Principal Software Engineer, Combustion Modeling (Raptor)



Software Engineering
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Friday, May 10, 2024

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 goal of the SpaceX combustion modeling development team is to develop first-in-class combustion simulation software that can optimize and significantly reduce the development time of the Raptor rocket engine. Work with brilliant, passionate engineers, software developers, and analysts to develop unprecedented simulation capabilities that support the rapid design of the most cutting-edge rocket engines in the world. We have no shortage of hard problems and challenges.


  • Develop and maintain a massively parallel, high performance combustion simulation software
  • Collaborate with combustion analysts and computer scientists to develop advanced simulation tools that accelerate engine design
  • Seek out, evaluate, and implement state-of-the-art features on multi-core and GPU hardware that extend simulation capabilities and improve the performance, as motivated by an aggressive engine development program
  • Support all aspects of software development as a member of a cross-functional team
  • Maintain highest standards of excellence, never settling for the status quo, with a focus on getting to Mars


  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, math, or STEM discipline and 8+ years of professional experience in software development; OR 10+ years of professional experience in software development in lieu of a degree
  • 5+ years of software development experience in C++


  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing combustion numerical methods
  • Experience developing concurrent applications (e.g. threading, MPI, CUDA)
  • Experience working with a team on at least one large (>100,000 lines) software project
  • Experience with object-oriented software design and functional programing
  • Background in scientific computing, high-performance computing, or mathematics
  • Strong skills with debuggers, performance optimization, and unit testing
  • Familiar with Agile software development techniques, particularly test-driven development, and continuous integration
  • Master’s degree in computational physics or an engineering discipline


  • Willing to travel in support of launching and testing of hardware
  • Willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed


Pay Range:
Software Engineer/Principal: $200,000.00 - $270,000.00/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 & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.


  • 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.