Propulsion Engineer
Merlin Main Injector
Posted on 3/29/2023
West Athens, CA, USA
Experience Level
Desired Skills
Autodesk CFD
  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline
  • 2+ years of academic or professional experience related to combustion devices or rocket engine development
  • Bachelor's degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering
  • Master's degree in an engineering discipline
  • Strong fundamentals of structural mechanics, fatigue and fracture. Experience with stress analysis (ANSYS), fatigue and fracture calculations are strongly preferred
  • Strong fluid flow and heat transfer fundamentals, specifically propellent injection elements/methods, combustion performance parameters, etc. Experience with CFD or fluent is not required, but value-added
  • Hands-on experience with rocket engines, automotive engine design, dynamic or complex static fluid systems, etc
  • Professional experience using Siemens NX (Unigraphics)
  • Experience with manufacturing processes such as CNC mill/lathe, welding, castings, additive, etc. Proficient with the fundamentals of Design for Manufacturing/Assembly (DFMA)
  • Great attitude in the face of extreme technical and schedule challenges
  • Experience at a nimble engineering organization or in a highly technical position that required a scrappy, entrepreneurial manner to accomplish tasks with tight time or budget constraints
  • Project experience or full professional engineering lifecycle experience (design trade, CAD design, prototyping, manufacturing, testing, qualification, production, reuse) is desired
  • Demonstrated track record of excellent academic and professional achievement
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with both internal and external customers
  • Ability to deliver against an aggressive schedule, without sacrificing safety or reliability
  • Experience making risk evaluations and/or supporting root cause investigations
  • Willingness to travel in support of testing (McGregor, TX), launching, and refurbishing (Cape Canaveral, FL and Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA) (~15% of year)
  • Willingness to work extended hours and weekends as needed to resolve critical technical issues
  • 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
  • Support build, test, and flight of Merlin Main Injector Assemblies for SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy reusable launch vehicles
  • Generate accurate, precise, and thoughtfully-dimensioned CAD models and drawings, with appropriate Design for Manufacturing/Assembly (DFMA) considerations
  • Review and/or update detailed structural analysis on all the Main Injector components/systems, and confirm that they meet the required standards for structural margin, fatigue life, etc
  • Understand the detailed assembly and tolerance stack-ups required for assessing seal compression and extrusion for both static and dynamics seals
  • Work with manufacturing engineers to ensure Main Injector and key sub-assemblies are manufactured correctly, efficiently and that all processes are value-added
  • Lead ongoing design, manufacturing or reliability improvements to the Main Injector, and ensure the changes are properly qualified
  • Work with teams developing other systems on the engine (combustion devices, valves, etc.) to have a deep understanding of the implications your part will have on adjacent/supporting systems
  • Lead the resolution of issues encountered with the Main Injector during testing, flight operations or engine refurbishment in a timely fashion
  • Support M1D and MVacD engine test teams for development, qualification, and production engines. This will involve travel to other SpaceX sites

10,001+ employees

Designs, manufactures, & launches rockets and spacecrafts
Company Overview
SpaceX's mission is to make humanity multiplanetary. The company is working on a next generation of fully reusable launch vehicles that will be the most powerful ever built, capable of carrying humans to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.
  • Benefits and Perks - Our employees’ well-being is important to us and essential to our capacity to do extraordinary things. We offer a wide variety of programs to support the health, wellness, and financial security of our employees and their families.
Company Core Values
  • Make History - SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It is the only private company capable of returning a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, and in 2012 our Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station. And in 2020, SpaceX became the first private company to take humans there as well.
  • Reusability - SpaceX believes a fully and rapidly reusable rocket is the pivotal breakthrough needed to substantially reduce the cost of space access. The majority of the launch cost comes from building the rocket, which historically has flown only once.
  • Landing - SpaceX’s family of Falcon launch vehicles are the first and only orbital class rockets capable of reflight. Depending on the performance required for the mission, Falcon lands on one of our autonomous spaceport droneships out on the ocean or one of our landing zones near our launch pads.