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Machining Automation Specialist (Propulsion Components)

Machining Automation Specialist (Propulsion Components)

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 Valve Factory team develops and builds the most advanced spacecraft and launch vehicle components in the world. Machine shop automation specialists in this group will work directly with production and engineering to develop in-house machining capabilities for these complex valves, actuators, and other fluid control devices on our spacecraft and launch vehicles, with 800+ components on Falcon 9 and 300+ components on Dragon.  These components use a variety of materials and have tightly controlled dimensional and surface finish requirements. The valves machining center will be responsible for developing the capability and processes to produce this hardware at rate meeting our internal quality requirements.


  • Work with machine shop personnel, engineers, and leadership to deploy a high-tech, highly efficient automated machining environment utilizing flexible manufacturing systems
  • Support the development of new machining processes as necessary for existing and new products, including equipment specification, tool selection, fixture solutions, and ongoing process control
  • Analyze, improve, and ensure the most efficient CNC programming (tool paths, feed, and speeds, deburr, probe cycle time, etc.) is utilized for manufacturing
  • Collaborate with process planning, production scheduling, and machine shop personnel to optimize throughput performance according to production demands and schedule
  • Integrate machinery with MES/ERP system to automate data transfer and streamline manufacturing processes
  • Track and manage the on-time implementation of process improvement initiatives
  • Create robust work instructions, the method of using tools properly and provide training to machinist and leadership on established processes
  • Sustain, review, and update established processes to sustain high performance and relevance to company goal


  • Bachelor's degree in electrical, mechanical, aerospace, or manufacturing engineering OR minimum 3 years of professional manufacturing experience
  • Experience with industrial automation design and implementation
  • Professional experience with CAD/CAM
  • Experience with lathe machining with varied materials (i.e. aluminum, stainless, titanium, Inconel)


  • 2 years of software development experience in a manufacturing environment
  • Programming experience in PLC, and ability to interpret G-code
  • Working proficiency with DFMEA and PFMEA methodology and implementation
  • Six Sigma certification
  • Ability to create and deliver presentations for IQ/OQ/PQ, PDR/CDR, and government customers
  • Ability to identify and analyze production process improvements for rate and quality
  • Demonstrated capability solving complex problems with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal
  • Experience in a fast-paced, iterative design environment within the consumer electronics, mobile handset, medical devices, aerospace, marine or automotive industries
  • Working experience in an ISO9001, AS9100 or equivalent quality system
  • Strong understanding of GD&T
  • Experience running horizontal mills
  • Experience running lathe machines
  • Able to run 5-axis programming
  • Experience with manual lathes, knee mills, and various other manual equipment
  • Experience with Okuma OSP controls
  • Experience with Renishaw Inspection+ probing software


  • Must be willing to travel up to 10% of the time
  • Must be willing to work extended hours and overtime as needed
  • Ability to lift 25 lbs. unassisted, repetitive movement, bending or twisting, using hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls, exposure to sounds and noise levels that are distracting, exposure to typical shop chemicals (coolant, solvents, cleaners) are generally required to perform the functions of this position
  • Able to stand for extended periods - 8 hours minimum


  • 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.

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