Spacecraft Thermal Engineer

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Aerospace Corporation
Aerospace, Systems, Analysis, Performance, RF, Environmental, Research, Desktop
Full Time

Job Description

The Aerospace Corporation is the trusted partner to the nation's space programs, solving the hardest problems and providing unmatched technical expertise. As the operator of a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), we are broadly engaged across all aspects of space- delivering innovative solutions that span satellite, launch, ground, and cyber systems for defense, civil and commercial customers. When you join our team, you'll be part of a special collection of problem solvers, thought leaders, and innovators. Join us and take your place in space.

At Aerospace, we are committed to providing an inclusive and diverse workplace for all employees to share in our common passion and aspiration - to carry out a mission much bigger than ourselves.

Job Summary

The Vehicle Systems Division (VSD) sits at the center of the ideas and data behind current and future systems supplying innovative research and development; technical evaluations during the acquisition process; conceptual and detailed design; assembly, integration, and test; and operational support. Comprised primarily of highly-trained mechanical and aerospace engineers, VSD provides national expertise in the areas of vehicle engineering; guidance, navigation, and controls; robotics; electro-mechanical devices; embedded systems; fluid mechanics; propulsion; thermal control; orbital mechanics; mechanisms; structures; structural dynamics; and dynamic environments.

The mission of the Thermal Control Department is to develop, apply, and communicate thermal engineering expertise for spacecraft, payloads, and related systems to inform and enable key customer decisions. The Thermal Control Department consists of a team of experienced, trusted engineers with deep expertise in the design and analysis of spacecraft thermal control systems from component to system level. The department performs technical studies, experimental investigations, and real-time assessments to support key decisions by our customers and their contractors. This position requires a strong background in the disciplines of heat transfer and thermal engineering and their applications to space systems; and direct experience in thermal design and control of spacecraft. This is a full-time position based in El Segundo, CA, Houston, TX or at our Chantilly, VA location.

What You'll Be Doing

Provide engineering expertise in the areas of thermal control systems for satellites and other spacecraft / space vehicles and payloads:
  • Lead and conduct analysis, modeling, simulation, and assessments of designs and design concepts relating to spacecraft thermal control systems and their components.
  • Lead and conduct experimental investigations including thermal design, thermal control systems integration, thermal environmental testing, thermal model correlation, data reduction and visualization, and engineering application of results.
  • Participate in and review integration, test, and flight operations relating to spacecraft thermal control systems and their components.
  • Interact with program offices to identify and resolve design, acceptance and performance issues relating to space vehicle thermal control subsystems.
  • Provide timely and technically accurate reports to management and customers.
  • Travel to government and contractor facilities in support of design reviews, readiness reviews, technical audits, failure investigations, technical interchange meetings, launch support activities, and hardware acceptance reviews.
  • Lead and participate in the broader thermal technology community through conferences, concept development, and technical interaction with other leaders in the field. Identify significant technological developments that can contribute to the success of space projects.

Demonstrate expert knowledge in any one or more of the following:
  • Spacecraft thermal control hardware including heat pipes, radiators, pumped fluid loops, phase change materials, heaters, temperature sensors, thermostats, thermal blankets, phase change materials, and thermal switches.
  • Integration of visible or infrared sensors with cryogenic cooling systems such as mechanical refrigeration, cryoradiators, expendable coolants, and thermal storage devices.
  • Analysis of heat transfer in practice and theory, such as software, algorithms, or codes, analytical and/or numerical formulations, and related engineering topics such as thermodynamics, single- and multiphase flow, and energy systems.
  • Interdisciplinary engineering analysis such as Structural-Thermal-Optical-Performance (STOP) analysis, thermo-structural / thermal distortion analysis, thermal analysis of RF microwave systems, power-thermal energy system optimization, and contamination analysis.
  • Environmental testing practice and theory, including design and test margin philosophy, statistical analysis, a deep working knowledge of spacecraft or launch vehicle environmental test standards, and thermal model validation and correlation to test data.

Provide section- or department-level technical leadership in two or more of the following areas:
  • Lead and coordinate teams of 2 or more people (including self) in at least one project or program on a sustained basis.
  • Plan and coordinate department efforts in knowledge management of at least one specific technical expertise area, including mentoring/teaching less experienced staff.
  • Plan and coordinate at least one department engagement activity in the broader thermal technology community.

What You Need to be Successful

Minimum Requirements:
  • B.S. in mechanical or aerospace engineering or closely related field with emphasis in heat transfer or thermal sciences.
  • Typically 10 years direct spacecraft thermal engineering experience.
  • Position requires a thorough background in all modes of heat transfer, thermodynamics, thermal sciences, thermal engineering, and two-phase thermophysics.
  • Effective interpersonal skills to coordinate efforts and work with other internal and external organizations.
  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance, which is issued by the US government. U.S citizenship is required to obtain a security clearance.

How You Can Stand Out

It would be impressive if you have one or more of these:
  • Advanced degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering or closely related field with emphasis in heat transfer or thermal sciences
  • Graduate-level academic coursework in conduction heat transfer, radiation heat transfer, numerical methods, and two-phase thermophysics
  • Research and/or laboratory experience in cryogenics, visible and infrared sensor systems, heat pipe technology, thermal blankets, and spacecraft thermal modeling
  • Direct experience in developing/reviewing thermal engineering requirements, thermal integration and test plans/procedures
  • Patents and publications in applicable industry journals and/or conferences
  • Active DoD Secret or Top Secret security clearance is preferred
  • Active TS/SCI clearance is highly preferred
  • Hands-on experience with Thermal Desktop ® and/or SINDA software

Ways We Reward Our Employees

During your interview process, our team will provide details of our industry-leading benefits.

Benefits vary and are applicable based on Job Type. A few highlights include:
  • Comprehensive health care and wellness plans
  • Paid holidays, sick time, and vacation
  • Standard and alternate work schedules, including telework options
  • 401(k) Plan - Employees receive a total company-paid benefit of 8%, 10%, or 12% of eligible compensation based on years of service and matching contributions; employees are immediately eligible and vested in the plan upon hire
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Variable pay program for exceptional contributions
  • Relocation assistance
  • Professional growth and development programs to help advance your career
  • Education assistance programs
  • An inclusive work environment built on teamwork, flexibility, and respect

We are all unique, from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life, yet one thing bonds all of us to each other-the belief that we can make a difference. This core belief empowers us to do our best work at The Aerospace Corporation.

Equal Opportunity Commitment

The Aerospace Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We believe that a diverse workforce creates an environment in which unique ideas are developed and differing perspectives are valued, producing superior customer solutions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, color, religion, genetic information, marital status, ancestry, national origin, protected veteran status, physical disability, medical condition, mental disability, or disability status and any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. If you're an individual with a disability or a disabled veteran who needs assistance using our online job search and application tools or need reasonable accommodation to complete the job application process, please contact us by phone at 310.336.5432 or by email at You can also review The Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law and the supplement, as well as the Pay Transparency Policy Statement.

Company Information

A trusted partner. A national resource. A leader in national security space. We are THE Aerospace Corporation. A team that takes pride in our readiness to solve some of the most complex technical challenges in existence. With challenges spanning government to commercial, you’ll have the unique opportunity to work on projects that are literally evolving our nation's space and launch capabilities. We all share a common passion and aspiration – to serve a mission much bigger than ourselves. When you join our team, you’ll be part of a rare collection of thought leaders and game-changing innovators. Are you ready to launch your career?

Dice Id : 90970895
Position Id : R000977
Originally Posted : 5 months ago

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