Director, Systems Engineering

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

Who we are


Virgin Galactic (SPCE:NYSE) Virgin Galactic 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 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


The Director, Systems Engineering will be leading a team of Managers, Leads and Supervisors to ensure the successful execution of Systems Engineering across all departments.  The director will report to the Vice President of Engineering. The director is the driving force behind how the department prepares for forecasted needs and is responsible for ensuring the departments processes and procedures are strategically applied across all projects to balance the quality and needs of programs. The ideal candidate will have at least 15 years of experience working with aerospace systems and will have strong experience in project management and leading an interdisciplinary team.


Virgin Galactic is seeking a seasoned engineering leader with an open and transparent communication style, who empowers the team members and creates an environment that allows them to be at their best. The Director will also support cross-functional initiatives that support the overall business goals.



  • Manage and lead the Virgin Galactic Systems Engineering directorate
  • Oversee multiple department disciplines including 1) Reliability, Maintainability, & Serviceability, 2) Configuration Management, 3) Systems Engineering & Integration, and 4) Mass Properties.
  • Develop technical roadmaps, considering regulatory requirements, industry working groups, and company policy that extend across multiple projects
  • Forecast future directorate spending needs and manage the development of directorate budgets using inputs from reporting departments
  • Accountable for adequate support regarding scope, budget, schedule and execution of current and future vehicle design, build, integration, and test activities
  • Ensure department personnel are adequately managed
  • Develop and monitor performance metrics for the department against company objectives
  • Provide directorate goals for technical execution of the cross functional departments to support company objectives
  • Provide guidance to department functions with the objective of balancing the quality and effort between them
  • Overall responsibility for the forecasted plans and objectives of the directorate within Virgin Galactic
  • Carry out performance reviews, set goals, create career development and succession plans
  • Accountable for the development, with your managers, of department processes and procedures to provide value and service to Virgin Galactic in support of overall business needs
  • Work with other internal and external engineering groups to ensure proper development and application of requirements for unique new space vehicle development programs
  • Develop and mentor technical and people leaders for the betterment of the individuals within your organization


What you bring


Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, or equivalent, with a minimum of 15 years of related experience
  • Minimum 7 years of experience in leading an engineering team or an Integrated Product Team
  • Deep understanding of configuration management, systems engineering, reliability engineering principals
  • Deep understanding of aircraft systems and qualification/verification activities
  • Detailed knowledge of aircraft and spacecraft systems and the systems engineering “V”
  • Deep understanding of the standard aerospace gated development process and core development milestones
  • Strong desire and ability to mentor and lead talent development in a fast-paced environment
  • Demonstrated ability to grow a team and set strategic direction, taking ambiguity into account
  • Excellent proactive communication (oral, written, presentation), interpersonal, negotiation and organizational skills
  • Applicants must be U.S. persons as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15)


Preferred Skills and Experience

  • Knowledge of software development best practices including code review and configuration management
  • Experience with Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)
  • Project Management experience
  • Experience in aerospace vehicle development programs
  • Test planning experience, including flight and ground testing, writing test plans, execution planning, and data verification
  • Test execution experience, including familiarity with standard practices and safety processes
  • Experience in other engineering disciplines


Physical and/or Additional Requirements

The position will be based out of our Tustin or Mojave offices with a hybrid remote/onsite schedule.


As part of our commitment to health and safety, COVID-19 vaccines are required for current U.S. teammates, as well as all newly hired employees.


As of October 1, 2021, all new hires must be able to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, (“fully vaccinated” means at least two weeks have expired since receiving the vaccination’s last dose as recommended by the manufacturer). If you are offered employment, this requirement must be met by your date of hire.


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.



As part of our commitment to health and safety, COVID-19 vaccines are required for current U.S. teammates, as well as newly hired employees.

 As of October 1, 2021, all new hires must be able to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19virus, (“fully vaccinated” means at least two week have expired since receiving the vaccination’s last dose as recommended by the manufacturer).  If you are offered employment, this requirement must be met be your date of hire.  Virgin Galactic complies with federal, state, and local laws with regard to accommodations related to this policy.


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