CAV R&D Engineer


Job Description:

Leidos is seeking a CAV R&D Engineer to join our team! The R&D Engineer will be a key part of the Leidos team supporting Connected Automated Vehicle (CAV) research across the US through our work at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Saxton Lab, located at the Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA. Our team advances CAV technology for the USDOT by developing, testing, and supporting the adoption of technologies associated with vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications as well as Cooperative Driving Automation (CDA).

This is an opportunity for someone who is seeking a hands-on role in a fast-paced environment working directly with state and local DOTs as well as technology vendors in the CAV industry. A strong candidate will have the following: a background in electrical, civil, automotive, or other relevant technical discipline; work history or education that demonstrates ability to troubleshoot computers and electronic/electromechanical systems; the ability to learn and clearly communicate complex technical matters to a variety of audiences. The ideal candidate will arrive with a working knowledge of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications and networking, including related hardware/software configurations and applicable IEEE and SAE standards. The work environment is very collegial and benefits from a collaborative effort across a growing interdisciplinary team. In addition to the laboratory and office environment, occasional travel for customer support or field work is required. The candidate will receive advanced vehicle control training to safely operate our fleet of research vehicles.

The primary responsibility of this role is as an R&D Engineer in the Saxton Laboratory, assisting in the development, integration, and testing of new technologies for ITS. Additionally, this position will serve as the technical response lead for our CAV Support Services (CAVSS) equipment loan program and technical help desk. As the prime contractor on this USDOT project, Leidos staff arrange no-cost equipment loans (e.g. on-board units, roadside units, and networking devices for CAVs) to stakeholders and we provide technical assistance in configuring and testing these systems. In addition, our help desk promotes and provides technical assistance for stakeholders deploying other USDOT research and tools (many developed by our team), including an open source software platform for Vehicle-to-Everything communications (V2X Hub), CAV message creator tools, and the Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx) specification. As the main technical point of contact for the CAVSS, the Engineer will be required to learn and stay up to date with our lab's research products, CAV equipment, and stakeholder research needs. The CAVSS project receives requests for equipment loans and technical support from diverse stakeholders, and this person will be responsible for responding with technical support, following-up as needed, and coordinating with our team of engineers and technicians to track support.

Duties shall include:
  • Perform engineering duties at the systems level on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software required for traffic signals control, traffic management systems, and vehicle guidance systems. This is a hands-on role, working directly with the components, systems, and suppliers to develop new and exciting transportation technologies.
  • Design, specify, and integrate electrical and computer prototypes to meet research and stakeholder needs.
  • Conduct and/or supervise the prototyping, assembly, and configuration of electrical and networking equipment and components for research and early-adopter needs.
  • Educate stakeholders and early adopters on technologies, capabilities, best-practices, and FHWA resources that are relevant to their success in deploying CAV technologies.
  • Represent Leidos and FHWA in collaboration with diverse stakeholders on technical discussions.
  • Analyze complex CAVSS early-adopter needs and respond promptly to requests for technical and engineering assistance.
  • Perform market research and cost-benefit analysis to identify and procure emerging and state-of-the-art products for the CAVSS Loan Equipment Inventory.
  • Establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to manage the CAVSS Loan Equipment Inventory.
  • Stay up to date with latest technology in the CAV industry by attending seminars, conferences and independent research.
  • Interface with researchers, Government technical and business personnel, and other users of the Saxton Laboratory and associated testbeds.
  • Assist in various phases of research projects across the breadth of transportation science.
  • Support the operations and maintenance of the lab facility, equipment, and associated testbeds.
  • Interface with Government technical and business personnel.

Required Education & Experience:
  • Bachelors in Electrical, Civil, Automotive or other scientific or engineering discipline with 2+ years' related experience. Directly related Associates' Degree with 4+ years' related experience may be considered in lieu of a degree.
  • Ability to test and troubleshoot complex power and communication systems.
  • Familiarity with transportation and communication systems.
  • Time management and ability to balance priorities and ensure the products and services are delivered on-time and within budget.
  • Desire to independently learn about new technologies, hardware, and software (with guidance and technical support from the team as needed) - and instruct external stakeholders on how to use them.
  • Must communicate clearly in English, both orally and in writing along with a good understanding of industry specific terminology (authorship and publication of technical papers and presentations is a plus).

Other Requirements
  • Candidate must be able to obtain and maintain a Public Trust clearance.
  • Must be a good team player and be able to give and take constructive feedback.
  • Must be prompt, schedule-conscious, and able to focus on the work at hand.
  • Must be coachable and open to self-discovery and professional improvement.
  • Valid driver's license and suitability to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Your GPA needs to be included on your application and resume.

Extra consideration given for experience in any of the following:
  • Traffic signal controller operations, configuration, communications, and Transportation Management Center operations.
  • Use of spectrum and network analyzers and other RF test equipment.
  • Software development tools and methods, including one or more commonly used programming languages, such as C++, JAVA, or MATLAB.
  • Geospatial positioning (e.g., GPS) and position correction (e.g., RTCM)
  • Computer network engineering.
  • Wireless communication standards like IEEE 802.11p and 3GPP Release 15 or greater, supporting technologies like DSRC, C-V2X cellular, or Wi-Fi.
  • Connected vehicle or transportation communication standards (e.g., SAE J2735, NTCIP 1202, etc.) preferred.

External Referral Bonus:


Potential for Telework:


Clearance Level Required:



Yes, 10% of the time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:




Requisition Category:


Job Family:

Electrical Engineering

Pay Range:

Leidos is a Fortune 500 ® information technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world's toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets. The company's 38,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Va., Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $11.09 billion for the fiscal year ended January 3, 2020. For more information, visit

Pay and benefits are fundamental to any career decision. That's why we craft compensation packages that reflect the importance of the work we do for our customers. Employment benefits include competitive compensation, Health and Wellness programs, Income Protection, Paid Leave and Retirement. More details are available here.

Leidos will never ask you to provide payment-related information at any part of the employment application process. And Leidos will communicate with you only through emails that are sent from a email address. If you receive an email purporting to be from Leidos that asks for payment-related information or any other personal information, please report the email to

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, ethnicity, age, national origin, citizenship, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy, family structure, marital status, ancestry, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran or military status, or any other basis prohibited by law. Leidos will also consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with relevant laws.