Virgin Orbit

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Thermal Engineer

Thermal Engineer

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 on our career portal.


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as Thermal Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will assist in predicting and mitigating thermal environments while providing design solutions 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 within a small but efficient team performing full vehicle thermal/fluid analysis in terrestrial and space environments with emphasis on structural, avionics, propellant and propulsion component temperature predictions
  • Design, manufacture and install thermal protection system hardware (insulation, active and passive thermal control hardware, etc.)
  • Be able to quickly break-down and understand the operation and environment of a vehicle component or subsystem and how thermal effects can impact its operation
  • Be able to perform quick trade studies/hand calculations to arrive at best thermal solution
  • Be knowledgeable of thermal control materials and methods and how to implement them
  • Automate recurring analyses
  • Perform integrated payload thermal analyses and deliver them to the customers comprising our launch manifest
  • Work in a multidisciplinary setting where clear and concise communication across teams is paramount to delivering reliable analyses and hardware
  • 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…

  • BS in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering or related STEM field with coursework or work experience in a thermal/fluids-related field
  • At least 2 years of professional experience working in a thermal/fluids-related field
  • Demonstrated success in technically focused projects involving thermal hardware design, build or test
  • Working knowledge of rocket subsystems including structures, avionics, propulsion, ground support equipment, GN&C, and payload accommodation
  • Computer programming skills such as Matlab or Python and demonstrated ability to automate complex processes and analyses
  • 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
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods – 8 hours minimum
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 10lbs (unassisted)

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

  • MS in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering or related STEM field
  • Proficiency with Thermal Desktop, ANSYS Workbench Thermal and/or CFD packages
  • Experience performing orbital thermal analyses (orbital mechanics, space thermal environment)
  • Experience with analyzing upper and/or lower stage subsystems, especially those involving cryogenics
  • Working knowledge of satellite operation and thermal control
  • 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.




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