Virgin Galactic

Spaceship Propulsion COPV Manufacturing Engineer

Company Virgin Galactic
Category Engineering
Req No.
Regular Full-Time
Location : Location

Who we are

Virgin Galactic, (NYSE: SPCE), recognizes that the answers to many of the challenges we face in sustaining life on our beautiful but fragile planet, lie in making better use of space. Sending people to space has not only expanded our understanding of science, but taught us amazing things about human ingenuity, physiology and psychology. From space, we are able to look with a new perspective both outward and back. From space, the borders that are fought over on Earth are arbitrary lines. From space, it is clear that there is much more that unites us than divides us.


“We are at the vanguard of a new industry determined to pioneer twenty-first century spacecraft, which will open space to everybody — and change the world for good.”  Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Galactic


If you are looking for a challenging opportunity that will ignite your passion for designing cool and innovative products, are exceptionally creative, are a great problem solver and can make things happen - apply today!

Your Mission

VG is seeking a manufacturing engineer with a strong background in composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs), and/or filament wound composite structures. Ideally the person in this role will have a background in design, manufacturing, and testing of COPVs. This role requires critical thinking in hardware integration and product lifecycles as well as supporting acceptance testing and inspections.


This position will start in Long Beach/Tustin, CA before eventually transferring to Mojave, CA 

  • Program the filament winding machine and debug individual layers of the composite winding process
  • Develop tooling to support and handle COPV fabrication processes
  • Design payout heads, rollers, and support tools for filament winding
  • Support liner manufacturing, transportation, and handling operations
  • Write Manufacturing Work Instructions for technicians and Quality inspectors to follow and record COPV fabrication methods
  • Travel as needed to assist in vendor selection, and management
  • Support qualification and acceptance testing data reduction and post fire/flight inspections

What you bring

Basic Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace, Mechanical, or Manufacturing Engineering from an accredited institution
  • Minimum of 2+ years of relevant industry experience
  • Experience with fabricating composite structures and filament winding
  • Experience with COPV manufacturing and curing
  • Computer Aided Design experience (Solidworks 2+ years)  and/or CATIA V5
  • Ability to read, interpret and create engineering drawings
  • Familiarity with the use and implementation of design for manufacturing/assembly, design to cost, effective product lifecycle management, and product configuration management and control
  • Experience working on shop floor with technicians/operators in a hands-on environment
  • Experience in process improvement, root cause analysis, and corrective action
  • Strong team player and ability to work independently with excellent organizational and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and ability to interact with all levels of the organization
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Applicants must be U.S. persons as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15).


Preferred Skills and Experience 

  • Experience with the design of flight vehicles or vehicle systems to a set of requirements or standards such as CFR 14, Part 400, Part 23 and 25, military or NASA
  • Experience in writing test sequences and test reports.
  • Familiarity with Quality Management Systems like TipQA
  • Knowledge of Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing philosophies and tools
  • Experience with shop floor layout planning and improvement
  • Experience with deployment of manufacturing execution systems “MES”


Physical and/or Additional Requirements 

  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed. 
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods – 9 hours min. 
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces. 
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 40lbs (unassisted).  


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. 


Virgin Galactic is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Galactic 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, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.


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