Virgin Orbit, LLC

Lead Thermal Engineer

Job Locations US-CA-Long Beach
Req No.
Regular FT


Long Beach, CA



Job Type:


Who we are




At Virgin Orbit, we are launching the small satellite revolution, enabling missions that were previously unimaginable. We are delivering Virgin’s legendary customer experience by combining advanced technology with a diligent, hard-working team. We have built a workplace and a workforce of the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today are launching the industries of tomorrow. We have engaged a diverse and inclusive community of doers and dreamers alike, empowering all those working today to build satellites and constellations that will change the world.


At Virgin Orbit, we are opening space for good. Search all of our job openings on our career portal.


Lead Thermal Design Engineer- Analysis


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Lead Thermal Design Engineer- AnalysisIf you join us in this position, you will partner with Responsible Engineers by performing in-depth thermal analysis, developing complex models and proposing alternative designs in support of our LauncherOne small satellite 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

  • Design vehicle thermal protections system in concert with other engineering disciplines.
  • Analyze proposed configurations to predict resultant unit temperature predictions and qualification environments.
  • Recommend design implementations & propose solutions that support the cost and schedule of the program milestones
  • Provide technical mentorship with junior engineers to recommend design and analytical techniques that drive efficiency
  • Assist in the development of manufacturing, integration, and test processes and procedures
  • Participate in Design for Manufacturing activities
  • Support Launch and mission operations.
  • 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

  • Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical, Aerospace Engineering or related discipline plus a minimum of 6 years of professional work experience in the aerospace industry; Masters of Science degree
  • Experience building models and performing analysis with Thermal Desktop and StarCCM+.
  • Familiarity with thermal / thermal vacuum testing.
  • Computer programming skills such as Matlab, Python, or Visual Basic.
  • Clear communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team.
  • Ability to work independently and with minimal supervision.
  • Must be a U.S. person as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15)
  • Self-driven, with a strong background in pragmatic project management, problem solving, organization, inter-team communication skills, and attention to detail.
  • Ability and desire to perform in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment.
  • Must be able to provide proof of US-approved Covid-19 full vaccination status, unless otherwise exempted by an approved reasonable medical or religious accommodation from Virgin Orbit.


Skills We Value

  • Familiarity with common industry standards such as SMC-S-016, MIL-STD-810, DO-160, NASA-STD-7002 and GSCF-STD-7000.
  • Experience with NX, Teamcenter, and ANSYS.
  • Knowledge of the design, analysis, fabrication, and test of composite and metallic structures.
  • Experience in low cost commercial space system ventures
  • Experience with air launched space launch vehicles.
  • Some experience in aerodynamic analysis.
  • Some experience in structural analysis.
  • Excellent organizational skills and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, coaching, and leadership skills.
  • Creative problem solver, able to work in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space.
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’.
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team.
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness.

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!”

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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.