Propulsion Engineer, Comet SmallSat Propulsion

Company Details

Bradford offers a challenging and diverse working environment with short informal communication lines between all levels of the organization.

Propulsion Engineer, Comet SmallSat Propulsion

We are looking for a Propulsion Engineer to join our small design team to develop, test, qualify and  manufacture the new generation of Bradford’s Comet propulsion system for smallsat applications. Comet is a launch-safe and cost-effective water-based propulsion system with flight heritage since 2018.

The Comet product line, originally developed in 2016 by Deep Space Industries (DSI) in California, was acquired by Bradford Space in 2018. With the acquisition of DSI, the Comet product line is being transferred from California towards Bradford Deep Space Industries facility in Luxembourg. The new Bradford’s facility in Luxembourg is taking over the responsibility to refine the existing Comet product line and conduct all future operations, including production, testing and commercialization.

In this endeavour, you will be an instrumental member of a small team building the new generation of Bradford’s Comet water-based propulsion system. Our small team in Luxembourg focuses on the objective of building a reliable, performing, and mass-optimised water-based propulsion system for the nano-microsatellite market and future ISRU missions/applications. As a Propulsion Engineer you will take the responsibility for the design, development and qualification of the new generation of the Comet thrusters.

The operation will aim to blend the responsible high-quality engineering practices of traditional aerospace engineering while implementing the rapid iterative development methods and dynamic workplace culture of a NewSpace style start-up.

Key responsibilities

  • Lead the redesign and development of the new Comet thruster product line
  • Review and evaluate the current product design to identify new improvements
  • Implement design improvements into the new hardware production
  • Perform engineering calculations, analysis, modelling and simulations to calculate system performance and operation
  • Produce supporting calculations and documentation for design reviews
  • Create technical documentation
  • Develop and evaluate new propulsion architectures and requirements
  • Derive engine and system requirements
  • Drive the design and selection of new components
  • Create, manage and maintain system diagrams and technical specifications
  • Develop test plans, procedures and analyse test results
  • Provide support during test campaigns
  • Conduct hardware troubleshooting together with test engineers
  • Review and update mechanical/hydraulic components to ensure they meet the required standards

Essential skills

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher education degree in Aerospace engineering, Mechanical or related engineering discipline
  • 3+ years of working experience in space propulsion systems, design, development and/or testing
  • Experience developing hardware from concept to prototype
  • Experience working with fluid systems and engines
  • Proficient English language skills

Strongly valued/desired skills

  • Solid knowledge of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, structural mechanics and materials
  • Professional experience using CFD and CAD tools (Fluent, OpenFoam, Inventor, CATIA, etc.)
  • Practical experience with hydraulic components (valves, pipes, tubes, filters. seals, etc.)
  • Experience using FEA tools for conducting structural analysis
  • Experience with spacecraft thrusters design and test
  • Understanding of spacecraft subsystems and the trade-offs between them
  • Knowledge of each phase of spacecraft components development
  • Familiarity with commercial low-cost/SmallSat components and subsystems
  • Exposure to full-lifecycle spacecraft subsystems development process
  • Knowledge of the SmallSat market and the techniques that permit low-cost missions
  • Programming experience (C++, Python, Matlab, Excel, etc.)
  • Knowledge of systems engineering practices and methods
  • Experience preparing ESA technical reviews (PDR, CDR, etc.)
  • Familiarity with relevant industry standards (e.g. ECSS, IPC, etc.)
  • Practical experience running test campaigns (TVAC, vibration, radiation, extreme temperatures)

What we can offer in return

We offer you the chance to develop a completely new generation of launch-safe thrusters to enable additional capabilities to future smallsat missions, from station keeping and debris removal to prospecting and ISRU missions in our solar system. You would take on an influential role in a new, revenue-generating company, with a mandate to focus on technical design and implementation on an aggressive development schedule featuring rapid hardware iterations. The position is in Luxembourg, a beautiful, cosmopolitan and welcoming country at the heart of Europe.

Duty station: Belval, Luxembourg, with occasional travel needed

We would usually expect candidates to have 3+ years’ experience in relevant fields. The role is open to candidates of any age, gender, orientation, that have or can get work authorization within the EU.


Tagged as: mechanical engineer, systems engineer, aerospace engineer, propulsion engineer

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