Virtual Reality Engineer (AR/VR/XR)


Job Description


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The Communications, Information and Navigation Office (CINO) at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) is seeking mid-career virtual reality engineers interested in deploying 3D visualization, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) solutions to join our Visualization Technology Department. Position to be filled in State College, PA or Reston, VA.

The position will entail program leadership, XR system architecture design and deployment, integration of disparate content sources, and XR application development to support novel XR use-cases. Leveraging project management, Virtual Reality content development, game design, and/or related experience, the candidate will integrate solutions with an internally-developed, Unity3D-based synthetic environment framework that is being applied to multiple sponsored projects across domains. These solutions are being deployed to a number of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) platforms including:

  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • Valve Index
  • Magic Leap
  • HoloLens/HoloLens2
  • CAVE immersive displays.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provide programmatic leadership to deliver XR solutions
  • Interface with research sponsors
  • Develop new sponsor relationships
  • Designs and develops architectures of industry-related engineering systems, applying knowledge of complex principles, theories, concepts, tools and techniques to the design challenges
  • Design 3D experiences built for either VR, AR, Mobile, or web that improve business workflows or communicate content
  • Lead the development and prototyping of hardware and software-based solutions for sponsor challenges
  • Demonstrate and define immersive interaction standards, develop new processes for visualizing content using immersive technology
  • Design experiences, interactions, and applications that support effective collaboration within Immersive environments
  • Create tool workflows or visual communication methods that illustrate and document immersive concepts
  • Development of methodologies for effective integration, visualization, and dissemination of novel 3D data sources
  • Perform systems engineering activities to improve data flows and processes
  • Briefing technical solutions to research sponsors
  • Stay current with immersive technology trends
  • Develop engineering and technical documentation
  • Develop and maintain sponsor relationships and expand business areas

This job will be filled at a level 3 or 4, depending upon the successful candidate’s education and experience. Minimum education and experience requires a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in an engineering or science related discipline plus five year’s related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience for a level 3. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher level jobs.

Additional responsibilities of a level 4 induced:

  • Independently manage multiple and/or large SPECIALITY projects; plan, schedule, conduct, or coordinate detailed phases of the work of a major project or in a total project of moderate steps.
  • Understand broad strategic objectives and contribute to them; nurtures and maintain relationships with major SPECIALITY customers/grantors of external research and development grant funding.
  • Mentor and train assigned employees in the development of technical, project, and business development skills, as applicable. May supervise lower level employees and students in the group.

Experience in the following is required:

  • Project Management/Team Lead
  • XR application development
  • Experience with development for and deployment of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) platforms
  • A background in software engineering, systems engineering, human computer interfaces or visualization technologies

Experience in the following is preferred:

  • Multi-player Unity3D application development
  • Unreal application development
  • 3D modeling concepts with Autodesk 3DSMax, or Maya/Blender
  • Cloud deployment (AWS/Azure)
  • Photogrammetry and 3D model processing
  • Computer-aided Design (CAD) modeling
  • Geospatial and GIS tool suite
  • Active TS/SCI

ARL at Penn State is an integral part of one of the leading research universities in the nation and serves as a University center of excellence in defense science, systems, and technologies with a focus in naval missions and related areas.

You will be subject to a government security investigation, and you must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Employment with the ARL will require successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen.

ARL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion; we believe this is central to our success as a Department of Defense designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are part of our workforce.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION on ARL, visit our web site at

The following background checks must be successfully completed for this position:

This position will require successful completion of standard background checks. 

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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Reston, VA, VA

University Park, PA