Principal Systems Engineer

Company Details

In-Space Missions are world class experts who design, build and operate physical and digital space missions for global customers from our UK site.

Who are you?

As an experienced Principal Systems Engineer, you will have the experience in designing, developing, building, testing and operating small spacecraft. You will have a proven ability to manage risks and take pragmatic approaches to resolving technical issues. You will be working with, and leading, a small expanding team of skilled engineers to maintain and expand our current small satellite missions to help ensure projects are successfully fulfilled. You will be working with a range of customers, from small organisations to multinationals often with complex and unique objectives and requirements.

You will be educated to at least degree -level or equivalent in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline (membership of a professional body is also desirable) along with experience in most of the following areas is required:

  • Systems Engineering on a small satellite program, preferably across the full project lifecycle;
  • Technical delivery of involving complex systems, software and/or electronic hardware;
  • Spacecraft AIT and/or operations;
  • Delivery of space technology and/or space mission studies or R&D projects;
  • Technical pre-sales support during bid activity;
  • Managing and collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams;
  • Delivering and reporting to external clients;
  • Reporting project progress to senior internal stakeholders;
  • Managing suppliers;
  • Managing processes;
  • Knowledge of Space Standards (i.e. ECSS);
  • Knowledge of UK Space Industry;
  • Experience of all areas of the engineering lifecycle
  • An understand of radio communication concepts and systems
  • Knowledge of electronics hardware and software


  • Proficient in use of appropriate technical modelling tools (for example MatLab; STK and/or others such as CAD software);
  • Proficient with MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Project);
  • Excellent communicator, both written and verbal;
  • Confident working in project delivery and bid teams.

What will you be doing here?

While the primary responsibilities of the role lie in and spacecraft project delivery, the role will also require some bid support, consultancy and other reasonable responsibilities as required by the business. You will be actively encouraged to maintain a current interest in space industry developments and are expected to pro-actively identify business/technology promotion opportunities.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Mentoring and technical leadership of less experienced engineers;
  • Technical pre-sales support to prospecting and bid activities;
  • Generation of concept design and bid material;
  • Review and technical assurance of engineering work from initial concept through to in orbit operations;
  • Leading and providing technical inputs into technical consultancy activities such as customer supports, studies and R&D projects.
  • Co-ordinating and managing all technical inputs to spacecraft and mission design and development from external parties including (but not limited to):
  • Payload providers;
  • Sub-contractors and suppliers (including launch providers);
  • Users;
  • Customers;
  • Regulatory authorities.
  • Definition and/or management of requirements from Mission and System Level and derivation of technical requirements to subsystem and equipment level (with support from specialists where necessary);
  • Management and tracking of requirements through project delivery;
  • Derivation and management of all system technical budgets and margins including (but not limited to):
  • Mass budget;
  • Power budget;
  • RF link budget;
  • Thermal budget;
  • Delta-V budget.
  • Derivation, management and execution of Validation and Verification activities at a subsystem and system level.
  • Collaboration with project managers to provide inputs to schedules; risk management plans; budget management and other project artefacts as required;
  • Representing In-Space Missions at external events and conferences

You will report directly into the Chief Engineer and your work will be prioritized in discussion with them.

About In-Space Missions

In-Space Missions (ISM) are world class experts who design, build and operate space missions for global customers from our UK site. We also offer ‘Space as a Service’ by flying customer payloads on our spacecraft and by providing customers the ability to upload digital applications to operate on our hardware. ISM was founded in 2015 and has grown to comprise approximately 70 staff. The company was acquired by BAE Systems in 2021 but continues to operate as a separate business with our offices and satellite cleanrooms located in Alton, Hampshire in the UK.


We have a close-knit and supportive team, with diversity and inclusion being a key to our success. Although we are looking to rapidly expand our team, we are passionate about maintaining our small company ethos, something which is at the heart of our culture. We welcome varying backgrounds, skills, perspectives and life experiences. Here at In-Space Missions we are embracing Hybrid Working. Wherever possible, we offer flexible working arrangements to allow us to balance our work and personal life more effectively.

What can we offer you?

  • 30 days holiday a year plus bank holidays
  • Flexible Working
  • 10% Non-Contributary Pension
  • Private medical insurance and life insurance (provided by AXA)
  • Death in Service
  • Income Protection Scheme
  • Option to join BAE Share Incentive Plan
  • A fun work environment, full of opportunities for career growth
  • Team meetups, including team-building days and office parties!
  • Access to Rewards Plus- Benefits portal offering discounts to a host of retailers

Recruitment Process

If you’ve been shortlisted for the role, our Recruitment team will reach out to schedule an initial conversation and talk you through our interview process in detail.

Additionally, if you don’t meet all the criteria, please still apply. We really enjoy meeting diverse people who might bring a fresh perspective on a problem we need to solve!

Unfortunately, we do not offer sponsorship. Only those with the permanent and unrestricted right to live and work in the UK will be considered for a position within In-Space Missions. Successful candidates for this role may be required to go through Government SC clearance.


Tagged as: engineering, aerospace, systems engineering

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