Principal Design Engineer

Company Details

Where the sky is NOT the limit

NewSpace Systems (NSS) is an advanced manufacturer of robust spacecraft components and sub-systems with branches in South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Particularly strong in the area of Attitude Determination and Control Solutions, the NSS team has more than 30+ years of experience in the industry and are currently supporting 30+ recurrent satellite platforms, 65+ prime contractors, and 5+ constellation programmes across 25 countries.

We have a permanent position for a principal design engineer to take responsibility for new electro-mechanical product design, development and verification – on various projects and while working within a multidisciplinary team.

REPORT TO: Engineering Manager


Design and develop electronics-based products for use in spacecrafts and related systems, together with their associated design documentation, test & qualification procedures, jigs and calibration systems:

  • Act as the Technical Lead during the development phase and as the Design Authority during the life cycle of the system/product
  • Attend requirements and proposal discussions with clients (external or internal), when required.
  • Derive technical specifications for system requirements based on market and/or Customer needs.
  • Analyse and decompose the system’s mission requirements into mechanical, hardware and software requirements
  • Research, develop and test theoretical and conceptual designs.
  • Work closely with the Project Manager to plan and manage the integration, qualification and testing activities
  • Simulate/test the design at various levels, ensuring that the product will work with adequate design margins and will perform reliably and consistently in specified operation environments
  • Document and review all system aspects during the design phases.
  • Interact with sub-contractors and support the resolution of manufacturing issues.
  • Support the Industrialisation team with the development of production equipment and documentation
  • Mentor and guide less experienced engineers
  • Other ad-hoc duties as required by company.




  • B.Sc/B.Eng degree in Electronics/Mechatronics Engineering from a recognized institution.
  • Experience (within aerospace or defence industry):
    • System engineering of new electronics product development (>3 years)
    • High-reliability electronic/electro-mechanic product design and realisation (>7 years)
    • Experience with environmental product qualification

Additional knowledge areas that would strengthen the application.

  • Product development for space missions
  • Degree in Space Systems Engineering (optimal) or Space Engineering background
  • System engineering degree, training or similar
  • Master’s Degree
  • Electronics design, schematic creation and PCB layout (preferably in Altium Designer)
  • Familiarity with 3D CAD software and design principles (preferably SOLIDWORKS)
  • Software development (Python, C, C++)
  • FPGA development (VHDL preferred)
  • Familiarity with microcontroller architectures (PIC, ARM, AVR, etc.)
  • Project Management (MSProject or other)
  • Familiarity/experience designing, developing, and supporting satellite actuator and/or sensor subsystems (reaction wheel, sun sensor, magnetometer, etc.
  • Experience working with Optical/Optomechanical systems
  • Electromagnetic design and analysis
  • Experience with ‘design for manufacturing’ and understanding of manufacturing processes, equipment, etc.
  • Experience working with/to recognized space industry standards (ECSS, NASA, etc.)


  • Positive self-motivated, self-starter attitude
  • Innovative – thinking ‘outside the box’
  • Leader
  • Responsible
  • Team player
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Customer focused
  • Able to persuade and influence others
  • Ability to bounce back
  • Flexible and able to multi-task, can work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment
  • Excellent time management
  • Resourcefulness
  • Ability to self-manage and set priorities

• English


If you meet the requirements of this vacancy, please apply.

Tagged as: product development, aerospace manufacturing, electro-mechanical product design

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