Sr. Systems Engineer

Company Details

At Virgin Orbit, we launch the small satellite revolution, accessing space for missions that were previously unimaginable and fostering new ideas and technologies to create a truly spacefaring civilization. We deliver Virgin’s legendary customer service by pairing technological advancements with a clear focus on our customers’ needs. We build a workplace and a workforce for the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today will launch the industries of tomorrow. We engage a diverse and inclusive community of dreamers and achievers in a shared mission to access space to improve life on Earth.

At Virgin Orbit, we boost imagination.

Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as Sr. Systems Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will perform Hardware-in-the-Loop (HITL), Vehicle-in-the-Loop (VITL) test planning, execution, data review and scheduling. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Perform test planning, execution, data review, and scheduling of HITL and Network Stress Testing.
  • Interface with Sr. Leadership, Chief Engineer, Launch Conductor and operations teams to ensure software products meet operational needs
  • Implement process improvements to accelerate testing and increase testing integrity
  • Automate and visualize data reports across system verification platforms to enable deeper understanding of system health and keys trends
  • Provide on-console launch operations support. Monitor system health and engage engineering as needed.
  • Lead and coordinate data reviews following system operations
  • Identify and drive system level requirements down to the subsystem/unit/component level in a clear and verifiable manner
  • Coordinate and support program design reviews, such as System Requirements Review (SRR), Preliminary Design Review and Critical Design Review (CDR)
  • Lead and coordinate Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL) delivery to the customer
  • Review component, subsystem, and vehicle level designs and evaluate them against program baseline requirements to help identify system interdependencies and risks
  • Provide recommendations and take action to positively impact safety, reliability and launch operations while balancing available resources and schedule
  • Support system architecture, performance analysis, hazards analysis, and verification activities
  • Evaluate the impact of new customer requirements against the program baseline by interfacing with all affected teams
  • Work across departments to solve problems in order to meet program objectives/requirements on time
  • Participated in Manage the process for capturing, reviewing and approving changes to the launch system
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members
  • Performs other duties as assigned

What you bring

If you want to join us, you’d better have all of these…

  • MS degree in Mechanical, Electrical, Software, or Aerospace Engineering or related STEM discipline plus a minimum of 5+ years of experience OR equivalent (BS with 7+ years)
  • Demonstrate performance working with complex systems such as aerospace, aviation, or automotive systems
  • Demonstrate success in technically focused projects involving hardware design, build or test
  • Computer programming skills such as Matlab, Python, or Visual Basic or demonstrated ability to automate complex processes
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness
  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 10lbs (unassisted)

… and you should probably have a bunch of these, too.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead the development, analysis or verification of large, complex systems
  • Familiarity with common aerospace industry standards such as SMC-S-016, NASA-STD-7001, NASA-STD-7002 and NASA-STD-5001B
  • Demonstrated ability to convey complex information for technical and non-technical audience
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’

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

Our idea of a happy life: build rockets, work with brilliant people, serve purposeful customers, and open access to space. Sir Richard Branson’s belief is “If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success.” From the very start, we have placed top priority on growing and fostering a team of creative, diverse, and talented women and men. In the words of Sir Richard Branson “We believe it’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!”


Virgin Orbit is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Orbit 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.

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