Virgin Orbit

Returning Applicant?

Senior Hardware Development Engineer, Avionics

Senior Hardware Development Engineer, Avionics

Req No. 
Job Locations 
US-CA-Long Beach
Regular Full-Time

More information about this job

Who we are

At Virgin Orbit, we launch the small satellite revolution, accessing space for missions that were previously unimaginable and fostering new ideas and technologies to create a truly spacefaring civilization. We deliver Virgin’s legendary customer service by pairing technological advancements with a clear focus on our customers’ needs. We build a workplace and a workforce for the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today will launch the industries of tomorrow. We engage a diverse and inclusive community of dreamers and achievers in a shared mission to access space to improve life on Earth. At Virgin Orbit, we boost imagination. Search all of our job openings— career portal


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as Senior Hardware Development Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will assist in designing, developing, and testing a diverse set of hardware components to be used for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Work with a team of hardware, integration, structure, and propulsion engineers to implement a set of requirements in order to design avionics hardware to assure safety to the public and crew.
  • Serve as the technical engineer to provide design updates to avionics analog and digital hardware designs
  • Assist in the development and integration of avionics control and computer boards.
  • Support environmental test as needed, including thermal, vibration, shock, EMI/EMC, and radiation tests on hardware components.
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place.
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

What you bring

 If you want to join us, you’d better have all of these… 

  • Bachelor's degree Electrical Engineering with 5 years' of experience or equivalent is required with professional experience in hardware development OR a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering/equivalent degree with 2+ years of experience.
  • Knowledge of a basic analog and digital hardware design concepts and tradeoffs
  • Ability to capture requirements, make trade studies, and evaluate and design a wide variety of avionics hardware.
  • Demonstrate ability to make improvements to analog and digital systems by modifying schematic capture, layout, and bring up.
  • Ability to define and implement hardware unit level tests to verify requirements and behaves correctly nominally and in corner cases.
  • Highly motivated, with a strong desire to work as a contributing member of the design team and excel in an innovative and fast-paced team environment.
  • Possesses superb oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment.
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement.
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team.
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness.
  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed.


… and you should probably have a bunch of these, too.

  • Experience with Altium schematic and layout
  • Familiarity with test processes including thermal, vibration, shock, EMI/EMC, and radiation, such as SMC-S-016
  • Experience in programming or scripting languages (C/C++, Matlab, Python) for data capture and display, and control
  • Experience with mechanical design
  • Experience with characterizing and evaluating IMU performance
  • Familiarity with different battery technologies, with tradeoffs and design implications
  • Experience working with a variety of development teams including software, test, propulsion, structures, and launch ops
  • Experience with designing safety critical hardware components and familiarity failure mode effects analysis
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’


ITAR Requirements

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.


Personal Requirements

Our idea of a happy life: build rockets, work with brilliant people, serve purposeful customers, and open access to space. Sir Richard Branson’s belief is “If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success.” From the very start, we have placed top priority on growing and fostering a team of creative, diverse, and talented women and men. In the words of Sir Richard Branson “We believe it’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!”

Search all of our job openings—


Virgin Orbit is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Orbit is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.




Not ready to apply? Build the Future with Us for general consideration.