Associate Engineer - Post Grad Summer 2018 (Hawthorne)


Associate Engineer - Post Grad Summer 2018 (Hawthorne)

Hawthorne, CA
  • Responsibilities

    SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.

    As an Associate Engineer - Post Grad, you will be responsible for both autonomously and collaboratively working on actual space hardware development projects. You will be challenged to think creatively, independently, and intellectually to design hardware, gaining invaluable hands-on technical experience. This is not an ordinary “internship” – you will be given as much responsibility as our full-time engineers and will be an integral part of the team. We will rely on you to come up with creative solutions to real aerospace challenges and depend upon your contributions to space hardware development projects. The most successful candidates have at least a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, and have a history or significant contributions to hands on, extracurricular engineering projects in addition to a strong academic record.



    Our Hawthorne location is SpaceX Headquarters, where most of the design, production, and business operations take place.


    AVIONICS: Our Avionics group works to design, develop, manufacture, test, analyze and integrate all the electronic hardware and software for our vehicles. This includes but is not limited to: power conversion units, analog and digital circuit boards, FPGA’s, communication system units, and firmware as well as enclosure and wire harness development.

    CUSTOMER OPERATIONS AND INTEGRATION: Our Customer Operations and Integration group is the main interface between the SpaceX technical teams and our customers and helps to ensure that our missions are successful and timely. They encompass the Space Operations team, which focuses on revolutionizing spaceflight operations for cargo and crew Dragon missions, as well as future company missions. This group contains roles in product management, business development and sales support, proposal development, and regulatory coordination.

    LAUNCH ENGINEERING: The Hawthorne Launch site teams ensure successful launches and rocket recoveries. This team works on the coordination and design of all fluid systems to launch our rockets as well as automation and control systems of our launches. They constantly strive to streamline processes and improve vehicle reliability.

    FLIGHT RELIABILITY: Our Flight Reliability group’s primary responsibility is to review and certify the vehicle’s test and flight readiness. The team works to maintain safe, reliable practices during operations and bridge operational and design challenges between test and launch. Flight Reliability interacts with the engineering, production, test and launch teams from the planning stage all the way to launch for the purpose of reviewing the vehicle configuration and status.

    VEHICLE ENGINEERING: Our Vehicle Engineering team is responsible for the design, development, and qualification of hardware on all vehicles. They partner with engineering and production teams to generate ideas, designs, and improvements. This group includes but is not limited to: propulsion components, Dragon engineering, structures engineering, in-space propulsion, integration and test, vehicle analysis, thermal and fluid analysis, life support systems, dynamics, and guidance navigation and control.

    PROPULSION: Our Propulsion group uses cutting edge technology to develop the latest rocket hardware. SpaceX currently builds more rocket engines than any other organization in the country, and furthermore, the design and performance parameters of our engines are notably recognized throughout the industry. The Propulsion group designs, analyzes, builds, and tests engines that will one day take mankind to Mars.

    BUILD RELIABILITY: Our Build Reliability team ensures quality production of assemblies and piece parts that flow into the production of the vehicle. They proactively drive initiative to improve the vehicle reliability. The team develops standard tools, processes, methods, design adjustments, and requirements to ensure production reliability.

    MATERIALS ENGINEERING: Our Materials Engineering group focuses on finding materials solutions to expand the capabilities of current vehicles and to push design boundaries for our future ones. They cover a wide range of materials disciplines from alloy development, large scale composite structures, additive manufacturing, and traditional aerospace materials. This is a fast paced, hands on group that splits time between materials support for new designs, enabling re-usability of rockets, and materials research focused on interplanetary travel.

    PRODUCTION: Leveraging best-practices from automotive, consumer electronics, and aerospace, SpaceX aims to scale its production rate beyond that of any other launch company in the world. The Production group provides hands-on experience in a fast paced environment with cutting edge technology. The Production group includes but is not limited to: Launch Vehicle and Spacecraft Assembly, Tooling Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Automation and Controls, and Manufacturing Engineering.


    • Completed a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree from an accredited four-year university or college within the past 6 months by start of employment or currently enrolled in a graduate program


    • GPA of 3.5 or higher
    • Hands-on experience through lab research, project teams, prior internship or work experience
    • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively in a team environment, accomplishing tasks with limited resources at a rapid pace
    • Intermediate skill level using Windows Operations Systems
    • Intermediate skill level using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)


    • Must be able to work full time for a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks beginning in May/June 2018
    • Must pass background check with satisfactory results to SpaceX


    • 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 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about ITAR here.

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

    Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.