Sr. Propulsion Simulation and Automation Engineer

Hawthorne, CA, United States

Full Time Senior-level / Expert
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Posted 3 weeks ago

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


The Propulsion Simulation and Automation Engineer role is responsible for developing and maintaining engine performance models, as well as the software tools to anchor and exercise them. These models and tools are used day-in and day-out by engineers for the Merlin and Raptor engines, so the work impacts both the engine design process and operation of every single mission and engine test. Work with brilliant, passionate engineers to develop rapid, seamless processes to translate engine test data into accurate predictions of future performance supporting airline-like operations for the most reliable and cutting-edge rocket engines in the world.


  • Develop a detailed understanding of the physics underlying rocket engine performance, as well as related modeling and measurement techniques
  • Troubleshoot and improve the reliability and accuracy of software engine models to support engine development and production
  • Automate processes and software tools that are used to predict test performance and generate flight performance predictions for GNC (guidance, navigation, and control) and flight software
  • Develop and maintain a large Python and C++ codebase that uses engine models and their outputs to perform a variety of analyses, simulations, and data reviews
  • Support engineering teams that depend on modeling software with evolving tools and processes
  • Collaborate with engineers across the company to extend and improve interoperability among existing tools as well as to standardize hardware and software practices, tools, and methods to maximize functionality and value while minimizing future overhead and obsolescence
  • Practice flexible prioritization and scope management in order to deliver on group directives
  • Implement and maintain rigorous hardware and software verification and validation processes through practical application of automation and process controls


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, physics or an engineering discipline
  • 5+ years of professional experience writing computer software
  • 2+ years of professional experience with physics-based simulations of real dynamic systems


  • Master’s degree in mechanical engineering or aeronautical/astronautical engineering
  • Demonstrable proficiency in the basic principles of compressible and incompressible flow, thermodynamics, thermochemistry, mechanics, and materials
  • Experience working with or simulating combustion engines or fluid systems
  • Understanding of engineering fundamentals and the ability to perform first-principles analysis and uncertainty propagation
  • Analytical/scientific programming experience (Python, Matlab, Julia, etc.)
  • Experience developing software in Python and C++
  • Demonstrated track record of success in a rapidly growing, changing and highly technical environment - ability to act and execute in a scrappy, entrepreneurial manner against tight timelines and ambitious schedules
  • Great attitude in the face of extreme challenges


  • Willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.  

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX 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, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.

Job tags: C Python
Job region(s): North America
Job stats:  1  0  0
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