Cognitive and Human Factors Engineer – Department of Defense


Contingent on Contract Award  |  Cyber / Intelligence  |  Washington, DC

Barbaricum is a rapidly growing government contractor providing leading-edge support to federal customers, with a particular focus on Defense and National Security mission sets. We leverage more than 13 years of support to stakeholders across the federal government, with established and growing capabilities across Intelligence, Analytics, Engineering, Mission Support, and Communications disciplines. Founded in 2008, our mission is to transform the way our customers approach constantly changing and complex problem sets by bringing to bear the latest in technology and the highest caliber of talent.
Headquartered in Washington, DC's historic Dupont Circle neighborhood, Barbaricum also has a corporate presence in Tampa, FL and Dayton, OH, with team members across the United States and around the world. As a leader in our space, we partner with firms in the private sector, academic institutions, and industry associations with a goal of continually building our expertise and capabilities for the benefit of our employees and the customers we support. Through all of this, we have built a vibrant corporate culture diverse in expertise and perspectives with a focus on collaboration and innovation. Our teams are at the frontier of the Nations' most complex and rewarding challenges. Join us.
Barbaricum is seeking an experienced Cognitive and Human Factors Engineer to provide support to the DoD's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), which is focused on on the direction, synchronization and modernization of Artificial Intelligence across the DoD enterprise. This individual will provide subject matter expertise to support to the following: Development of strategies to reduce technology and non-technology barriers to AI adoption; Ensuring relevant missions are operating consistently to identify and exploit modernization opportunities; Coordination of information flow across the Directorate and with other relevant Directorates; Management of taskers and monitoring of performance measures; Elucidation of use cases for AI; and delivering sustainable, useful, reliable AI products.


  • Analyzes system capabilities to resolve problems on program intent, output requirements, input data acquisition, and programming techniques and controls.
  • Incorporates human factors, human systems, and cognitive engineering elements into current and future product delivery programs.
  • Applies the principles, methods and techniques of user-based design with an in-depth knowledge of complex computer-based systems to support capabilities that include development of artificial intelligence solutions.
  • Defines problems, and develops and coordinates study/project plans. 
  • Determines sources of data and /or sample sizes: compiles, organizes, and analyzes data: and recommends alternate courses of action to senior leaders.
  • Follows a cognitive engineering process as required by international and national regulatory bodies and design and conduct appropriate evaluations to validate new AI technology and changes to currently fielded software and systems. 
  • Applies expertise in knowledge elicitation, systems engineering, user interface design, human subjects testing, training programs, and procedures in support of developing new interface systems and methodologies.
  • Designs and prototypes specific AI or ML solutions. Understands user needs, behaviors, and motivations. Through empathizing with the user, the analyst can inform design decisions and advocate for the user.
  • Utilizes mathematical and statistical techniques, elements of cognitive engineering, systems engineering principles, and innovative approaches to develop new solutions to previously highlighted and or new problems or problems, which may be totally lacking in precedent. 
  • Documents use cases, work models, benchmarks and system and user interface mockups to orient product delivery.  
  • Decisions and recommendations deal with issues that are not susceptible to treatment by acceptable methods and have a critical impact on the Missions Directorate, the component, and end users.
  • Demonstrates creativity and foresight by identifying, preparing, and presenting detailed technical reports and briefings on new concepts and technical directions impacting programs/projects, and defining future technology requirements. 
  • Collaborates with equipment designers and/or software engineers in the planning, design, development, and utilization of artificial intelligence applications to support the breadth of warfighting and support functions of the military.  
  • Collaborates with interdisciplinary product teams to deploy machine learning algorithms to prototype testing and production. 
  • Captures detailed observations and user feedback analyses and user evaluations on electro mechanical, disposables and graphic user interface-type user interfaces. 
  • Prioritizes user feedback, and assist the team in driving usability findings. 
  • Understands user centered design and human factors principles and develop, retrieve and communicate suitable data to support design teams in detailed product development and requirements definitions. 
  • Drafts engineering plans, conducts task analyses, writes evaluation protocols for usability research activities, heuristic, formative and summative evaluations.
  • Initiates and formulates plans and carries out project(s) through extensive and specialized original performance analyses and evaluations. 
  • Responsible for the completeness, adequacy, and validity of assumptions. 
  • Evaluates alternative courses of action and makes recommendations based on sound scientific theory and research.


  • Active DoD Secret clearance required
  • Bachelors Degree in human factors, psychology, communications, computer science, or related field
  • 8+ years of relevant work experience (6+ with Masters Degree)
  • Experience with software usability testing, including preparing test plans and associated wireframes, facilitating test sessions, analyzing data, and reporting and presenting results
  • Any usability/ UX related certification (e.g. CUA) is a plus