Head of Turbomachinery

El Segundo, California
Engineering – Propulsion /
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 Turbomachinery at ABL, you will be responsible for building and leading a team of engineers to design, build, test, and fly turbopumps for the RS1 Propulsion system. This multi-disciplinary role requires deep, fundamental knowledge of how rocket engine turbopumps are designed, built, and operated. The Head of Turbomachinery sets the roadmap for the organization, establishes design and test standards, serves as the primary interface to the partner domains, and takes a hands-on role in the design and development of the products in the Turbomachinery portfolio. A successful leader in this position cultivates strong relationships across engineering, production, quality, and supply chain teams and builds a team of high-quality engineering professionals.


    • Build and lead a successful Turbomachinery engineering team, setting the development roadmap that meets propulsion and vehicle system requirements
    • Lead design and development of turbopumps for new propulsion applications
    • Establish and maintain Design and Test standards aligned with industry experience
    • Drive reliability of turbomachinery through rigorous development and qualification testing
    • Work closely with Production Team to establish, maintain, and grow work centers and technician training requirements
    • Drive design for manufacturability initiatives to achieve cost and rate targets

Basic Qualifications:

    • Bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering or a similar degree
    • 7+ years of professional engineering experience in turbomachinery with 2+ years in a leadership role
    • Strong fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and structural mechanics fundamentals
    • Strong communication skills with the ability to Interface with senior leadership, design engineering, production, and business teams
    • Bladed component design using Concepts NREC and CFD
    • Familiarity with data analysis and data processing
    • Computer-aided design (CAD) and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) experience
    • Dedicated team player who’s excited about ABL’s first launch system!

Preferred Skills and Experience:

    • Mechanical Design experience with Siemens NX/Team Center suite
    • Thermal structural analysis using ANSYS software
    • Rotordynamic fundamentals (SAFE and Campbell Diagrams) and analysis using XLRotor or similar
    • Secondary Flow Modeling
    • Hands-on turbomachinery component testing

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: projects are delivered fully complete and ready for flight
$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.