Company Details

Virgin Galactic (“Virgin”) is a vertically-integrated aerospace company pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers, as well as a manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles.

As Sr. Director, Propulsion Operations and Aerospace Ground Equipment “AGE”, you will be accountable for all aspects of propulsion operations in support of the Virgin Galactic Space Flight System as well as planning, integration, and execution of programs/projects ensuring successful development, validation, verification, and transition into service of Aerospace Ground Equipment for all vehicles in our Space Flight System fleet. You will be the leader of both the propulsion support operations engineering and technician teams supporting missions and safety for both rocket motors and air breathing vehicle systems.  This also includes the Integrated Product Team for AGE on the various vehicle Program Teams as well as Operational Teams supporting Missions and Safety. In support of the vehicles, in the Space Flight System fleet, include Spaceship 2 (VSS Unity), Spaceship 3 (VSS Imagine/Inspire), and Motherships (VMS Eve) and (VMS Dawn).

The establishment and integration of the AGE team into these vehicle programs will require leadership through all phases of the life cycle including vehicle build/manufacturing and readiness for Entry into Commercial Service. Your responsibilities will include the development and deployment of Program Management processes and tools in collaboration with the Program & Business Operations Team. In addition, you will be accountable for leading the development of program plans, including baselining, and execution within the approved baseline cost, schedule, and scope. This includes accountability for developing a cross functional team to ensure programs are executed in accordance with the gated product life cycle and Program Management processes ensuring the achievement program and business goals.

This role will also be instrumental in creating and maintaining the necessary infrastructure to safely support 400 manned space flights annually.  Significant coordination and collaboration will be required with Virgin Galactic Space Flight Operations and Safety, as well as with Space Port America.

  • Train and manage mission control operations for all propulsion systems
  • Execute the approved projects/programs with accountability for cost, scope, and schedule against the approved program baseline and provide program updates as required by the executive team
  • Develop and lead risk management process including proactively maintaining and tracking program risks and opportunities and providing mitigation plans as needed
  • Work across the organization with leadership teams in engineering, manufacturing, and support organizations to utilize existing or create best practices for project planning and steering as well as facilitating the highest levels of operational readiness and safety.
  • Oversee all hiring, training and readiness for the propulsion operations and AGE teams, to include engineers, technicians, and program managers
  • Oversee all spacecraft fuelling and defueling operations
  • Help develop and modernize the necessary facilities and equipment to support the rapid expansion of Virgin Galactic’s space flight operations. 
  • Apply technical and functional expertise coupled with leadership skills, functional expertise with an unwavering commitment to quality ensuring the successful advancement of human spaceflight
  • Regularly report to executive leadership and the broader organization the status and performance of spaceflight propulsion operations
  • Apply technical and functional expertise coupled with leadership skills, program management tenacity with an unwavering commitment to quality of work products and the evolution of our tool kit, ensuring the successful advancement of human spaceflight

What you Bring:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or technical discipline from an accredited institution
  • Experience with aviation and/or aerospace operations
  • Experience with Aerospace Ground Equipment or Ground Support Equipment development and deployment.
  • Able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and thrive in a complex product development environment with multiple priorities as well as disciplined production and flight operations settings
  • Understanding of Produce Lifecycle Management, Configuration Management, Configuration Control, ERP and MRP systems
  • Experience managing supplier program performance as part of the integrated team
  • 10+ years of industry experience in progressive technical engineering role with a minimum of 5 years in a leadership role.
  • Commitment to safety above all  

Preferred Skills and Experience

  • PMP Certification a plus
  • Primavera (P6) Experience a plus
  • Six Sigma Training and Certification a plus

Who we are

Virgin Galactic is transforming humanity’s relationship with space. By making it more open and accessible, we are connecting the world to the love, wonder and awe inspired by space travel, helping to create new opportunities for the benefit of life on Earth. Whether it’s supporting cutting-edge research missions for scientists and students, or offering life-changing experiences for the adventurers among us, Virgin Galactic is THE spaceline for Earth. Such an audacious vision requires a team as driven as they are curious – one capable of redefining the boundaries of what’s possible. 

ITAR Requirements
To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.

EEO Statement
Virgin Galactic is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Galactic is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

As part of our commitment to health and safety, COVID-19 vaccines are required for current U.S. teammates, as well as newly hired employees. As of October 1, 2021, all new hires must be able to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, (“fully vaccinated” means at least two weeks have expired since receiving the vaccination’s last dose as recommended by the manufacturer) or have a valid religious or medical exemption.  If you are offered employment, this requirement must be met be your date of hire.  Virgin Galactic complies with federal, state, and local laws with regard to accommodations related to this policy.

Tagged as: manufacturing, executive management, propulsion engineer

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