Sr. Propulsion Systems Engineer

El Segundo, California
Engineering – Hardware Engineering /
Full-time /
ABL Space Systems was founded in 2017 by veterans of SpaceX and Morgan Stanley to develop low-cost launch vehicles for the small satellite industry. More importantly, we’re building a launch system we are truly proud of – no gimmicks or over-design, just reliable, rapidly deployable launches. We’re an ambitious team with big goals and, together, we’re determined to prove that reaching space can be simple, efficient, and routine.  

When launch day arrives, we want you by our side

The Propulsion Systems team is responsible for vehicle-level fluid controls and routing. As a Senior Propulsion Systems Engineer at ABL, you will take complete, end-to-end ownership of critical distributed fluid systems hardware across the vehicle. Applying your design, analysis, and hands-on engineering skillset to develop complex fluid manifolds, secondary structures, tube assemblies, and related components from a clean sheet through to integration onto the flight vehicle. We are a group of well-rounded engineers who thrive in a fast-paced, ever-evolving work environment, completing detailed design and analysis one minute and resolving complex manufacturing challenges the next. You will need to excel at collaborating with other engineers and disciplines to produce streamlined cross-functional designs and have a deep understanding of both mechanical and fluid system problems and their interactions. With your spatial awareness, mechanical design acumen, and compressible/incompressible fluid knowledge, you’ll help architect and optimize the next generation of robust launch vehicles for high-cadence production and flight.


    • Full ownership for the design and development of vehicle fluid system hardware
    • All aspects of assigned project/product lifecycle: gathering requirements, conceptual design, system layout and interfaces, material and vendor selection, structural analysis (hand calculations and FEA), fluid analysis as required, CAD/drawing generation, manufacturing, testing, and integration
    • Interpret and refine vehicle fluid schematics (P&IDs) and translate them to as-designed reality
    • Perform fluid component sizing and analysis using hand calculations, custom scripts, and more advanced analysis packages
    • Work with structures, propulsion, and avionics engineers to ensure clean cross-functional design
    • Develop test plans for vehicle fluid systems and lead qualification/acceptance/checkout testing efforts to verify functionality. Inclusive of planning, documentation, and execution of test campaigns
    • Create and present internal and external facing technical documentation, including engineering drawings, that clearly convey design intent, adherence to standards, requirements, and specifications
    • Manage project schedules, compliance with internal and external requirements, budget, milestones, and track status
    • Interface with manufacturing engineers and other production partners to coordinate hardware integration, testing, and related activities
    • Mentor other engineers on the team

Basic Qualifications:

    • Bachelor's degree in Aerospace, Mechanical, Civil Engineering or a related field from an accredited university
    • 5+ years of experience working in aerospace, defense, automotive, or equivalent professional environments with direct hands-on experience developing complex fluid and/or mechanical systems
    • Experience in detailed mechanical component design, structural analysis, drafting, build, and integration
    • Experience interpreting and/or defining Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs)
    • Experience referencing and/or authoring interface control documents, component lists, and other key technical documentation
    • Experience working across engineering groups to define requirements and implement solutions
    • Experience with Siemens NX or equivalent CAD software
    • Experience with finite element analysis software (ANSYS, FEMAP/NASTRAN, Abaqus, or similar)

Preferred Skills and Experience

    • Experience designing mass-efficient metallic components
    • Strong practical knowledge of GD&T
    • Practical experience with prototyping/manufacturing methods including machining and welding
    • Familiarity with high-pressure or cryogenic fluid systems and associated design/operational considerations
    • Strong knowledge of compressible/incompressible flow, fluid properties, and utilities like REFPROP
    • Experience using GFSSP or other fluid network analysis tools
    • Working knowledge of aerospace vehicle environments and typical load sources
    • Experience with Teamcenter or other PLM systems
    • Ability to occasionally travel to remote launch and test sites to support operational objectives, as required (< 5% of time)

What we look for:

    • Critical thinking: ABL engineers understand the “why” behind all design decisions, operational events and test outcomes
    • Ability to deal with ambiguity: ABL engineers must be comfortable defining their own pathway to an objective
    • End-to-end ownership
$145,000 - $210,000 a year
The salary range for this role is $145,000-$210,000. This is the lowest to highest salary we reasonably and in good faith believe we would pay for this role at the time of this posting. We may ultimately pay more or less than the posted range, and the range may be modified in the future. An employee’s pay position within the salary range will be based on several factors including, but not limited to, relevant education, qualifications, certifications, experience, skills, geographic location, performance, and business or organizational needs.

We offer a comprehensive package of benefits including paid time off, medical/dental/vision insurance, and 401(k) to eligible employees.
ITAR Requirement
This position requires access to information protected under US export control laws, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and/or the Export Administration Regulations.  As such, US person status (including US citizens, U.S. permanent residents, individuals granted U.S. asylum status, or individuals admitted in U.S. refugee status) is a required qualification for this position.

Equal Opportunity Employer
We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, genetics, or citizenship status (when otherwise legally authorized to work and access export-controlled data) and will not be discriminated against on the basis of such characteristics or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. We encourage applicants of all ages.