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.
PROPULSION ENGINEER (MERLIN OPERATIONS)
The Merlin Operations team is responsible for the successful and efficient flight (and reflight!) of the Falcon launch vehicles. This team owns the design, development, and operation of all engine-level fluid systems, from schematic design to in-flight performance verification. The engineers on this team are highly motivated and interdisciplinary, with a focus in fluid systems, but with working knowledge and relationships with avionics, flight software, GNC, stage propulsion systems, thermal and structural analysis. This team is responsible for all engine-level fluid system mission design, flight readiness, pre-operation system checkouts, post-operation data review, troubleshooting and anomaly resolution. This team fosters a culture of high accountability, being proactive, and always being enthusiastic to help each other and other teams. The experience gained in this role can be leveraged in future opportunities in propulsion and across the company, including propulsion engine development engineering, hardware and software roles, and many more.
- Perform design, analysis, development engineering, and flight operations for Merlin engine propulsion systems, derive engine and system level requirements
- Enable high launch cadence with unparalleled reliability through automated review of test and flight data
- Implement and maintain rigorous hardware and software verification and validation processes to ensure all requirements are satisfied
- Fully own critical spaceflight hardware and software processes – every employee at SpaceX assumes profound responsibility for their hardware and the success of the mission
- Define mission objectives and implement in-flight operations, drive decisions on vehicle design and operation upgrades
- Strive to optimize all per-mission work to reduce necessary engineering support and enable faster launch cadence with the goal of enabling airliner-like operations
- Troubleshoot ground and flight operational issues, develop and verify hardware and software modifications to address as required
- Practice flexible prioritization and scope management in order to collaborate on group objectives with evolving schedules
- Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline
- Hands-on hardware experience performing fabrication, assembly and/or testing
PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:
- Working knowledge of analytical/scientific programming (Python, Matlab, etc.)
- Ability to work well in an integrated collaborative team environment, including frequent interactions with technicians, other engineers, and managers
- Liquid rocket engine development and/or operational experience, and/or experience working with pressurized fluid components such as valves and/or pneumatic systems
- Master’s degree in aeronautical/astronautical and/or mechanical engineering
- In-depth understanding of the basic principles of compressible and incompressible flow, thermodynamics, thermochemistry, mechanics, and materials
- Ability to make appropriate assumptions and perform trade studies and basic analysis using first principles and engineering fundamentals
- Familiarity with basic concepts of control systems
- Strong critical thinking and problem solving skills, exceptional attention to detail
- Ability to handle high levels of responsibility and demonstrate appropriate accountability
- Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) and ability to succinctly present recommendations to stakeholders, the customer, and management
- Familiarity with vehicle test and flight operation processes, common aerospace instrumentation (e.g. pressure transducers/RTDs)
- 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
- Experience certifying commercial products for governmental use
- Passion for advancing the commercial space industry and human spaceflight
- Occasional travel in support of launching and testing of hardware
- Flexibility in working hours to support test and launch cadence
- 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.
Location/Region: Hawthorne, CA