Lead Propulsion Engineer
With a vision for a bustling in-space economy that can support permanent jobs in space, Orbit Fab is building the fundamental infrastructure this entire economy can be built upon: a fuel supply in orbit.
Today, satellites cannot be refueled. A single-use paradigm severely limits satellite mobility and holds back the development of economic activities in space. Orbit Fab is building the first Gas Stations in Space™ refueling infrastructure. We develop the supply chain architecture and technology to deliver propellant in space, allowing satellites to be built for lower cost, to be more flexible and maneuverable, to be more precisely controlled, and to operate longer, enabling operations and business models that have never before been imagined..
Established in 2018, we have already flown three tankers to space; with the first one flown within one year of founding. Working closely with partners and customers across the space industry, we are making the thriving in-space economy a reality.
The core function of the Propulsion Engineering Lead is to lead and develop a team for propulsion products, subsystems and support the technical architectures and propellant roadmap for both low and high pressure systems.
The Propulsion Engineer Lead is expected to support the product development of a variety of different tasks including requirements development, system layout and design, detailed CAD work, vendor management, part procurement and specification, test definition, test operation and reporting, as well as being an active reviewer for critical milestone reviews and test plans. A successful lead will lead and guide the team to perform the system definition tasks required for propulsion and fluid transfer systems in the concept definition phase of Orbit Fab missions, the design life cycle phases as the vehicle or subsystems are handed off to the test team. This role will require balancing the technical, schedule and cost trades of the product and work closely with the Product/Program manager on meeting requirements and delivery dates.
Design and procurement of chemical propellant storage, feed, and transfer systems
Develop and procure propellant tanks and fluid system components for storable propellants
Coordinate with stakeholders to develop ConOps for the end-to-end satellite refueling process, including propulsion system performance for proximity operations, the effects of slosh, and fuel transfer operations procedures.
Lead technical reviews and effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders
- Architect a common propulsion subsystem to support multiple projects and assign resources to support program needs
Lead and own ICD efforts for the propulsion system by working with cross functional teams for ground testing and spacecraft design
- Manage, guide, monitor and grow a functional team through mentorship and technical leadership
Identify technical issues and proactively implement resolutions to mitigate schedule and cost impacts
- Provide oversight and review of project proposals, and communicate resource needs across functional areas
Provide SME input in the development of systems engineering products, spacecraft architecture, trade studies, requirements development, verification, and validation plans
Ability to act as a thought leader, communicating your area of expertise to external interests including customers, competitors, suppliers, and other stakeholders
Ability to travel (5% to 10% time expected), including international travel as needed (Pending COVID resolution).
Experience, Qualifications, and Characteristics
10+ years of experience in design, development, and/or test for spacecraft fluid/propulsion systems, mechanisms and/or components
Experience with storable chemical propellant systems or components
Working knowledge of range safety requirements (AFSPCMAN 91-710)
Understanding of qualification, acceptance, and proto-qualification verification approaches
- Experience leading and growing a multi-disciplinary team to support project development
Ability to work independently and take on own tasks, including 'blank page engineering' and engineering from first principals.
- Ability to communicate priorities to meet company objectives and commitments
- Experience managing a team budget, including forecasting with ability to pivot decisions based on actual cost data
Familiarity with spacecraft or component assembly, integration, and test
Experience identifying, communicating and driving requirement definition and discovery for customers
Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
- Track record of executing and producing space hardware from prototyping, qualification and production
Nice to Have
Experience working with hydrazine
Experience fueling spacecraft on the ground
Electric propulsion system design experience
Experience with applicable industry standards such as SMC-S-016 and AIAA S-080
Experience with both low- and high-budget space system development
Experience taking a product from concept to operation
Experience with spacecraft and subsystem environment definition (radiation, structural loads, thermal, EMI/EMC, orbital debris, etc.) and design approaches (at LEO, GEO, and beyond)
The estimated salary range for this position is $130,000-160,000
If you feel you would succeed in the role above, we encourage you to apply regardless of whether or not you meet all of the requirements listed.
Location and Benefits
Orbit Fab is based out of Lafayette, Colorado and all roles are based in Colorado. We offer fully covered benefits, unlimited time off and flexible work hours.
To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.
Orbit Fab Inc does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
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