Ian Trettel

  • Flight Software Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Pasadena, California, United States
  • Defense & Space

Previous positions

  • Senior Professional Staff at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation


University of Southern California, Master’s Degree, Computer Science



  • Flight Software Engineer

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    August 2016 – Present(3 years 2 months)

    Flight Software Engineer for the Mars 2020 Program

  • Senior Professional Staff

    The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

    May 2015 – July 2016(1 year 2 months)

    Developed optical processing algorithms, embedded controller code and user interfaces for both unmanned vehicle operators and technical situational awareness. Responsible for the technical quality, schedule and budget of a 10 member project team. Daily responsibilities include setting the teams technical direction, managing budget and personnel, reporting status to senior management and teaming with partner organizations.

  • Engineer

    Northrop Grumman Corporation

    June 2006 – May 2015(8 years 11 months)

    Flight Critical Systems Lead for the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System – Demonstrator (UCAS-D) Program Project management from inception to completion, including responsibility for technical quality, budget and schedule for a team of 30 engineers. Team is tasked with design, development and testing of safety critical aircraft guidance, navigation, and flight control systems for the X-47B UCAS-D aircraft. Manage personnel, including performance evaluations, team member growth and hiring. Managed 35,000 labor hours to an on-time completion of formal system testing and flight clearance award. Maintain positive & engaged relationship with customer counterparts. Manage and plan system level lab testing using metrics. Flight Critical Systems Lead for the Automated Aerial Refueling (AAR) Demonstration Project Technical lead responsible for the successful development and implementation of the guidance, navigation and control systems enabling autonomous refueling of an unmanned aircraft in a GPS denied environment. Lead a five person team ensuring technical quality and overall system integration. Additionally supported the team with creation of innovative data analysis tools and the creation and maintenance of system level requirements in DOORS. Software Development and Integration Engineer Performed software development and integration tasks as a vehicle management systems engineer contributing to five successful AAR flight test technology demonstrations. Responsibilities included the design, implementation and integration of a complex system enabling the refueling of unmanned vehicles with manned tanker aircraft. Software support included operational flight program software development in a real-time C/C++ environment, flight displays development using C#, system integration and testing, tool development, and on-site flight test support.


  • University of Southern California

    Master’s Degree, Computer Science

    2008 – 2012

    Earned my Masters in Computer Science.

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    Bachelor’s Degree, Computer & Systems Engineering

    2002 – 2006

    At Rensselaer I studied Computer and Systems Engineering with a concentration in Automated Control Systems. I also minored in Social Psychology.

Skills & Expertise

  • Systems Design
  • Engineering
  • Integration
  • Matlab
  • Avionics
  • Simulations
  • Systems Engineering
  • Avionics Integration
  • C#
  • Requirements Management
  • Visual Studio
  • Aerospace
  • Program Management
  • Linux
  • Engineering Management
  • Embedded Systems
  • DoD
  • C
  • Earned Value Management
  • C++
  • Security Clearance
  • Simulink
  • Software Engineering
  • Software Development
  • System Architecture