Propulsion - Engine Design and DevelopmentSpaceX 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 enabli
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Propulsion Development Engineer

SpaceX • 
Hawthorne, California, United States
Position Type: Permanent
Job Description:
Propulsion - Engine Design and Development

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.


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 tackle difficult problems and push the boundaries of rocketry. This is the team that will that will take humanity to Mars.


  • 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 – excellent written and interpersonal communication skills are essential

  • Work closely with commercial and governmental customers to ensure 100 mission success

  • Develop test plans in support of our Texas rocket test facility and analyze test results as your hardware is pushed to its limits

  • Own critical spaceflight hardware – every engineer at SpaceX assumes profound responsibility for their hardware

  • The candidate may one day earn a position on-console as the Merlin engine responsible engineer – the ability to think clearly and communicate concisely while under pressure is critical

Job Requirements:
achelor’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • Experience using CAD to design parts/assemblies

  • Experience developing hardware from concept to working prototypes

  • Experience working with engines or fluid systems


    • Master’s degree in mechanical engineering or aeronautical/astronautical engineering

    • 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


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


    • 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.

    Salary Range: -
    Job Ident #: 4472151002
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