Virgin Orbit, LLC

Additive Sensor and Simulation 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.


Additive Sensor and Simulation Engineer


Position Summary 

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as an Additive Sensor & Simulation Engineer.  If you join us in this position, you will be broadly responsible for the development of existing process monitoring tools as well as introducing new monitoring and simulation software tools for advanced additive manufacturing systems at Virgin Orbit. This role has an overall emphasis on metallic material produced via Directed Energy Deposition methods, but it also will support Powder Bed Fusion systems. This role will report to the Propulsion Advanced Manufacturing manager. You will need 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

  • Develop non-contact optical measurement sensor systems to actively and quantitatively monitor melt pool quality of additive manufacturing platforms ranging from compact metal powder bed fusion machines to the largest and most capable hybrid DED manufacturing machines in the industry.
  • Collaborate with Production, Quality, and Materials & Process teams using these sensor tools to qualify new additive processes for liquid propulsion flight hardware.
  • Lead efforts to apply additive simulation software to advanced manufacturing applications (i.e. thermally-induced residual stress/distortion prediction)
  • Establish and thoroughly document procedures, best practices, and acceptance criteria for sensor systems and simulation techniques to enable repeatable use of these tools in a flight production environment.
  • Opportunistically apply experience in optical measurement systems to additional propulsion engineering applications such as NDI development.
  • Engage with equipment and software suppliers to ensure that tools being reviewed satisfy operational needs.
  • SAFELY execute test plans and procedures, troubleshoot hardware, post-process test data, and present findings to team members

What you bring

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

  • B.S. in Engineering or Computer Science
  • 2+ years of relevant experience in welding system process monitoring, advanced manufacturing monitoring, computer vision systems, thermal simulation, or similar related experience.
  • Familiarity with non-contact optical measurement tools such as pyrometers and thermography systems. 
  • Experience processing optical measurement output data with statistical analysis methods and drawing conclusions from those datasets. 
  • Understanding of basic operation principles of metal additive manufacturing systems. 
  • Experience writing and maintaining process documentation 
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement
  • Experience solving complex problems with multi-disciplinary teams
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness
  • Must be a U.S. person as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15)
  • 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.

  • Familiarity with current industrial additive simulation software tools such as ANSYS Additive, nTopology, or other custom or research software for similar applications.
  • A foundational understanding of computer vision systems including feature detection
  • Familiarity with common metallic hardware non-destructive inspection (NDI) techniques such as computed tomography and interferometry/shearography.
  • Experience in CAD modeling, manufacturing drawings, and GD&T
  • Strong ability to quickly turnaround competently written technical reports for consumption of other team members.
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’

Salary Range

$85,000 - $115,000

Total Rewards at Virgin Orbit

At Virgin Orbit, we are STRAIGHT UP, which means we encourage honest and transparent communication. Our goal is to help you interpret the pay range you see and understand that compensation is much more than simply base pay.  Individual compensation packages are based on candidate-unique attributes, including, but not limited to, skills, experience, qualifications, and other job-related factors.  Cash compensation is only part of the total reward package, and the range reflects a strong market-based salary.  Some jobs may also be eligible for bonus, overtime pay, weekend work compensation and differentials.  In addition to cash compensation, all Virgin Orbit teammates are eligible for equity which includes stock options and/or RSUs (Restricted Stock Units) and an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP). 


At Virgin Orbit, you work alongside some of the best and brightest, on the coolest premier dedicated small satellite launch service.  We also know that benefits and belonging are an important piece of your total rewards package.  At Virgin Orbit we offer some of the best around:


  • Robust time off with holiday shut down between Christmas and New Year
  • Better than market 401k including a Safe Harbor plan
  • Superior health and welfare benefits offering an average 90% of benefits premiums paid, including some plans with zero employee contributions
  • Financial wellness through Northstar which includes your personal financial advisor
  • Paid parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • A variety of optional benefits such as pet insurance and discounts, and remote and/or hybrid opportunity for some positions
  • Health Reimbursement program providing up to $3,000 max per year for eligible teammates 
  • Employee Resource Groups, Virgin cultural gatherings and success celebrations, professional growth opportunities, and more!

At Virgin Orbit, pay and total rewards is about offering competitive programs for any stage of your life and career. We constantly look for opportunities to enhance our programs and reward our teammates and we update our benefits offerings regularly.

Other Requirements:

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.