Senior Propulsion Stage 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 a Senior Propulsion Stage Systems Engineer supporting Stage 1 of the LauncherOne Rocket. If you join us in this position, you will be a technical leader in design, development and test of engine and/or propellant & pressurant management components, subassemblies and systems for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. This role is for an experienced hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. The ideal candidate would be a cross functional leader with both component and systems level experience with liquid rocket engines, fluid handling, vehicle stages and systems, operations, sensors and instrumentation. This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Systems trade studies, design, and architecture of pump-fed liquid rocket engines, including component sizing, loads determination, and plumbing routing.
  • Component and system design of fluid systems.
  • Perform structural analysis, fluid analysis, execute development, qualification, and manage coordination of test articles and flight hardware manufacture with other internal stakeholders.
  • Create and manage test development and qualification plans where required.
  • Occasional support of stage system analysis such as ullage collapse, propellant slosh, propellant settling, and gas budgets for configuration changes, risk buy down, and design trade studies.
  • Analysis and interpretation of test and flight data, as well as managing any anomaly root cause analysis and corrective action.
  • General project ownership and management for all things Stage 1 propulsion pressure management system related (Hardware change, system impact, anomaly resolution, integration support for assembly of flight vehicles, operations support, data review, system analysis for risk buy-down, requirements management, and launch campaign product leader for chief engineering). Have production and integration accountability and active involvement in the shop floor build process.
  • Work with other stage systems engineers on generation and maintenance of analytical stage system models and anchoring of models to stage test data to guide design and operational decisions.
  • Management of test data, hardware configuration logs, and coordination of development activities with other departments.
  • Make development decisions based on risk, technical merit, cost, and schedule metrics.
  • Operate on console for critical vehicle operations such as Wet Dress Rehearsal and Launch.
  • Manage product risks and be able to balance schedule pressure vs quality, and communicate concerns clearly to chief engineering with proposed path forward/rationales.
  • Coordinate and manage interdisciplinary projects that impact functional groups across the program.
  • Mentor other propulsion stage systems responsible engineers.
  • Development and execution of standards and specifications for propulsion stage systems to ensure refinement of our engineering methodologies.
  • Communicate results verbally and through written reports and tracking tickets clearly and concisely.
  • Make suggestions and take the lead on continuous improvements and associated actions.
  • 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’s Degree in Engineering
  • Minimum 5 years of related experience in liquid propellant launch vehicles
  • Experience with rocket development, design, and/or test operations
  • Capable of solving complex problems with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team
  • Rigorous attention to detail
  • Strong work ethic and a self-starter
  • 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
  • Able to spend up to 25% time at our rocket engine and stage test site in Mojave, CA
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods – 8 hours minimum
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 25lbs (unassisted)

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

  • Familiarity with all or some of the following software packages: Teamcenter, MATLAB, NX, ANSYS, ROCETS, GFSSP, SINDA/FLUINT
  • Experience in low cost commercial space system ventures desired
  • Experience with air launched space launch vehicles or aircraft systems desired
  • 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.

Tagged as: liquid propellant launch vehicles, rocket development, system design of fluid systems

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