Propulsion Systems Lead

Firefly Aerospace

Firefly Aerospace

Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2023


Firefly Aerospace Inc. is an American end-to-end space transportation company committed to providing economical and convenient access to space for small payloads through the design, manufacture, and operation of reliable launch and spacecraft vehicles.

We are achieving this by supporting a work culture that empowers employees to dream big as they enable new technology innovations with game-changing efficiencies in LEO, on the Moon, and beyond. We are looking for incredibly passionate, bright innovators to join our team as we deliver game changing commercial products to space.


As a Propulsion Systems Lead, you will leverage your creativity, ingenuity, and experience to produce the next generation of launch vehicle propulsion systems for space access and exploration. At Firefly we strive to make the world’s simplest propulsion systems by decreasing complexity to increase reliability and performance while lowering cost. In this role you are challenged with designing and integrating an efficient liquid bi-propellent propulsion system in a performance-driven rocket. Your job will span CAD work of the system, supply chain management of your vendors, leadership of your propulsion team, working in the cleanroom integrating the system, propellant loading, participating in the in-space operations and much more! You will take profound ownership of your projects, and will collaborate with other product groups (structures, fluid systems, avionics, vehicle/spacecraft systems) to make critical decisions. To be successful in this role, you should embrace challenging problems and be able to synthesize disparate pieces of information to establish best path forward. Your passion and determination will create leading edge propulsion systems in a fast-paced environment.


  • Serve as a mentor and the lead for the existing vehicle propulsion engineers, providing technical guidance and leadership
  • Develop new, innovative design concepts for propulsion integration and operations, that reduce and complexity and maximize reliability within cost
  • Execute design for manufacturability changes to enhance production efficiency
  • Identify and trade strategies to meet design requirements of flight hardware and tooling
  • Make development decisions based on technical merit, risk, cost, schedule, and/or quality assurance
  • Assist in the development of manufacturing, integration, and test processes, including work instructions, test procedures, and early build support
  • Coordinate and execute development, qualification, and acceptance testing of flight hardware
  • Work closely with I&T for integration and test of the propulsion system
  • Work closely with the operations team to develop a propulsion operations plan for all phases of the mission
  • Lead the interface with Systems Engineering and Range Safety related to all elements of 91-710 compliance with the propulsion system



  • BS in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering
  • 3+ years of experience in a related aerospace or mechanical field, with a focus in propulsion or fluid systems
  • Experience leading technical reviews (design & analysis) or investigations (risk, anomaly, or trade studies)
  • Proven experience in data review, data analysis, and report generation
  • Experience in Siemens NX or equivalent CAD program
  • Comprehension of design fundamentals including tolerancing, ASME Standards, ASTM, and GD&T
  • Understanding of P&IDs, fluid system sizing, fluid component and instrumentation selection, fluid dynamics fundamentals, cryogenic systems and pressurized systems
  • Experience with launch vehicle design, integration, and test.


  • MS or PhD in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Experience with In-space propulsion systems
  • Familiarity with presenting trade studies, risks, schedules, requirements, and budget to program management or leadership
  • Strong engineering fundamentals in compressible and incompressible flow, heat transfer, combustion devices, rocket engine cycles, and mechanics
  • Experience with liquid rocket engine development, design, test, or flight operations
  • Experience with liquid rocket engine subcomponent or pressurized component (valves, regulators, tubes, pipes, etc.) development, design, or test
  • A passion for product optimization design and rapid manufacturing
  • Hands-on experience with integrating test articles and sub-assemblies for test or production
  • Proven experience in working with data acquisition systems and test instrumentation including pressure transducers, thermocouples, resistance temperature detectors, flow meters, load cells, and accelerometers
  • Familiarity with some or all of the following software packages: Python, LabVIEW, GFSSP, Winplot, or other control, data acquisition, and reduction software

Firefly offers outstanding benefits for our employees, including generous health, dental and vision plans with low plan deductibles, parental leave, educational reimbursement, short term disability, and flexible PTO options.

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.

Firefly Aerospace, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Firefly is governed based on 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.