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Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Overview

Cambridge, MA
1001 to 5000 employees
Nonprofit Organization
Aerospace & Defense
$500 million to $1 billion (USD) per year
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory guides research into space, under water, and across continents. Founded in 1932 by MIT professor Charles Stark Draper as a teaching lab, the not-for-profit corporation develops guidance, navigation, and control technologies for aircraft ... Read more

Mission: To serve the national interest in applied research, engineering development, education, & technology transfer by
· Helping our sponsors clarify their requirements & conceptualize innovative solutions to their ... Read more

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory – Why Work For Us?

Engineer Your Possibilities

As an engineering services provider, Draper solves problems using technology for customers in government and commercial sectors. We work in teams, both within Draper and with a range of external organizations, partners in the not-for profit and academic sectors, industry prime contractors and subcontractors and government agencies. We work with the best to benefit our clients. Our work can be vital not only to the success of end users, but also to safeguarding their lives aboard the International Space Station, a Navy submarine or an oil rig.

Our technical teams are multidisciplinary; they collaborate with cross-functional administrative business partners in finance, human resources, physical plant and more. Shared across functions is a focus on facilitating achievement of the best possible solutions for customers. As a not-for-profit, Draper is free to pursue the best solutions for customers without the biases of a profit motive.

Many staff work on more than one project at once with different teams, so adaptability and flexibility are important. On an individual level, engineers can enjoy making their ideas into technology, prototyping it and seeing it through development to use in the field.

To meet ambitious customer needs, Draper counts on the outstanding ability and commitment to excellence of our staff. Collaboration among people with varied expertise and experiences leads to cross-fertilization of ideas and fresh thinking that generates innovation. We advance technologies through independent research and development and sponsored programs, rich opportunities to learn and grow.

Draper’s work is challenging, meaningful, and exciting, while the company of diverse colleagues is stimulating, providing a fulfilling career opportunity. Explore opportunities at Draper, as a regular employee or a student, at our headquarters in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., or at one of our offices in other states.

We believe exciting things happen when new capabilities are imagined and created.

As a not-for-profit research and development company, Draper focuses on the design, development and deployment of advanced technological solutions for the world’s most challenging and important problems.

We provide engineering services directly to government, industry, and academia; work on teams as prime contractor or subcontractor; and participate as a collaborator in consortia. We provide unbiased assessments of technology or systems designed or recommended by other organizations — custom designed, as well as commercial-off-the-shelf.

Draper is a recognized world leader in both Positioning, Navigation & Timing and Microsystems, with additional expertise in Precision Instrumentation, Fault-Tolerant Systems, Secure & Assured Systems, Autonomous Systems, Image & Data Analytics, Human Systems Technology, Materials Engineering & Microfabrication, and Biomedical Solutions. With a strong commitment to deliver working solutions, we apply ourselves to a variety of domains from space to undersea—and many areas in between.

We build working prototypes for field testing, accelerating design iterations; and we complete small production runs. We work with commercial partners to transition our technology to commercial large-volume production, including licensing intellectual property, and provide life-cycle support, including technology refresh.

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., is named after its founder, Dr. Charles Stark Draper, the “father of inertial navigation.”

A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Doc Draper founded a teaching laboratory in the 1930s that by the 1950s grew into the sophisticated engineering organization that designed and developed the world’s most accurate and reliable guidance systems and instruments for intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as the highly precise, ultra-reliable guidance and control systems needed to guide the first astronauts to the moon and back safely to Earth in 1969.

That laboratory became an independent not-for-profit in 1973. Since becoming independent, Draper has sustained its preeminence in guidance, navigation and control technology and has expanded its expertise in other areas, including microelectromechanical systems and electronics packaging. It continues its long service to the U.S. Navy and NASA while providing solutions to problems of national importance for and with many other organizations in government, industry and academia.

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Reviews

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    I worked at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory full-time (More than 10 years)


    Nice working environment, good people, progressive


    Positions easily replace by outsourcing, but that's business

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Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Photos

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory photo of: Welcome to Draper!
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory photo of: One of our engineers working in the System Fabrication lab.
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory photo of: One of our engineers working in the System Fabrication lab.
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory photo of: Individual lab stations.
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory photo of: Engineers working in an optics lab.
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory photo of: Open seating outside conference rooms.
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Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Interviews



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Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview


    Senior Member of Technical Staff Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
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    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (Cambridge, MA).


    Applied online. No phone interview, brought me in for an in person interview that included meeting members of the related research groups and a one hour technical presentation on my research background.

    Interview Questions

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Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Awards & Accolades

  • Top 50 Employers - Readers' Choice, Equal Opportunity Publications, 2012

Pledges & Certifications

Veteran Hiring Commitment

Committed to helping America's military veterans find work

Tech Hiring Commitment

Helping to train, hire and promote more technology workers

Diversity Commitment

Has programs that support a diverse and inclusive workforce

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