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Systems Integration Engineer, Vandenberg

Systems Integration Engineer, Vandenberg

Rocket Launch Facility - Vandenberg

SYSTEMS INTEGRATION ENGINEER, VANDENBERG

OVERVIEW:

Are you passionate about spaceflight and eager to work hands-on with flight hardware, balancing system-level knowledge with a detailed understanding of individual subsystems?  Do you have a solid electrical engineering foundation with systems integration and test experience? The Vandenberg Integration Team needs you! We’re looking for a talented new-grad or experienced professional to join our fast-paced and collaborative Vehicle Integration Team.

As a Systems Integration Engineer you would be one of the engineers responsible for checkouts on the rocket upon its arrival at the launch site.  This is a highly multi-disciplinary position with a focus on electrical conceptsPropulsion systems, avionics, flight software, etc. – if it’s used in flight, the Vehicle Integration Team is responsible for testing it end-to-endOur team is also responsible for the support equipment on the ground used during processing including electromechanical systems, power supplies, and servers.  While the rocket is on site, the majority of your time will be spent in and around the Falcon 9 conducting hands-on integration and troubleshooting.  The Integration Team is also responsible for interfaces between the vehicle and pad systems which are critical for launch and allow the rocket to be remote-controlled on the pad.  You will be at the end of Falcon 9’s life cycle as a part of the team that is the last set of hands and eyes on the system before launch operations begin. 

All integration engineers are tasked with critically evaluating current vehicle integration processes in an attempt to drive greater system efficiencies and more robust automation.  While hardware design is not a primary responsibility of this role (<50% of the time), integration engineers utilize a broad range of multi-disciplinary knowledge, drawing from industrial, hardware, software and electrical engineering to solve these problems.   In an effort to realize Elon’s goal of making spaceflight as ubiquitous and affordable as airline travel, launch site processing timelines will need to be significantly reduced from several weeks to 24 hours.  Are you up for the challenge?

EXAMPLE INTEGRATION ENGINEER SPECIAL PROJECTS:
Automation, automation, automation – In order to achieve Elon’s hefty goals of launching in 24 hours, the launch site is pushing hard for expediting vehicle processing.  While we “learn to do the process” first and foremost, we are quickly enabled and constantly required to find how to do it faster.  With that in mind, here are some projects we are working on at the launch site:

  • Automated mating of stages, utilizing the sensing system (strain gages, cDAQ hardware for analog sensing, networking the hardware together) and the motorized arm mechanism to transition time and labor-intensive process to a single click automation.
  • Automated leak check carts to automate the pressurizing and venting of our vehicle helium checkout system, nitrogen attitude control system, as well as pressurizing the stage propellant tanks while in the hangar. With dozens of hand valve and regulator adjustments per shift during pressurized system checkouts, coupled with numerous flex hose mates/demates to and from the vehicle, this fluid interface for vehicle processing is ripe with improvement opportunities. 

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide engineering expertise in the areas of test and integration of electromechanical systems in support of our launch vehicles and spacecraft
  • Conduct flight system testing and integration; ground support build; production support; vehicle power-up and functional verification; and anomaly debugging
  • Develop working knowledge of all major vehicle subsystems across mechanical, electrical, and software disciplines
  • Support vehicle subsystem production and refurbishment
  • Oversee system level refurbishment, functional testing, and validation upon landing
  • Support vehicle subsystem testing and data review
  • Participate in anomaly investigation and resolution

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in an engineering discipline
  • At least 3 years of combined project and/or professional experience in the electrical, mechanical or aerospace engineering field
  • Project or professional experience testing, integrating and troubleshooting complex multi-disciplinary systems

PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:

  • Working knowledge of controls systems, software testing, and basic structures and fluid mechanics
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Understanding of computers and programming languages (C++, LabVIEW, and/or Python)
  • Knowledge of high-reliability processes and related documentation practices
  • Passion for advancing the commercial space industry and human spaceflight
  • Strong work ethic and drive to succeed
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, autonomously driven, and demanding start-up atmosphere
  • Eagerness to apply practical electrical engineering techniques in a unique work environment to solve problems and facilitate testing

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Ability to perform job duties that require standing, kneeling, crouching, twisting upper body, working in cramped positions in small openings and climbing hand over hand.
  • Ability to work at elevated heights (up to 300 feet), including the use of ladders
  • Willing to operate heavy machinery 
  • Physical effort with climbing up and down stairs regularly throughout the day
  • Physical effort with some handling of  supplies or materials (up to 35 lbs)
  • Ability to work in confined spaces
  • Occasionally exposed to work in extreme outdoor environments – heat, cold, rain
  • Work performed in an environment requiring exposure to fumes, odors, and noise
  • When necessary, must be willing to work long hours and weekends to support launch and critical project timelines
  • Must pass Vandenberg Air Force background check

ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

  • 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. Learn more about 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.

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