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Test Engineer (Development Test)

SpaceX

SpaceX

Quality Assurance
McGregor, TX, USA
Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2023

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.

TEST ENGINEER (DEVELOPMENT TEST)

The Development Test Team is responsible for testing that supports every major program at SpaceX: Starship, Dragon, Falcon and Starlink. We aim to excel at operating in situations where there is uncertainty and embrace the unexpected outcomes that result from testing. Our engineers specialize in the design and execution of unique tests for engines, components, and spacecraft on an accelerated schedule. This role offers a constant variety of diverse engineering challenges in a fast-paced, hands-on, team environment.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop and execute tests at the engine and component level to evaluate hardware performance and survivability during the mission.
  • Repeated ownership of test campaigns; including test plan creation, new system activation, test operations, data review, and test stand equipment design/fabrication.
  • Provide daily direction and instruction to technicians to fabricate and integrate test articles and stand equipment.
  • Develop and maintain test procedures, sequences, scripts, configuration files, and software.
  • Operate and troubleshoot data acquisition and control systems, wiring, and instrumentation. DAQ systems are primarily National Instruments based.
  • Operate and troubleshoot fluid and mechanical systems that include low to high pressure gaseous working fluids and rocket propellants (including hypergols & cryogenics) as well as structural components and supporting infrastructure.
  • Operate mechanical systems; these include test stand support structures, heat exchangers, vacuum pumps, tooling, and fluid components such as valves, reliefs, burst disks, tubing, etc.
  • Automate repetitive test operations to increase efficiency and safety. Develop innovative processes to increase testing capability and rates, while maintaining high rigor of safety.
  • Identify and characterize system pitfalls and potential hazards then work to resolve such anomalies by collaborating with design engineers on improvements for test stands and flight hardware.
  • Ability to communicate very well in a collaborative environment. Should enjoy working on a team and be able to be work efficiently with others, including in stressful situations such as rapid pace operations and times of limited resources.

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering or other engineering field
  • 1+ years of hands-on testing experience (experience from internships, clubs or other hands-on extra-curricular activities qualifies)

PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:

  • 2 years of hands-on experience with mechanical systems, structural systems, propulsion systems, fluid systems, flight hardware or test operations
  • Knowledge of hazardous systems (cryogenic, flammable, hypergolic, pyrophoric)
  • Knowledge of high-pressure system design and handling
  • Familiarity with instrumentation and control components (pressure transducers, thermocouples, RTDs, strain gauges, accelerometers, flow meters, load cells, relays, solenoid, pneumatic valves)
  • Experience using 3D modeling software (Siemens NX, Inventor, CATIA, etc.)
  • Experience with at least one coding language (Python, Matlab, C, C++, Java, Visual Basic)
  • Experience reviewing data from anomalies and identifying root cause
  • Experience writing and maintaining test procedures and hardware work instructions
  • Creative ability to imagine and design from scratch, while retaining low cost, reliability, efficiency, and maintainability
  • Ability to read, understand and apply technical manuals, data reports, mechanical schematics, electrical schematics and design specifications

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Flight hardware is typically built in tight quarters and physical dexterity is required
  • Physical effort including sitting or standing for extended periods of time, lifting and carrying weight such as materials or equipment up to 25 lbs. unassisted
  • Work performed in an environment with exposure to fumes, odors and noise
  • Occasionally exposed to work in extreme outdoor environments (heat, cold, rain)
  • Must be available to work extended hours, weekends, and shifts, which varies depending on site operational needs; flexibility required

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:

Pay range:
Test Engineer/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year
Test Engineer/Level II: $110,000.00 - $130,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation and will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.

ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be 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.