Propulsion Systems Development Engineer
SpaceX - Hawthorne, CA

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The Company

SpaceX is a US based space technology company founded by its residing CEO and CTO, Elon Musk, the former co-founder of PayPal. The company's goal is to renew a sense of excellence in the space industry by disrupting the current paradigm of complacency and replacing it with innovation and commercialized price points; laying the foundation for a truly space-faring human civilization.

SpaceX builds rockets and spacecraft from the ground up; including electronics, software, vehicle structures, and engines. In-house development includes nearly all flight critical custom components amounting to approximately 85% of our vehicles both by mass and by value. Our development and production efforts represent some of the most dynamic and challenging technology problems seen in any organization.

Our success is driven by a wide variety of engineering perspectives and openness to all great ideas. We pride ourselves on being a meritocracy where employees are defined by their capabilities and contributions, instead of title or tenure. We are actively seeking the best and brightest minds from all industries to continue to build our world class team.

Our employees thrive in a fast-paced engineering ecosystem focused on innovation and high levels of personal responsibility. At SpaceX we cut through the noise and believe in the essentials of hardcore engineering.

We build it, test it, and fly it.

The Department

Propulsion – Our Propulsion group brings together some of the brightest minds in the engine business. We currently build more rocket engines than any other organization in the country, furthermore the design and performance parameters of SpaceX engines are notably recognized throughout the industry. Our team built the first human rated engines to see spaceflight since the Space Shuttles Main Engines were built over 30 years ago.

The Job


The Propulsion Systems Development Engineer position is essentially an Apprenticeship for the Propulsion Stage Responsible Engineer position. The Propulsion Systems Development Engineer will work with the Propulsion Stage Responsible Engineers performing design, analysis, and development engineering tasks related to the Falcon 9 vehicle fluid systems. The candidate will be interacting with engineers and technicians from all disciplines – excellent communication skills are essential. The candidate will be on a development path to become a recognized company expert in launch vehicle fluid systems – strong understanding of fluid dynamics and thermodynamics is required. The candidate may one day earn a position on-console as the Propulsion Systems Responsible Engineer – the ability to think clearly and communicate concisely while under pressure is critical.

Typical day-to-day activities:
Create test plans, analyze test data

Perform component- and system-level development tests to resolve hardware issues

Develop fluid component performance and design requirements

Make development decisions based on cost and schedule considerations

Work with manufacturing engineers to develop/optimize vehicle fluid systems assembly and installation

Work with software engineers to develop vehicle code to control vehicle fluid systems functions

Work with test engineers to develop vehicle fluid systems test requirements

Work with launch team engineers to develop launch site checkout and countdown requirements, and develop vehicle countdown autosequences


BS or MS in Mechanical Engineering, Aero/Astro Engineering, or related disciplines is required

Proficient in the basic principles of compressible and incompressible flow, thermodynamics

Familiarity with liquid propellant rocket engine cycles, liquid propellant launch vehicle fluid systems, and components used in launch vehicle fluid systems

Familiarity with materials used in launch vehicle fluid systems

Willingness to travel to test sites and launch sites

Must be self-motivated with strong organizational and written & oral communication skills

Must be able to work well in an integrated team including daily interactions with technicians and engineers

Skilled in Excel and Matlab

Preferred skills

Familiarity with LabView data acquisition systems

Familiarity with Unigraphics NX7

Familiarity with orbital tube welding

Familiarity with machining and casting techniques

SpaceX offers one of the best environments in the world for employees to learn, build real working systems and tackle exciting challenges every day. We operate in a fun, casual work environment and have great benefits including: competitive salary, stock options, medical/dental insurance and free gym memberships. By joining the SpaceX team, you are not just a part of history, you are making it.

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, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

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 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.

Those applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resource Department at (310) 363-6000.

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