Principal Thermal Engineer

Atlanta, GA / Los Angeles, CA
Engineering – Vehicle Analysis /
Full-time /
Hermeus is an aerospace and defense technology company founded to radically accelerate air travel by delivering hypersonic aircraft. The company aims to develop hypersonic aircraft quickly and cost-effectively by integrating hardware-rich, iterative development with modern computing and autonomy. This approach has been validated through design, build, and test of the company’s first combined turbojet-ramjet engine and is now being scaled through its first flight vehicle program, Quarterhorse. Hermeus is also developing Darkhorse — an uncrewed hypersonic aircraft designed to deliver unique asymmetric capabilities to the warfighter.

As the Principal Thermal Engineer, you will lead the thermal engineering team in the development of thermal management solutions for hypersonic vehicles and propulsion systems. You will be responsible for overseeing the analysis, design, and testing of thermal protection systems, thermal control strategies, and heat transfer mechanisms. Your expertise will drive the optimization of thermal performance to ensure the safe and efficient operation of our hypersonic vehicles.


    • Technical Leadership: Provide technical leadership and guidance to the thermal engineering team. Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including aerodynamics, propulsion, materials, and structural engineering, to ensure effective integration of thermal solutions.
    • Thermal Analysis: Conduct in-depth thermal analyses and simulations to model heat transfer and thermal loads during all phases of hypersonic flight, including launch, ascent, cruise, and re-entry.
    • Thermal Protection Systems: Lead the design and development of innovative thermal protection systems to withstand extreme temperatures experienced during hypersonic flight. Evaluate and select appropriate materials for thermal protection under various operating conditions.
    • Thermal Control Strategies: Develop and implement thermal control strategies to manage heat distribution within the vehicle and ensure optimal thermal conditions for critical components.
    • Testing and Validation: Plan and oversee thermal testing and validation activities, both in laboratory environments and during flight tests. Analyze and interpret test data to refine thermal models and improve thermal system performance.
    • Research and Innovation: Stay abreast of the latest advancements in thermal engineering, aerospace materials, and heat transfer technologies. Drive research initiatives to improve thermal efficiency and reduce thermal-related risks.
    • Safety and Compliance: Ensure that all thermal systems comply with relevant safety regulations, industry standards, and best practices for hypersonic flight.
    • Project Management: Collaborate with project managers to establish thermal engineering milestones, budgets, and timelines. Monitor progress, identify potential risks, and propose mitigation strategies.
    • Mentorship and Development: Foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning within the thermal engineering team. Mentor and develop junior engineers to enhance their technical skills and knowledge.


    • Bachelor's degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering (or related field). A Master's or Ph.D. is preferred.
    • 10+ years' experience in thermal engineering, with a focus on aerospace applications, hypersonic systems, or high-temperature environments.
    • Proven track record of leading and delivering complex thermal projects from concept to implementation.
    • Strong expertise in thermal analysis tools (e.g., ANSYS, CFD software) and proficiency in programming languages commonly used in thermal simulations.
    • In-depth knowledge of thermal protection materials, ablative materials, and insulation techniques for hypersonic applications.
    • Familiarity with relevant industry standards, safety regulations, and best practices in thermal engineering and aerospace.
    • Excellent problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
    • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal, to convey complex technical concepts to diverse audiences.
    • Ability to obtain and maintain a US Security Clearance.
$145,000 - $175,000 a year

We encourage you to apply even if you have skillsets and experience outside of our current needs as we're always open to connect and discuss future opportunities.