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Propulsion Department Director

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Filter by Date: Mar 15, 2019

Filter by Location: El Segundo, CA, US, 90245

Company: The Aerospace Corporation

Requisition ID: 44967 

All Locations: El Segundo, CA (California)  

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?



Provide technical and managerial leadership to develop, maintain, and apply expertise for vehicle propulsion. Applications include liquid rocket engines, solid rocket motors, spacecraft thrusters, integrated propulsion systems, hypersonic propulsion, and space propulsion technologies.


Key Functions:

  • Direct and coordinate a broad range of activities involving design, analysis, qualification, acceptance, operation, and performance of current and future propulsion systems
  • Coordinate development, maintenance, and improvement of resources, tools, and skills for technical activities that span from concept design through qualification, deployment, and operation
  • Lead development and implementation of advanced propulsion technologies, test techniques, and analysis methodologies
  • Promote and effectively use a propulsion laboratory
  • Produce or approve presentations and reports for timely and accurate technical positions
  • Monitor technical output to ensure quality and sufficient coordination with other organizations
  • Adequately inform management and customers of work plans, progress, concerns, and recommendations
  • Lead audit teams and anomaly investigations
  • Conduct line management functions including strategic planning, hiring, performance reviews, rewarding/developing staff, and day-to-day administrative duties
  • Travel occasionally to contractor and customer facilities
  • Establish and communicate expectations, technical direction, priorities, standards, and objectives, consistent with corporate goals and policies, customer needs, and assigned functions
  • Foster relationships with industry and academics in support of corporate goals
  • Coach and lead staff in technical outreach and shaping the future (especially mission assurance practices and technology development priorities)
  • Understand current and anticipate future customer needs via sufficient interaction with management and program offices, and ensure effective responses to those needs



  • Bachelor's degree in an appropriate technical discipline from a recognized institution
  • Recent technical support or direct program office experience with propulsion system design, performance analysis, launch/mission support, system integration, and testing
  • Demonstrated leadership in building and managing technical teams, risk management, anomaly investigation, propulsion system development, and mission assurance
  • Strong knowledge of key propulsion aspects, including many of the following: combustion/reacting flows; fluid mechanics/gas dynamics; thermodynamics; heat transfer; materials; systems engineering; solid and liquid propellants; electric propulsion; development, qualification, flight certification, and launch processes for space launch systems, hypersonic systems, or spacecraft; modern analytical tools; experimental and test planning techniques and verification processes; and risk assessment and mitigation processes
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, prioritize, and coordinate activities with diverse organizations and over multiple programs
  • Demonstrated ability to proactively achieve solutions to diverse and complex problems by applying or guiding technical insight, analytical tools, problem solving skills, teamwork, and maturity of judgment
  • Demonstrated initiative and strong technical leadership skills
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective interpersonal working relationships
  • Ability to appropriately balance technical detail and broader programmatic considerations
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with an ability to effectively communicate organizational positions and findings
  • Willingness to pursue and hold a TS/SCI clearance



  • Advanced degree in an appropriate technical discipline from a recognized institution
  • 12+ years of progressively more responsible professional engineering/scientific experience
  • Substantial and sustained experience in an effective managerial or supervisory role
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective interpersonal working relationships with all levels of contractors, customers, and corporate staff
  • Experience working on national security space, civil space, and commercial space programs
  • Familiarity with USAF, NASA, and industry mission assurance practices
  • Current TS/SCI clearance


Physical Requirements/Work Environments:

  • Ability to travel via air and automobile

Transcript Requirement



Additional Requisition Details

Clearance Requirement: Secret 

Access: None 

Polygraph: None 

Relocation Available:  Yes 

Employment Type: Regular 

Work Schedule: Full Time 


Company Statement

The Aerospace Corporation has provided independent technical and scientific research, development, and advisory services to national security space programs since 1960. We operate a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office, and support all national security space programs. We also apply more than 50 years of experience with space systems to provide critical solutions to technologically complex systems in such areas as communications, shipping, law enforcement, and cyber, among others.

From our inception, our highly skilled technical staff has focused on ensuring the success of every mission and developing the most effective and economic space-related hardware and software in the world. Our greatest asset is the technical expertise of our people. Our state-of-the-art laboratory facilities are staffed by some of the leading scientists in the world.

All Aerospace employees working in organizations with technical responsibilities are required to apply for and maintain at least a Secret clearance.  U.S. citizenship is required for those positions.

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 poster and the supplement, as well as the Pay Transparency Policy Statement

Nearest Major Market: Los Angeles

Job Segment: Engineer, Strategic Planning, Aerospace, Laboratory, Secret Clearance, Engineering, Strategy, Aviation, Science, Government