

All employees at Lincoln Laboratory are required to obtain and maintain a security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship.

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