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Position

Senior Project Engineer- Propulsion

Company
Company
The Aerospace Corporation
Place
Center, TX
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Added: April 16, 2024
The Aerospace Corporation is the trusted partner to the nation’s space programs, solving the hardest problems and providing unmatched technical expertise. As the operator of a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), we are broadly engaged across all aspects of space— delivering innovative solutions that span satellite, launch, ground, and cyber systems for defense, civil and commercial customers. When you join our team, you’ll be part of a special collection of problem solvers, thought leaders, and innovators. Join us and take your place in space.

At Aerospace, we are committed to providing an inclusive and diverse workplace for all employees to share in our common passion and aspiration – to carry out a mission much bigger than ourselves.

Job Summary

The Vehicle Systems Division (VSD) sits at the center of the ideas and data behind current and future systems supplying innovative research and development; technical evaluations during the acquisition process; conceptual and detailed design; assembly, integration, and test; and operational support. Comprised primarily of highly-trained mechanical and aerospace engineers, VSD provides national expertise in the areas of vehicle engineering; guidance, navigation, and controls; robotics; electro-mechanical devices; embedded systems; fluid mechanics; propulsion; thermal control; orbital mechanics; mechanisms; structures; structural dynamics; and dynamic environments.

Our Propulsion team provides expert technical assistance for spacecraft propulsion systems used on a broad range of space vehicles, from technology development through on-orbit operations. You will collaborate with our NASA customer and industry contractors to ensure the success of high-priority space missions with challenging propulsion requirements. Your work will potentially involve propulsion system development, manufacture, testing, and operations for multiple programs. You must be willing to learn a broad range of new technologies and systems, and confidently advise customers in making critical decisions.

The ideal candidate will be hired into VSD/Engineering and Technology Group (ETG) and will primarily support the Civil Systems Group (CSG) Program Office to work with NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Engineering Directorate’s Propulsion and Power Systems Division.

Work Model

This is a full-time, 100% onsite position at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX

What You’ll Be Doing

You will be supporting the development of advanced spacecraft propulsion systems for national space missions, using new technologies to allow more responsive operations:

  • Participate in the overall design, development, test and evaluation of propulsion systems, propellant tanking and delivery subsystems
  • Develop program requirements, risks, and hazards; evaluate inspection, analysis, and test products to support verification or risk/hazard reduction
  • Participate in and/or lead technical interchange meetings, hardware reviews, flight data reviews, Preliminary Design Reviews, Critical Design Reviews; plan, coordinate, manage, evaluate, and report upon analyses, studies, and tests of components and systems
  • Resolve unique or novel problems, conditions, and issues as related to the assigned propulsion systems development
  • Perform technical evaluation of chemical propulsion systems used for spacecraft programs
  • Review contractor products and NASA defined requirements to verify requirement compliance and general propulsion system efficiency and effectivity
  • Provide real-time support during test, launch, and operations of spacecraft propulsion systems
  • Function as propulsion system liaison for flight Anomaly Resolution and In-Flight Investigation reviews, capable of solving propulsion questions with low levels of information
  • Maintain awareness of NASA propulsion activities by being an active participant in technical, safety, and integration working groups and meetings
  • Prepare reports and presentations to communicate results and recommendations to Aerospace program offices and NASA
  • Develop technical and progress reports covering assigned tasks which are made available to other technical groups and agencies

Minimum Requirements

What You Need to be Successful

  • Bachelor's degree in a STEM field is required
  • At least 10 years of professional engineering/scientific experience, including experience in a systems engineering and/or project management environment is required
  • Experience with in-space spacecraft chemical propulsion systems and propellant tank / delivery subsystems
  • Experience with design, development, qualification, and acceptance requirements for pressure fed in space bi-prop NTO/MMH engines
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate and integrate solutions across engineering disciplines and diverse teams
  • Knowledge of fundamental and advanced engineering principles in aerospace, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and thermodynamics used in the design, evaluation and optimization of propulsion and propellant systems for space flight vehicles
  • Knowledge of space flight certification processes to ensure performance and safety requirements are met (including knowledge of NPR 7120, EA-WI-023, or equivalent DoD processes)
  • Knowledge in the design and development of major elements of ground test and space flight systems required to demonstrate the utilization of propulsion and propellant systems
  • Willingness to occasionally travel domestically and support customer needs, approximately 10% (as required)
  • This position requires ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance, which is issued by the U.S. government; U.S. citizenship is required to obtain a security clearance.

How You Can Stand Out

It would be impressive if you have one or more of these:

  • Advanced degree in a STEM field is highly desired
  • 14+ years of professional engineering/scientific experience, including experience in a systems engineering and/or project management environment is strongly preferred
  • Completed course work in astrodynamics, combustion, control theory, systems engineering/design
  • Familiarity with a variety of spacecraft propulsion systems
  • Knowledge of space system engineering practices and standards
  • Experience with hot fire testing or working with storable propellant chemical rocket engines
  • Experience in hypergolic propulsion systems and/or refueling
  • Experience in structural analysis capable of verifying compliance with requirements for stress factors of safety, fatigue, etc
  • Familiarity working with international partners and human space flight
  • Knowledge and understanding of the NASA and/or DoD program life cycle
  • Exposure performing in or leading technical and programmatic tasks for NASA
  • Experience in aerospace industry project management and working closely with customers and/or contractor
  • Additional propulsion experience is highly desirable

Leadership Competencies

Our leadership philosophy is simple: every employee, regardless of level and role, can demonstrate leadership. At Aerospace, our commitment is our people. To cultivate our talent and ensure that we have a strong pipeline of future leaders, we want individuals who:

  • Operate Strategically
  • Lead Change
  • Engage with Impact
  • Foster Innovation
  • Deliver Results

Ways We Reward Our Employees

During your interview process, our team will provide details of our industry-leading benefits.

Benefits vary and are applicable based on Job Type. A few highlights include:

  • Comprehensive health care and wellness plans
  • Paid holidays, sick time, and vacation
  • Standard and alternate work schedules, including telework options
  • 401(k) Plan — Employees receive a total company-paid benefit of 8%, 10%, or 12% of eligible compensation based on years of service and matching contributions; employees are immediately eligible and vested in the plan upon hire
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Variable pay program for exceptional contributions
  • Relocation assistance
  • Professional growth and development programs to help advance your career
  • Education assistance programs
  • An inclusive work environment built on teamwork, flexibility, and respect

We are all unique, from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life, yet one thing bonds all of us to each other—the belief that we can make a difference. This core belief empowers us to do our best work at The Aerospace Corporation.

Equal Opportunity Commitment

The Aerospace Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We believe that a diverse workforce creates an environment in which unique ideas are developed and differing perspectives are valued, producing superior customer solutions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, color, religion, genetic information, marital status, ancestry, national origin, protected veteran status, physical disability, medical condition, mental disability, or disability status and any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. If you’re an individual with a disability or a disabled veteran who needs assistance using our online job search and application tools or need reasonable accommodation to complete the job application process, please contact us by phone at 310.336.5432 or by email at ieo.mailbox@aero.org. You can also review Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal, as well as the Pay Transparency Policy Statement.
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