Virgin Galactic

  • Lead Turbomachinery Engineer, Propulsion

    Job Locations US-CA-Long Beach
    Req No.
    Regular Full-Time
  • 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 the Lead Turbomachinery Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will coordinate a small team of engineers through the specification, design, development, and test for the turbomachines on NewtonThree and NewtonFour engines for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. This role will be reporting to the Director of Propulsion and is a hands-on position 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

    • Participate in system-level trade studies, ensuring turbomachinery impacts are accurately assessed.
    • Build turbomachine-level development test plans and review engine development plans and aborts to ensure the turbomachines are operated safely.
    • Coordinate the development of new turbomachines; tracking program cost and schedule; guiding design and technical decisions; maintaining and fostering the relationship with key vendors.
    • Adapt to and guide team through shifting priorities in fast-paced development program.
    • 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…

    • B.S. in Engineering required
    • 5+ years of launch vehicle turbomachinery experience
    • Understanding of the design elements of impellers, inducers, turbines, bearings, rotordynamics, and mechanical seals
    • Ability to read and comprehend pump and turbine parameters and performance curves, including: psi-phi, suction margin buckets, NS, NSS, NPSH, cavitation number, and U/C0.
    • Exposure to the procedural handling of turbomachines and how they integrate into a variety of liquid rocket engine cycles and their start up methods
    • Demonstrated technical leadership of complex problems
    • 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
    • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 20lbs (unassisted)

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

    • Ability to inspire comradery and mutual respect in a diverse team
    • Understanding of high speed data analysis methods
    • Ability to present trade studies, risks, schedules, and requirements to program management
    • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space

    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.