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Lead Manufacturing Engineer

Lead Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing and Production - Leadership


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.


As a Lead Manufacturing Engineer , you will have the opportunity to utilize your knowledge, experience, and creativity to develop novel solutions at the cutting edge of space technology.  You will work on launch vehicles and spacecraft that will deliver satellites into earth orbit, ferry humans to and from the international space station, and ultimately extend humanity’s reach beyond the earth and moon.  You will own the relationship between our development and production teams.  You will provide input into the design and development of new and existing hardware and take a lead role in manufacturing and integration on our current and next generation vehicles.  


  • Lead the team of Dragon Manufacturing Engineers responsible for the main structural elements of the Dragon capsule – to include the primary welded structure, secondary structures such as mounted brackets and bulkheads, interior assemblies such as cargo racks and ducts and the external shell (Thermal Protection System)
  • Advise team members on technical decisions related to the team’s product and act as responsible manufacturing engineer on nonconformances and work instructions
  • Lead team in production readiness for full rate takt, and drive large-scale process improvements to rapidly achieve this. Incorporate manufacturing and production metrics to measure and then optimize productivity in all areas
  • Act as a forcing function for excellence and aggressively focus on cost reduction in every element of the production process within the area
  • Act as point of contact in daily tag-ups and weekly integration meeting, and provide updates to leadership as required
  • Create and maintain build schedules that list all discrete fabrication, assembly, and test tasks. Ensure that all hardware is fabricated, assembled, and/or purchased to facilitate the build schedules
  • Resolve and analyze manufacturing and test discrepancies, while interfacing with the quality team (resolving issues for design, fabrication, and assembly)
  • Act as system level test conductor for testing such as capsule proof and leak
  • Function as the liaison with NASA on technical issues and verification events related to the Dragon capsule, and present pre-ship reviews before shipping the capsule to Cape Canaveral
  • Develop production procedures/processes and manage the transition of components and assemblies from development to production
  • Work closely with development and design engineers, internal machine shops, and external vendors to make parts that are designed for manufacturability, reliability, and source-ability, etc
  • Drive the reusability effort with the end goal of reusing as many of the structural elements as possible (including the primary structure itself). Work will include feeding back to design on any updates/upgrades required for reusability, determining testing requirements for re-flight, and leading the charge towards full reusability
  • Review resumes and participate in interviews for new team candidates


  • Bachelor's degree in aerospace, mechanical, systems, manufacturing engineering


  • Experience with Dragon structures systems (primary structure, thermal protection system, secondary structures)
  • Hands-on experience with manufacturing methods such as hole drilling, metal forming, composite fabrication and assembly and integration work
  • Demonstrated exceptional achievements at SpaceX and/or previous companies to rapidly improve production through process improvements while focusing on product reliability and mission success
  • Highly self-motivated and organized with strong written and oral communication skills
  • Able to work well in an integrated team including daily interactions with technicians, engineers, and managers
  • Technically well-rounded and displays a proficiency in the basic principles of compressible and incompressible flow, thermodynamics, thermochemistry, mechanics, materials, and electrical circuits
  • Experience with process development, facility and line layouts, PFMEA, error-Proofing, and/or lean manufacturing
  • Experience with design for manufacturability, assembly, reliability, source-ability
  • Experience with instrumentation and data acquisition, including familiarity with LabVIEW software
  • 2 - 5 years of experience in a manufacturing environment, taking products from development into production


  • Position may require long hours and weekend work


  • 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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