Platform Operations Lead Engineer

  • Full Time
  • USA
  • Posted 3 months ago
  • Applicants must be U.S. persons as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15). Must be able to relocate to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Company Details


Who we are

Virgin Galactic is on track to become the world’s first public commercial space line. It is dedicated to becoming a world leader in sub-orbital commercial space tourism with a longer term vision to develop other space technologies that have the potential to open space to significantly more people and users. If you are looking for a challenging opportunity that will ignite your passion for designing cool and innovative products, are exceptionally creative, are a great problem solver and can make things happen – apply today!

Who you are

Virgin Galactic (VG) is seeking a Lead Engineer for a Vehicle Platform and its associated Ground Support Equipment (GSE). This Lead Engineer will lead a team of multi-functional operation engineers in the daily execution of on-boarding, transitioning, change management, flight testing, maintenance and vehicle operations; will provide project task priorities and schedule planning, will provide direction in modifications management and issues resolution of the platform vehicles and its applicable GSE. Qualified candidates should have a strong technical background in aerospace or aviation operations, mechanical systems, structures and avionics / electrical systems, as well as composites and/or aviation/aerospace ground support equipment and have the ability to communicate business goals and objectives in support of vehicle platform operational requirements. In any of these roles, the person in this position may be asked to provide day-to-day direction to operations technicians.

This is a full-time position located in Las Cruces, New Mexico with direct work occuring at the home of Virgin Galactic’s commercial operations at Spaceport America. Any applicant who applies for this role must be able to relocate to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Your Mission

  • Leads the platform vehicle configuration base-lining and transition activities.
  • Manages the day to day change implementation, testing, integration and operations of the platform vehicle and associated Ground Support Equipment.
  • Work closely with VG Program management, maintenance, and quality and TSC Customer support and engineering to maintain platform vehicle/GSE functionality and to improve systems, processes, and operations.
  • Manage the platform vehicle project plan and provide project task priorities and coordinate the engineering activities and resource requirements with VG operations teams.
  • Track, manage and mitigate the platform vehicle risks.
  • Ensure all engineering and operational requirements are met for platform vehicle.
  • Perform root cause and correction actions for identified issues.

General duties include:

  • Provide day to day project planning, budget control and implementation in support platform vehicle operational requirements.
  • Lead VG engineers and/or integrate with TSC engineers/designers on modifications/repairs and/or change proposals for the platform vehicle.
  • Manage change requirements for the Platform MPD. Track platform NRIs, DDs, and Change requirements.
  • Identify, assess and mitigate project risks associated with platform vehicles.
  • Develop action plans to respond to and resolve issues/problems.
  • Review and propose concepts for redesign recommendations based on operational experience, reliability, maintainability, etc.
  • Maintain Platform Spares List and make the recommend adjustments/changes to reflect operational requirements.
  • Track and coordinate VG engineering project tasks and metrics associated with platform vehicle.
  • Integrate analysis of tear down and failure reports for failed vendor components (if available).
  • Communicate reliability data/recommendations back to TSC customer support.

Review and approve technical publications. Propose modifications where appropriate. Includes:

  • Review and approve repair manuals for platform vehicle. May author portions as appropriate.
  • Approve and/or review disposition for component removals and replacements.
  • Author and/or approve vehicle anomaly troubleshooting dispositions.
  • Author and/or approve Work Instructions/Engineering Reports.

What you bring

  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering, with 5+ years relevant industry experience.
  • Successful aviation/aerospace project or technical lead experience is preferred.
  • Working knowledge of aircraft and space systems and familiarity with relevant aerospace standards (FAA, FAA‐AST etc.).
  • 5+ years of experience with aerospace structures, vehicle systems, or operations desired and 1+ year of experience leading  technical projects and/or cross-functional teams.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills with high attention to detail.
  • Ground and flight testing experience of vehicle systems is desirable.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills.
  • Strong IT skills, including Excel and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tools. Computer Aided Design (CAD) experience is desirable.
  • Applicants must be U.S. persons as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15)

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.

Personal Requirements:

VG and the greater Virgin Organization has a relaxed and informal culture that encourages individuality and innovation. You will be motivated, enterprising and enthusiastic. Company culture is such that you need to be able to “check your ego at the door”, be a self starter and possess a sense of humility. You will work well under commercial pressure and thrive on being given challenges and responsibility. You will communicate clearly and be confident and persuasive. You will have a high level of integrity and understand the need of complete confidentiality.

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.

Req No. 2020-5932

Tagged as: CAD, operations, vehicle systems, technical lead experience, aircraft/space systems, aerospace standards/structures, flight testing experience, excel/plm tools

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