Virgin Orbit, LLC

Propulsion Advanced Manufacturing 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.



Propulsion Advanced Manufacturing Engineer 


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Propulsion Advanced Manufacturing Engineer.  If you join us in this position you will be supporting additive manufacturing and materials & process development for liquid rocket engine hardware at Virgin Orbit. This role has an overall emphasis on hardware produced via Powder Bed Fusion metal additive but it also involves wide-ranging responsibilities supporting materials & process engineering for the Propulsion department as well as the large-format Directed Energy Deposition hybrid manufacturing platforms VO operates. You will also act as a key link between Virgin Orbit and material and post-processing suppliers. 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 and qualify materials for rocket engine hardware while utilizing some of the most advanced metal 3D printers in the world
  • Bridge the gap between R&D and Flight hardware by establishing robust processes and procedures necessary to certify uniquely manufactured propulsion components
  • Manage introduction of new and novel materials on internal metal additive platforms as well as supporting process qualification at key external suppliers
  • Develop technical and programmatic justifications for manufacturing processes of new hardware such as castings, forgings, wrought, and additively manufactured material
  • Support manufacturability improvements for rocket engine hardware that enables high-rate production while ensuring consistent and robust material quality
  • Collaborate closely with design, analysis, production, quality, and integration engineers to ensure material specifications meet hardware requirements
  • Author material studies to push the performance limits of additively and traditionally manufactured materials
  • Conduct failure investigations when equipment, material, or hardware fails to meet their performance requirements.
  • SAFELY execute test plans and procedures, troubleshoot hardware, post-process test data, and present findings to team members
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members
  • Perform other duties as assigned

What you bring

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

  • B.S. degree in Engineering or Materials Science
  • Hands-on experience and familiarity operating and troubleshooting metal Powder Bed Fusion machine platforms.
  • Relevant research and/or industry experience in advanced manufacturing, materials engineering (specifically metals), metal additive, or similar fields.
  • Familiarity with industry-standard methods for evaluating mechanical properties (including fatigue, fracture, creep, stress rupture) for metallic materials
  • Familiarity with AMS and ASTM specifications for common aerospace metals
  • 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
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 25lbs (unassisted)
  • 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.

  • Thorough understanding of advantages and disadvantages of various aerospace-grade metal alloys commonly used for space launch vehicles.
  • Basics of working in a materials engineering lab environment and familiarity with common lab equipment involved in the analysis of metallic material properties
  • Experience with statistical analysis methods for establishing mechanical property allowables
  • Familiarity with industry-standard thermal treatments for metals, braze joining principles, and/or electron beam welding.
  • Experience in CAD modeling, manufacturing drawings, and GD&T
  • Some familiarity the typical requirements for functional testing of propulsion components
  • 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’

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.