Rocket Test Operations Engineer
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.
Rocket Test Operations Engineer, Texas
The F9 Engine & Component Test Team is responsible for ensuring engines and components on Falcon 9 have been tested and qualified to function in flight conditions. Our engineers specialize in the design and execution of unique development tests for combustion devices, valves, and pressure vessels on an accelerated schedule. This role offers a constant variety of diverse engineering challenges in a fast-paced, hands-on environment.
- Develop and execute tests on gas generators, cold gas thrusters, cryogenic valves, hot gas valves, pressure vessels, and many other components
- Accept repeated ownership of a component test campaign; this includes test plan creation, stand equipment design/fabrication, new system activation, test operations, and data review
- Provide daily direction and instruction to technicians to fabricate and integrate test articles and stand equipment
- Develop and maintain test procedures, sequences, scripts, configuration files, and software
- Design, build, modify, operate and troubleshoot data acquisition and control systems, wiring and instrumentation; DAQ systems are primarily National Instruments based
- Design, build, modify, operate, and troubleshoot fluid systems; fluids include low to high pressure gases and rocket propellants (including cryogenic fluids)
- Design, build, modify, and operate mechanical systems; these include test stand support structures, heat exchangers, blast containment devices, and integration equipment
- Work with design engineers to develop test methodology and improve current and future F9 component designs
- Automate repetitive test operations; this includes identification of risks, failure modes, and mitigation techniques
- Consistently find ways to improve existing processes
- Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering or related engineering field
Preferred Skills and Experience:
- Master’s degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering
- 3-5 years of hands on experience with mechanical systems, structural systems, propulsion systems, fluid systems, flight hardware or test operations
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively in a team environment, accomplishing tasks with limited resources at a rapid pace
- Knowledge of hazardous systems (cryogenic, flammable, hypergolic, pyrophoric)
- Knowledge of high pressure system design and handling
- Familiarity with instrumentation and control components (pressure transducers, thermocouples, RTDs, strain gauges, accelerometers, flow meters, load cells, relays, solenoid, pneumatic valves)
- Experience using 3D modeling software (Siemens NX, Python, MATLAB, NI LabVIEW)
- Experience reviewing data from anomalies and identifying root cause
- Experience writing and maintaining test procedures and hardware work instructions
- Ability to read, understand and apply technical manuals, data reports, mechanical schematics, electrical schematics and design specifications
- Intermediate skill level using Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, OneNote)
- Experience with at least one coding language (Matlab, Python, C, C++, Java, Visual Basic)
- General physical fitness is required for some work areas, flight hardware is typically built in tight quarters and physical dexterity is required
- Physical effort including sitting or standing for extended periods of time, lifting and carrying weight such as materials or equipment (up to 30 lbs.)
- Work performed in an environment with exposure to fumes, odors and noise
- Occasionally exposed to work in extreme outdoor environments (heat, cold, rain)
- Must be available to work extended hours and weekends, which varies depending on site operational needs, flexibility required
- 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.