Sr. Propulsion Design Engineer

El Segundo, CA
USD 145k - 210k
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.

From propellant loading and management, pressurant, attitude control, and pneumatics to engine systems, the Propulsion Engineer's scope is broad and multi-disciplinary. Good Propulsion Engineers recognize that their ownership of a product is fully inclusive - they are responsible for dreaming, designing, developing, building, qualifying, and flying their hardware.


  • Trade system architecture and hardware implementation options.  
  • Translate system schematics into fleshed out 3D models in CAD, considering manufacturing, integration, and operational constraints. 
  • Perform fluid system sizing analysis. Determine and develop fluid line sizes, thickness, materials, and interfaces. 
  • Design range of pressurized and unpressurized primary and secondary structures, and highly complex, integrated component assemblies.  
  • Create original CAD model and drawings to manufacture hardware.  
  • Perform component-level structural analysis to ensure component survivability.  
  • Perform combined loads analysis to determine component and interface loads. 
  • Generate development and production methodologies and support initial builds. 
  • Implement learnings from builds into assembly upgrades, incorporating production feedback into engine design. 

Basic Qualifications

  • 4+ years of industry experience in a design or development role. 
  • B.S. In a relevant engineering discipline from an accredited university. 
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced engineering environment with limited guidance. 
  • Ability to quickly apply first-order principles to predict and interpret system behavior. 
  • Proficient with CAD software such as NX, Catia, or Creo. 
  • Strong knowledge of GD&T per ASME Y14.5. 
  • Proficient with FEA tools such as ANSYS and FEMAP. 
  • Hands-on end-to-end project experience building complex components and/or assemblies. 

Preferred Skills and Experience

  • 6+ years of industry experience in a role designing and developing complex integrated hardware assemblies. 
  • Ability to assess technical requirements from component owners, stage systems engineers, and other domains.  
  • Ability to coach best practices in system design and analysis. 
  • Strong understanding of compressible and incompressible flow fundamentals. 
  • Ability to drive multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Experience developing automated workflows and processes to improve team efficiency and product throughput.  

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. 
  • Cross-domain ownership: ABL engineers are well-informed on how their product fits into larger systems and understand how those systems work.  
  • Cross-team communication: ABL engineers offer transparency into their project designs and timelines, and proactively gather inputs and communicate decisions across domains. 

Physical Requirements/Work Environments:

  • Ability to sit or stand for extended periods of time 
  • Ability to life 50 pounds with reasonable accommodations 
  • Ability to use a computer to complete assignments 
  • Ability to communicate with individuals and groups in person, by phone and telepresence 
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee will typically work in an office environment


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.

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