Propulsion Engineer, Combustion Devices

El Segundo, California /
Engineering – Propulsion /
/ On-site
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

ABL's Propulsion Engineers design and operate the engines and pressurization systems on the rocket, creating robust machines that just work, from propellant load through to payload deployment.
The Propulsion Engineer, Combustion Devices, is responsible for the full product life cycle of a thrust chamber or gas generator. The scope of the Propulsion Engineer position is broad and multi-disciplinary. They recognize that their ownership of a product is fully inclusive - they are responsible for dreaming, designing, developing, building, qualifying, and flying their hardware.


    • Take ownership of a critical engine components (Main Injector, Thrust Chamber, Gas Generator, etc.)
    • Identify and trade strategies to meet design requirements and select the right approach
    • Perform component sizing and analysis using hand calculations, custom scripts and more advanced analysis packages
    • Execute design work, considering manufacturing and operational constraints
    • Develop, test, and qualify the product
    • Develop production methodology and support initial production builds
    • Design and build test hardware and development/production tooling
    • Analyze extensive test data, perform high-pace design and process revisions

Basic Qualifications:

    • B.S. in Mechanical or Aerospace engineering discipline from an accredited university
    • One of the following experience bases:
    • ‍2+ years of industry experience with combustion device component ownership
    • Hands-on extracurricular projects or internships/co-ops, including the design, fabrication, and test of combustion elements

Preferred Skills and Experience:

    • Demonstrated ability utilizing CAD design and PLM software (e.g. NX, CATIA, CREO/PRO-E), NX/TeamCenter Preferred
    • Demonstrated analysis capability using hand-calcs, rocket combustion device specific tools (e.g. CEA, TDK, RTE, and ROCCID), as well as finite element analysis (e.g. ANSYS, ABAQUS, NASTRAN)
    • Understanding of additive manufacturing processes, materials, and GD&T
    • Ability to program scripts in Python
    • Strong understanding of compressible/incompressible flow and thermodynamics
    • Aerospace hardware design and development
    • Writing and executing test procedures for complex hardware operations
    • Technical writing and communication including test plans and design reviews
    • Design, fabrication, and testing of fluid systems at elevated pressures and extreme temperatures

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: there is no roadmap and ABL engineers must be comfortable defining their own pathway to an objective. 
    • End-to-end ownership: projects are delivered fully complete and ready for flight; there is no one to pick up the slack of partially complete work. 
$75,000 - $130,000 a year
The salary range for this role is $75,000 - $130,000. 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, permanent residents, asylees, and refugees) 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.