Primary Structures Engineer

Los Angeles, California

ABL’s Structures Engineers are the backbone of the rocket.

Great Structures Engineers know how to design not only an efficient structure capable of withstanding the environments and loads required of a rocket, but also one that is a piece within a larger system that is easy to manufacture.


Perform and lead design, development and qualification of vehicle primary structure

  • Gather, define, and document requirements to support structure design and development
  • Develop structural design while leading trades to meet vehicle level mass budgeting requirements while creating solutions that are easily manufactured and maintained

Develop, analyze and review data to validate and verify the structural design meets specifications and design requirements

  • ‍Perform modeling and simulation tasks to validate system design and performance
  • ‍Perform primary structural integration, checkout and troubleshooting of anomalies
  • Develop test plans and procedures while leading the execution of development and qualification testing
Near Term Responsibilities

During ABL’s early phases, the Structures engineer will be responsible for a broad scope, initial high level areas of responsibility may include:

Partner with GNC engineers and loads team to iterate between structural and GNC limits working towards system level optimum of the primary structure capability 

Work with loads and dynamics teams to define static, dynamic and modal analysis 

Develop factors of safety for ground and flight loads

  • Interpret design and test factors found in industry standards including NASA- STD-5001 and SMC-S-016
  • Understand and create strategies where it makes sense to carry "No-Test" factors and how to test where that is not possible

Manage key vendor interfaces and requirements, including key characteristics and quality inspections

Medium-Term Growth Path

As ABL matures and after the structural development is well underway, the Structures engineer will have an opportunity to build out a team and lead a group. That is dependent of course on the interest by the Structures engineer and demonstrated leadership.

Basic Qualifications any engineering discipline from an accredited university 

One of the following:

  • 4+ years experience in the development of aircraft, missile, spacecraft or similar vehicle structures and mechanisms
  • 2+ years experience and 2+ years of collegiate extracurricular engineering project experience (Rocket Team, Formula SAE etc.)
Preferred Skills and Experience

It is not expected that the candidate has all of the below listed skills and experience, but a subset of them is desirable.

Demonstrated analysis capability using hand-calcs as well as finite element analysis (e.g. ANSYS, ABAQUS, NASTRAN) 

Demonstrated ability utilizing CAD design software (e.g. NX, CATIA, CREO/PRO-E) 

Proficiency in thin-walled pressurized structural design and analysis

  • Strength and stability of cylindrical shells
  • Buckling stability of domes

Understanding of material selection and key material properties of typical aerospace/aircraft alloys as well as composites 

Day of launch support, including launch and ground limits and structural capabilities evaluation 

Demonstrated leadership of or within a small project team either in current role or during project based team in school

Additional Requirements

The Structures engineer must be willing to travel to the test and launch site to support vehicle qualification testing and integration ahead of launch, especially on first-article products.

What We Look For

Beyond technical prowess, ABL focuses on the following candidate characteristics. Tangible examples are the best way to highlight these during the evaluation process.

1. Critical thinking: ABL engineers understand the "why" behind all design decisions, operational events and test outcomes.  

2. Ability to deal with ambiguity: there is no roadmap and ABL engineers must be comfortable defining their own pathway to an objective. 

3. End-to-end ownership: projects are delivered fully complete and ready for flight; there is no one to pick up the slack of partially complete work. 

ITAR Requirement

This position requires access to information protected under US export control laws, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and/or the Export Administration Regulations.  As such, US person status (including US citizens, permanent residents, asylees, and refugees) is a required qualification for this position.


We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, genetics, or citizenship status (when otherwise legally authorized to work and access export-controlled data) and will not be discriminated against on the basis of such characteristics or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. We encourage applicants of all ages.

Join us