Head of Ground Structures Engineering

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

As the Head of Ground Structures, you will lead the development, design, build, and commissioning of ground structural systems at ABL to support the operations and launch of RS1, ranging from launch mounts to vehicle handling equipment to flame diverters. You will have the opportunity to manage a small team of engineers working to develop innovative deployable launch solutions that enable the rapid deployment and launch of RS1, and future launch solutions.  This is a role that contributes to every mission and every flight we fly as we continue to reimagine the future of space launches.


    • Architect and complete detailed design of complex ground structures and mechanisms, to support all ABL launch activities.
    • Run a team that delivers complete, robust ground structural assemblies that fulfill internal, external, and regulatory requirements.
    • Coordinate and prioritize several concurrent programs, drive down open trades, and produce high-quality designs and documentation that emphasize reliability, manufacturability, operations, and maintenance.
    • Provide technical mentorship and subject matter expertise throughout the system architecting, design, analysis, manufacturing, and test/commissioning process.
    • Develop processes, systems, and training to improve team and company efficiency
    • Interface with the production team and other partner teams at ABL to coordinate builds, logistics, support, and requirements

Basic Qualifications:

    • BS or advanced degree in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, or a similar degree from an accredited university.
    • Experience in structural design, detailed analysis, build, and integration of large, welded structures compliant to AWS D1.1 or equivalent.
    • Strong working knowledge of mechanical system design, including components, such as valves, regulators, hydraulic actuators, pressure transducers, sensors, and control via PLC or similar.
    • Experience with technical writing and communication including engineering processes and design reviews
    • 5+ years of professional engineering experience
    • 2+ years of experience leading engineering teams

Preferred Skills and Experience:

    • Experience with Teamcenter or other PLM system
    • Experience developing systems that comply to range requirements (SSCMAN91-710, NASA-STD-5005)
    • Experience interfacing with Civil Engineers to develop ground interfaces and loads for civil construction works.
    • 2+ years creating and interpreting engineering drawings with GD&T
    • Ability to develop and interpret piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID’s)
    • Detailed experience developing and testing hydraulic systems
    • Proven ability to lead the development of complex mechanical systems.
$160,000 - $190,000 a year
The salary range for this role is $160,000 - $190,000. 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.