Virgin Orbit, LLC

Propulsion Design and Analysis Engineer (Injectors)

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.



Propulsion Design and Analysis Engineer 


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a Propulsion Engineer to drive continual excellence into our rocket engine main injectors and our team.


You will be a key resource for the injectors team, owning design and analysis of components on several main injector versions on both stages of LauncherOne.  You will be responsible for assessing requirements and concepts, detailed design for manufacturing, mechanical and thermal analyses, engineering release.  You will identify and implement design and manufacturing process changes to improve production rate, reduce cost, and improve reliability.  You will solve tough problems from concept to flight across both the 1st and 2nd stage engines of LauncherOne, and you will enable future capabilities. You will team with Engine Managers and our Manufacturing team to make things happen and keep newer and better hardware continually flowing into test stands and flight.


This role is for a hands-on engineer with meticulous attention to detail and excellent people skills. We want that rare breed who can step back and see the big picture, then tunnel into the deepest nuance with the team and execute. The ideal candidate would demonstrate prior experience in mechanical design, structural/thermal analysis, manufacturing development, and test or flight support.


This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Team with fellow combustion devices engineers, M&P, engines groups, and production to make the best possible hardware. Coordinate closely across the engineering, production, and operations organizations
  • Enable an ever-increasing launch cadence and lower costs through design for manufacturability
  • Create detailed CAD models and clear, concise drawings for thrust chamber hardware for both development and flight
  • Solve tough problems in design, analysis, manufacturing, and test
  • Define load cases and perform nonlinear finite element analysis including low and high cycle fatigue analysis
  • Create solid models for CFD use
  • Ensure technical rigor always and enable the technical maturation of new propulsion designs across the launch vehicle—faster than ever
  • Participate in trade studies, concepts evaluation, and system sizing for future stages and rockets
  • Take ownership in product deliverables and meet commitments to maintain critical program schedules
  • Motivate a diverse team to take pride in hard work done well
  • Get the job done – fly increasingly capable designs

What you bring

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

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (engineering, physics, or chemistry)
  • Understanding of structural principles relevant to rocket engine hardware, including analysis of parts through finite element modeling (FEM), and knowledge of the best practices and limitations of such models
  • Understanding of fluids principles relevant to rocket engine hardware, including compressible and incompressible flow of liquids and gases
  • Knowledge of typical aerospace materials and material property sources
  • Experience in hardware design
  • Problem solving capability ranging from first principals and hand calculations through detailed analytical modeling, and a good grasp of which level of analysis is most appropriate to a given situation
  • Capable of solving complex problems with limited supervision on schedule as an individual
  • Familiarity with all or some of the following software packages: Teamcenter, NX, ANSYS, Matlab
  • Ability to review low speed and high speed test data to verify requirements, decipher trends, anticipate issues, identify opportunities for improvement and verify analysis loads
  • Rigorous attention to detail
  • Strong work ethic and a self-starter
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to team and self-improvement
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness
  • 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

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

  • Demonstrated success in design and analysis of rocket engine or turbine combustion devices
  • Knowledge of typical aerospace materials and material property sources
  • Familiarity with industry standards and specifications from SMC, NASA, ASTM, AMS, etc.
  • Demonstrated success in design and analysis of hot and cold structures in dynamic loading conditions
  • Understanding of the design elements of main injector manifolds, seals, and injection passages
  • Understanding of and experience designing for the manufacturing processes involved with combustion devices – including machining, welding, and casting
  • Experience in low cost commercial space system ventures desired
  • Experience and comfort in both development and production manufacturing environment desired
  • Experience in rocket engine test and flight operations desired
  • 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. 


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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.