Physical Sciences Reviews | Glassdoor

Physical Sciences Reviews

Updated March 1, 2018
18 reviews

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3.5
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B. D. Green
9 Ratings

18 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Applied R&D Opportunities in a Dynamic Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PRS in Andover, MA
    Current Employee - PRS in Andover, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    PSI provides a flexible work environment , a talented diverse staff and the opportunity to pursue opportunities to conduct research in a broad range of areas that interest you. PSI offers competitive salaries and excellent benefits

    Cons

    Research programs at PSI typically have a duration of 6 months to 2 years. You'll work on multiple projects and will have to balance the demands of contracts at different stages. It is a demanding, but also rewarding and stimulating environment.


  2. "Lots of turnover, not a real long-term job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Scientist in Andover, MA
    Former Employee - Principal Scientist in Andover, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Physical Sciences full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    For a new Ph.D in their first industry job, PSI offers an opportunity to work on a lot of different projects and get exposed to a lot of different technologies, which is a great benefit.

    Cons

    The downside to this is that your experience may be only skin-deep on many things, working for 6 months at a time on a variety of short-term SBIR projects.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "A White-Bread Workplace: non-toxic, but not very good, either."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -PSI has excellent stock options (if you stay for at least 5 years) and excellent benefits.
    -It is a very relaxing place to work; you can come and go as you please, and you direct your time as you see fit while you are working. Even the pace of work while you are there is very easy-going.
    -Within the constraints of the rigid advancement system, you are free to direct your own work: for example, I know a junior researcher who ended up writing research proposals within a few years of arriving. He just kept asking to be the proposal writer and now he's the go-to guy for proposal writing.
    -The whole company is employee-owned, with monthly meetings about the company's financial health.
    -A big pro is that the tech they work on is very, very cool. Not just "cool" in the "blog cred" sense, but also "cool" in the "technically challenging and builds my skill set/resume" way.

    In all, this company has good tech and good benefits: a very stable employer.

    Cons

    -Everything is determined by charts and tables. Your degree, years of experience, and seniority within the company directly determine everything from your salary (which is non-competitive, but comes alongside fairly good benefits), to your number of office-mates, to the size of the whiteboard you are allowed to use(!). (Example story: I once had a coworker outright told "You are clearly qualified for [next position up the ladder], please re-apply in a year when you meet the chart's requirements.")
    -The individual with whom I initially negotiated salary was outright hostile, laughing in my face as I presented my argument. Indeed, the non-engineering departments seem to have some friction with the engineering departments, and this bleeds over into the work.
    -OpSec/InfoSec is questionable: on the main campus, visitors are given visitor badges, and regular employees have no badges. In other words, to escalate your privileges from visitor to employee, merely take off your badge. The security department has raised this concern with the executive management multiple times, I am told, but the executive management does not care.
    -Ethics are questionable, too: "no matter what, always lie on your timecard and say you worked exactly 40 hours" is baked right into the employee handbook, for example.
    -Management in general is very hands-off. This would be a pro for a small startup, but at a large defense contractor like this it ends up causing a bureaucratic nightmare. Departments, project contracts, and subsidiaries are unable to get the resources they need from the apathetic executives.
    -If you've gotten this far in the review and have been wondering why I haven't discussed the engineering process, it's because there is none. For example, the hardware guys have no document control on their technical drawings; the software guys have no dedicated version control to speak of. Some departments kluge together a formal process for themselves, but that makes inter-department cooperation that much more difficult.

    In all, this is a very stereotypically "old" company, in terms of mindset and behavior. It lacks agility and is not a strong place to stay in the long term.

    Advice to Management

    This company is the exact kind of company young engineers are warned against joining: an inflexible mindset bogged down with decades of "we've always done it this way." If you focus too much on this quarter's profits, you might hurt the company's health (and therefore profits) down the line.

    Physical Sciences Response

    May 14, 2017 – EVP Defense Systems

    The reviewer acknowledges the “good tech” present at the company but fails to appreciate the environment that produces that “tech.” PSI is not a large defense contractor, which is why all this... More


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Stuck in the 70s"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Andover, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Andover, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Relaxed workplace, smart coworkers, flex hours

    Cons

    SBIR mill focused on billing, not on good work or useful produces

    Advice to Management

    Desparately in need of upper level management overhaul


  5. "Great for New PhD Grad with Hustle"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Scientist in Andover, MA
    Current Employee - Principal Scientist in Andover, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I learned so much in my year and a half at PSI, mostly because the job involved wearing a lot of hats and being very self-motivated. The compensation and benefits made the long hours worth it. I learned to manage a budget, manage a schedule, manage a team, and juggle multiple projects with competing deadlines. After my postdoc it was a nice change to transparency into the financials of the company and how the grant writing process works. I like absolutely everybody at the company, they're all very brilliant and fun to work with and learn from.

    Cons

    With such fast-paced schedules it can be difficult to get the time you need to really do the tasks right. Also, as with most companies with an engineering and physics emphasis, there are not a lot of women, so there was not a lot of understanding when it came to being a new mother. Opportunities are hot and cold, learn to diversify or else risk losing everything.

    Advice to Management

    Try to give management time to support and mentor junior employees more.


  6. "Principal Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in North Andover, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in North Andover, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time

    Pros

    Great working environment, salary, time off, benefits, flexibility and co-workers. This is an established company and is a place for a long-term career. Pay and bonuses are very fair and there is a lot of upward mobility.

    Cons

    Depending on who you work under your day-to-day can be as stressful as graduate school. Writing proposals and winning them is expected for this position and most other positions. You need to be a quick study with new topics and good in a laboratory environment.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for the excellent work environment and opportunity to work for such an established company. I highly recommend this company.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Co-Op in Andover, MA
    Former Employee - Engineering Co-Op in Andover, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    PSI is fun and easy going place to work with a great group of individuals and some interesting managers. Company is employee owned and they try to get the best benefits for their people.

    Cons

    Very little room to grow or even potential to commercialize the products being developed.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on commercializing the research rather than doing research for the sake of it.

  8. "Perfect environment to work in."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineering Co-Op in Lawrence, MA
    Former Employee - Engineering Co-Op in Lawrence, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Physical Sciences (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Positive working environment.
    Surrounded by very intelligent people.

    Cons

    Little to no downsides of management or the people there.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to invest in your new and old employees.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Interesting place to work if you can put up with unfairness"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal Research Scientist in North Andover, MA
    Current Employee - Principal Research Scientist in North Andover, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    If you have an inquisitive mind then the research is interesting. You can pitch your own idea and write proposals to win government grants. Coworkers are smart and supportive.

    Cons

    Hard to get promotion. Senior management is very conservative. Gender and racial bias exists.

    Advice to Management

    Be open minded and fair to your employees.


  10. "Senior Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Senior Research Engineer in Andover, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Research Engineer in Andover, MA

    Pros

    Good place to work for. Lot of opportunity to conduct new research and development. Supportive management structure.

    Cons

    Location far north with added commute time. Options for restaurants for lunch is poor.

    Advice to Management

    Not much


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