Senior Payload Integration 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 an experienced integration-focused Senior Payload Integration Engineer to join Manufacturing’s Vehicle & Payload Integration team. The primary objective of the position is to develop and fine-tune integration processes to enable precise, safe, and efficient payload build and integration operations. This role is hands-on and calls for an interdisciplinary engineer experienced in process development, technical writing, and customer interfacing integration operations. The position requires a high degree of autonomy, sharp communication skills, and strong leadership abilities, able to mentor developing engineers as well as work as the liaison between design engineering, manufacturing, mission management, and production teams. This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Responsible for developing processes and authoring work instructions to build, integrate, and test interdisciplinary payload assemblies in an efficient, precise, and safe manner.
  • Identify and drive technical process improvements to increase efficiency and maximize quality within Payload Integration. Responsible for ontinuously improving processes within purview to enable Production ramp-up efforts.
  • Identify the tooling and support equipment needed to support large-scale vehicle integration activities, like precision-locating operations, mechanical lifts and mates, and DAQ equipment for integrated testing.
  • Interface with Structures, Avionics, and Mission Management teams to incorporate DFM into assemblies in a timely manner.
  • Provide technical direction to both design teams (eBOM configuration, DFM, etc.) and production teams (priorities, assembly techniques, automation testing, etc.) as necessary to reach company goals.
  • Project manage the build and integration of owned hardware from design to shipment by ensuring timely deliverable releases, long lead parts are ordered, and discrepancies are addressed.
  • Hands on execution of verification testing for payload assembly hardware and supporting instrumentation.
  • Assist with transitioning the Integration team from a small scale development support team to a high rate production resource.
  • Assist with program level budgeting, scheduling, and manpower estimates.
  • 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…

  • Bachelor of Science Engineering degree in manufacturing, aerospace, mechanical, or electrical engineering.
  • Minimum of 6 years of experience in an integration environment with a BS degree.
  • Experience with new part introduction and creating integration processes for complex assemblies.
  • Experience leading integration operations including critical lifting, assembly mates, end-to-end integrated verification testing operations, etc.
  • Leadership experience as an interdisciplinary project or product manager.
  • Creative problem solver, ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams, excellent people and negotiation skills.
  • Capacity and rate planning experience for manual work centers, capital equipment, GSE/eGSE.
  • ERP and MES experience is a must.
  • Ability to operate as a “one person team.” Working within the Integration team requires highly self-sufficient individuals.
  • 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.

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

  • Master’s degree in relevant field a plus.
  • Proven track record of integrating customer payloads into a launch vehicle system successfully and on time.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills. This role is highly interdisciplinary so will require sharp people skills.
  • Experience leading and mentoring a small team of engineers in an integration environment.
  • Knowledge of two or more of the following: mechanical processes (precision drilling, heat treating, anodizing, machining, and fastening), composite material processes (trim, bonding, RTV, cork application), fluid systems (cryogenic, RP-1, gaseous Helium and Nitrogen, Process and Instrumentation Diagrams), avionics systems (instrumentation, harness integration, electrical connector mating), in addition to testing processes for each discipline.
  • Experience establishing and working in clean-room environments.
  • Considerable knowledge in lean manufacturing and its application to low mix- medium-volume production.
  • Experience working in both development and production environments.
  • Experience working in customer-interfacing environments.
  • Experience with TeamCenter and Siemens NX a plus.
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space.

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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