Virgin Orbit, LLC

Tool Design Engineer, Senior II

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


Long Beach, CA



Job Type:


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.


Tool Design Engineer, Senior II


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Tool Design Engineer within the Vehicle Engineering teamIf you join us in this position, you will serve as the FiberSIM software Subject Matter Expert in defining composite laminates and generating ply-by-ply engineering definition for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. You will assist in Aerospace composite and metallic part tooling definition and development.  You will assist in Aerospace ground support equipment (GSE) design and development.


If you are an experienced Engineer who thrives in a fast-paced, challenging and creative team, looking for an opportunity to expand your wings – this could be for you. This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Create flat patterns from ply-by-ply engineering definition of laminates using Unigraphics NX and FiberSim software.
  • Generate files for ply cutting and ply projection.
  • Provide tooling solutions for all aspects of composite structures production, including tooling, laminating, drilling, routing/trimming, bonding, and assembly processes.
  • Stay current on the latest technology for composite production and assembly processes and implement new technology as appropriate into the manufacturing process.
  • Responsible for developing tooling concepts required for manufacturing and for coordinating with the tooling team on design and fabrication.
  • Assist manufacturing engineers in defining assembly processes.
  • Provide technical expertise into the design of the components and assemblies to maximize quality level, minimize cost, and achieve rate targets.
  • Prepare and present design reviews.
  • Input to the production layout of the process in the facility, continually analyzing and planning workflow, space requirements and equipment layout.
  • Develop error-proofing techniques to minimize risk and assure build quality.
  • Root cause analysis of manufacturing issues in development and production.
  • Provide specifications, evaluation and implementation of new capital equipment for the production processes.
  • Evaluate alternative manufacturing and assembly processes to improve quality and cost.
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place.
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members.

What you bring

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace, Mechanical or Manufacturing Engineering or similar field.
  • 6+ years of experience in a manufacturing environment, especially where mass and cost are critical.
  • Proven experience using FiberSim software and Unigraphics/Siemens NX.
  • Experience with new part introduction for composite structures; including trimming, drilling, structural bonding, and assembly processes.
  • Demonstrated experience reducing composite production costs and in lean manufacturing.
  • Capacity and rate planning experience for manual work centers and capital equipment.
  • Expertise in composite manufacturing processes, such as; manual layup, fiber placement, winding, bulk and sheet molding, bonding, co-curing, co-bonding, bagging and curing, oven and autoclave operation, and composite repairs.
  • Good at freehand concept sketching to clearly communicate your ideas.
  • Work in a developmental, concurrent design / build environment where definition of requirements might be lacking and part designs are changing.
  • Self-driven, with a strong background in pragmatic project management, problem solving, organization, inter-team communication skills, and attention to detail.
  • 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 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

  • Demonstrated experience in new product introductions within aerospace, aviation or automotive.
  • Knowledge and understanding of lean manufacturing and its application to low and medium volume production programs.
  • Experience with Teamcenter, Oracle is a plus.
  • Exposure to finite element analysis software, hand calculations and report writing of results.
  • Familiar with the use of PFMEAs to reduce risk to the manufacturing process.
  • Creative problem solver; able to work in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal, coaching, and leadership skills.
  • 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. 

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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.