Spacecraft Thermal Engineer

    • El Segundo, CA

Requisition ID: 49069

All Locations: Chantilly, VA (Virginia); 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?


The mission of the Thermal Control Department is to develop and apply thermal engineering expertise for spacecraft, payloads, and related systems.

The Thermal Control Department consists of a team of experienced, trusted engineers with deep expertise in the design and analysis of spacecraft thermal control systems from component to system level. The department performs technical studies, experimental investigations, and realtime assessments to support key decisions by our customers and their contractors. No other organization collects such a breadth of technical knowledge and experience in thermal control and thermal management systems for the space industry. The department has a strong mentoring culture where knowledge gained is stewarded and shared in a healthy team environment. Here, more than at any other employer, you can apply your expertise and interface with other subject matter experts to solve hard problems across a broad range of space programs.

The Aerospace Corporation provides an exceptional work/life balance. Our people are our most valued assets.

This position requires a strong background in the disciplines of heat transfer and thermal engineering and their applications to space systems; and direct experience in thermal design and control of spacecraft.

Key Functions:

Provide engineering expertise in thermal control systems for satellites, spacecraft, space vehicles and payloads:

  • Lead and conduct analysis, modeling, simulation, and assessments of designs and design concepts relating to spacecraft thermal control systems and their components
  • Lead and conduct experimental investigations including thermal design, thermal control systems integration, thermal environmental testing, thermal model correlation, data reduction and visualization, and engineering application of results
  • Participate in and review integration, test, and flight operations relating to spacecraft thermal control systems and their components.
  • Interact with program offices to identify and resolve design, acceptance and performance issues relating to space vehicle thermal control subsystems.
  • Provide timely and technically accurate reports to management and other technical staff
  • Travel to government and contractor facilities in support of design reviews, readiness reviews, technical audits, failure investigations, technical interchange meetings, launch support activities, and hardware acceptance reviews
  • Lead and participate in the broader thermal technology community through conferences, concept development, and technical interaction with other leaders in the field. Identify significant technological developments that can contribute to the success of space projects

Specialized knowledge applicable to the position includes any one or more of the following:
  • Spacecraft thermal control hardware including heat pipes, radiators, pumped fluid loops, phase change materials, heaters, temperature sensors, thermostats, thermal blankets, phase change materials, and thermal switches
  • Integration of visible or infrared sensors with cryogenic cooling systems such as mechanical refrigeration, cryoradiators, expendable coolants, and thermal storage devices
  • Interdisciplinary engineering analysis such as Structural-Thermal-Optical-Performance (STOP) analysis, thermo-structural / thermal distortion analysis, thermal analysis of RF microwave systems, power-thermal energy system optimization, and contamination analysis
  • Environmental testing practice and theory, including design and test margin philosophy, statistical analysis, a deep working knowledge of spacecraft or launch vehicle environmental test standards, and thermal model analysis and correlation to test data


  • Bachelor's degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering or closely related field with emphasis in heat transfer or thermal sciences with at least 10 years spacecraft thermal engineering experience, to include post-Bachelor's education
  • Experience in all modes of heat transfer, thermodynamics, thermal sciences, thermal engineering, and two-phase thermophysics
  • Hands-on experience with Thermal Desktop ® and/or SINDA software
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a U.S. Government security clearance. U.S. citizenship is required

Required for Senior Engineering Specialist:
  • Bachelor's degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering or closely related field with emphasis in heat transfer or thermal sciences with at least 15 years spacecraft thermal engineering experience, to include post-Bachelor's education
  • Experience in all modes of heat transfer, thermodynamics, thermal sciences, thermal engineering, and two-phase thermophysics
  • Hands-on experience with Thermal Desktop ® and/or SINDA software
  • Demonstrated leadership and coordination of teams of 3 or more people (including self)
  • Demonstrated technical mentorship of others during career to date
  • Current or prior U.S. security clearance at Secret or higher level

  • Graduate-level academic coursework in conduction heat transfer, radiation heat transfer, numerical methods, and two-phase thermophysics
  • Research and/or laboratory experience in cryogenics, visible and infrared sensor systems, heat pipe technology, thermal blankets, and spacecraft thermal modeling
  • At least 10 years direct experience in developing/reviewing thermal engineering requirements, thermal integration and test plans/procedures
  • Patents and publications in applicable industry journals and/or conferences
  • Active TS/SCI clearance
  • Demonstrated long-term career objectives consistent with the Thermal Control Department mission

Transcript Requirement

Transcripts are required for this position.

Additional Requisition Details

Clearance Requirement: TS/SSBI

Access: SCI

Polygraph: Counter Intelligence Polygraph

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 You can also reviewThe Equal Employment Opportunity is the Lawposter andthe supplement, as well as thePay Transparency Policy Statement.

Nearest Major Market: Los Angeles
Job Segment: Thermal Engineering, Engineer, Security Clearance, Aerospace Engineering, Laboratory, Engineering, Government, Science

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