SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.

SR. PROPULSION DEVELOPMENT ENGINEER (MERLIN)

The Propulsion Development Engineer role is responsible for taking hardware from concept through to flight (and re-flight) operations, and everything in between. Drive all processes necessary to effectively and safely fly world-changing launch vehicles. Work with brilliant, passionate engineers to rapidly develop methods to achieve airline-like operations for the most reliable rocket engines in the world.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Perform design, analysis, development engineering, and flight operations tasks for Merlin engine propulsion systems
  • Align resources to accomplish key objectives, assign clear accountability for important objectives, and set the performance bar at the highest standard of excellence
  • Enable high launch cadence with unparalleled reliability through automated analysis of test and flight data via coding – expand existing capabilities and develop new algorithms to improve reliability and thoroughness of all engineering processes
  • Interact with engineers and technicians from all disciplines, including production, test, launch, avionics, GNC (guidance, navigation & control), flight and ground software, mission management, flight reliability, and more
  • Work closely with commercial and governmental customers to ensure 100% mission success
  • Develop test plans and analyze test results in support of our Texas rocket test facility
  • Fully own critical spaceflight hardware – every employee at SpaceX assumes profound responsibility for their hardware
  • Exercise risk-conscious decision-making skills under pressure
  • Implement and maintain rigorous hardware and software verification and validation processes through practical application of automation and process controls
  • Work with engineers across the company to extend and improve interoperability among existing tools as well as to standardize hardware and software practices, tools, and methods to maximize functionality/value while minimizing future overhead/obsolescence
  • Practice flexible prioritization and scope management in order to deliver on group directives

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • 5+ years of professional experience working with engines or fluid systems
  • Experience using CAD to design parts/assemblies
  • Experience developing hardware from concept to working prototypes

PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:

  • Master’s degree in mechanical engineering or aeronautical/astronautical engineering
  • 8+ years of professional experience working with engines or fluid systems
  • Demonstrable proficiency in the basic principles of compressible and incompressible flow, thermodynamics, thermochemistry, mechanics, and materials.
  • A passion for product design and manufacturing excellence
  • Understanding of engineering fundamentals and the ability to perform basic analysis
  • Analytical/scientific programming experience (Python, Matlab, Excel, etc.)
  • Liquid rocket engine development experience and/or experience working with pressurized fluid components such as valves and/or pneumatic systems
  • Demonstrated track record of success in a rapidly growing, changing and highly technical environment - ability to act and execute in a scrappy, entrepreneurial manner against tight timelines and aggressive schedules
  • Professional experience using Siemens NX (Unigraphics), ANSYS or Fluent
  • Familiarity with basic concepts of control systems
  • Experience certifying commercial products for governmental use
  • Great attitude in the face of extreme challenges

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Willingness to travel in support of launching and testing of hardware

ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.  

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX 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, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.

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