Virgin Orbit, LLC

Sr. Propulsion Engineer, II – Turbomachinery

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.



Senior Propulsion Engineer, II – Turbomachinery


Position Summary 

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a Senior Propulsion Engineer, II to drive continual excellence into our rocket engine turbomachinery and our team.If you join us in this position, you will “Do and Guide”- you will dive in and get your hands dirty as a direct contributor, but you will also mentor and enable the next class of capable turbomachinery engineers.


You will own requirements and concepts, detailed design and manufacturing trade studies, mechanical and fluid/thermal design and analyses, engineering release, development & test support, and data reduction & performance modeling. 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 work with our primary hardware vendor to keep newer, better, and more reliable hardware continually flowing into test stands and flight vehicles.


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 pump design, hardware builds, test support, and/or data review & data reduction.

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

Your Mission

  • Engage across the full product lifecycle of rocket engine turbomachinery – requirements and concepts to flight data review.
  • Team with fellow turbomachinery engineers, M&P, engines groups, primary hardware supplier, and production to make the best possible hardware. Coordinate closely across the engineering, supply chain, and operations organizations.
  • Enable an ever-increasing launch cadence through design for rate.
  • Solve tough problems in turbomachinery design, analysis, manufacturing, and test.
  • Establish analytical methods and tools with greater capability and automation.
  • Motivate a diverse team to take pride in hard work done well.
  • Get the job done – fly increasingly capable designs.
  • 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 assigned.

What you bring

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

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering required
  • Demonstrated success in design, analysis, hardware development, and/or supplier development or production ops
  • Capable of solving complex problems with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as leader of an assignment
  • Rigorous attention to detail
  • Strong work ethic and a self-starter
  • Must be a U.S. person as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15)
  • Ability and desire to perform in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Self-driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement, inter-team communication skills, and attention to detail
  • 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.

  • 7+ Years of Experience in rotating machinery (launch vehicles a plus)
  • Familiarity with all or some of the following software packages: Teamcenter, NX, ANSYS, Matlab, SINDA/FLUINT, CFX, BladeGen, Star-CCM+
  • Understanding of the design elements of one or more of the following: impellers, inducers, turbines, bearings, rotordynamics, and mechanical seals
  • Ability to read and comprehend pump and turbine parameters and performance curves, including: psi-phi, suction margin buckets, NS, NSS, NPSH, cavitation number, and U/C0
  • Exposure to modal analysis and its application in turbomachinery (Campbell & interference diagrams)
  • Exposure to the procedural handling of turbomachines and how they integrate into a variety of liquid rocket engine cycles and their start up methods
  • Experience and comfort in both development and production manufacturing environment desired
  • Experience in full scale system testing and operation desired, with post-processing and interpretation of test data
  • 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

Salary Range

$130,000 - $160,000

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.