Sr. Test Engineer- Propulsion at Vector
Tucson, AZ, US

With nearly two decades of sub-orbital launch experience and technology development, VECTOR needs your help in taking the next steps to push space boundaries.  

Job Summary

Innovation in space occurs when people have the freedom to imagine and to do. We are looking for other thought leaders in their fields of expertise who also believe in our vision and can work beside us to make this dream a reality. The Sr. Test Engineer- Propulsion will be responsible to coordinate and manage a team of technicians to build and troubleshoot test equipment in support of rocket engine and propulsion system testing. Responsibilities include developing site operating processes and procedures and executing procedures as a test conductor. This role is for a dynamic, self-starting individual with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position located at our Arizona Test Site (ATS) facility north of Tucson, AZ.

A typical day might include the following:

  • Coordinate, plan, schedule, execute and report out on component-to-system-level propulsion testing at the Arizona Test Site (ATS)
  • Work with Systems and Test Engineering groups to develop, review and implement test procedures for propulsion systems under test at ATS; recommend changes to test cases, test configurations and readiness criteria to ensure successful execution
  • Prepare, present and update Test Readiness Review packages to internal and external customers
  • Work with internal and external resources to ensure test stand readiness to perform appropriate level of testing per program requirements
  • As necessary, serve as Test Director, Test Conductor or other critical role during execution of propulsion system tests
  • Maintain technical specifications, schematics and operating manuals for test equipment under purview
  • Plan and oversee regular maintenance, upgrades, calibration and disposition of test stand equipment and support systems
  • Schedule both personnel (technicians, site engineers and logistics) and material resources to ensure complete coverage of requirements prior to and during test events
  • Manage execution risks and communicate impacts to schedule, cost and performance to internal and external customers
  • Coordinate with ATS Safety Officer to ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations for personnel, equipment and site safety is maintained
  • Coordinate with VECTOR Quality representatives to ensure proper handling, tracking, inspection and utilization of production and flight hardware is maintained
  • Direct, train, coach and evaluate work products of technicians, junior engineers and support personnel
  • VECTOR strongly believes in the power of the individual and seeks people who share our passion for innovating, building and flying

This job might be for you if you have these:

  • B.S./M.S. in Aerospace/Mechanical/Industrial Engineering or equivalent is required
  • 5+ years of relevant experience in:
    • hot fire testing liquid rocket engines/propulsion systems
    • activation and operation of pressurized fluid systems including cryogenic fluids
    • developing, updating and maintaining detailed test plans and procedures
    • working knowledge of sensors such as pressure transducers, load cells, flow meters, thermocouples and RTD's
    • maintenance, upgrades and calibration of test stand equipment and support systems
  • MS Office Suite (including Visio) will be required
  • Willing to travel <10% to Huntington Beach, CA facility to support test campaigns and support program reviews is likely
  • Physically able to carry and handle items weighing up to 25 lbs (unassisted)
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods – 8 hours minimum
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Operate predominantly in an outdoor setting, with limited air-conditioned office space
  • Walking outdoors over unprepared surfaces, up to two hours per day
  • Work near and around cryogenic containers, explosive fuels and oxidizers
  • Manipulation of, and working around, large structures and mechanisms, including tubing, pressure valves, elevated propellant tanks, articulated and portable shelters
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate a team of highly capable people to achieve company goals
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Must be available to work extended hours and weekends as needed

It would be impressive if you also have these:

  • Ability to interpret data, conduct anomaly investigations, and provide root cause and corrective actions
  • Ability to troubleshoot both electrical, mechanical and software issues
  • Working knowledge of National Instruments data acquisition hardware and LabVIEW software
  • Experience in the development of liquid rocket engines
  • Experience with CAD systems (NX, SolidWorks, etc.)
  • Experience with hands-on development and verification testing of prototype hardware
  • Experience with aerospace qualification testing
  • Experience scheduling/prioritizing tasks from multiple demanding customers
  • Ability to maintain a flawless safety record for the site
  • BIG vision to reshape the multi-billion launch market
  • Ability to work as a member of a cross-functional team
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team

Personal Requirements

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to be part of an innovative team that designs, builds and flies rockets? Put your skills to work and see if you have what it takes to become a part of the new frontier of rocket science. Search all of our job 

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. Learn more about the ITAR here.

VECTOR is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Each individual has the right to work in a professional environment that promotes equal employment opportunity and prohibits discriminatory practices, including harassment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.