Propulsion Engineer II/III
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 Sr. Fluid Systems Engineer is to lead the engineering development of all the equipment that makes propellant flow out of our satellite’s tanks into the tanks of our customer’s satellites. This includes designing all our propellant transfer products (valves, couplings, sensors, pumps, etc.) and supporting their procurement, manufacturing, integration, and testing. All these elements must support the technical architectures and propellant delivery tech roadmap for both low and high-pressure systems, over which you will have significant influence.
The Sr. Fluid Systems Engineer is a Staff Engineer role (i.e. not a Management role). As such, you will be expected to support the product development of a variety of different tasks including requirements development, system layout and design, detailed CAD/CAM 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 candidate will provide technical leadership and guidance to the team to perform the system definition tasks required for propulsion and fluid transfer systems in the concept definition phase of Orbit Fab missions, and 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 working closely with the Product Manager and Program manager on setting requirements and schedules, and meeting requirements and delivery dates.
- Design and procurement of chemical propellant feed, transfer, and storage systems for use on propellant depots and shuttles
- 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
- Lead and own ICD efforts for the propulsion system by working with cross-functional teams for ground testing and spacecraft design
- 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
- Act as a thought leader, communicating your area of expertise to external interests including customers, competitors, suppliers, and other stakeholders
- Travel, including international travel as needed (5% to 10% time expected)
Experience, Qualifications, and Characteristics
- 5+ years of experience in design, development, assembly, and testing for spacecraft or rocket valves, fluid/propulsion systems, and/or components.
- Experience with storable chemical propellant systems or components
- Ability to read and generate plumbing and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs)
- Working knowledge of range safety requirements (AFSPCMAN 91-710)
- Understanding of qualification, acceptance, and proto-qualification testing
- Ability to work independently and take on own tasks, including 'blank page engineering' and engineering from first principals
- Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team
- Ability to communicate priorities to meet company objectives and commitments
- 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 and satellite propellant systems
- 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)
- General understanding of mechanical manufacturing processes, including machining, welding, and 3D printing
- Proficiency with 3D modeling, CAD designs, and tools
The estimated salary range for this position is $115,000-150,00k
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.