Jobs at Alumni Ventures Portfolio Companies


Senior Systems Engineer

Phase Four

Phase Four

Software Engineering
Hawthorne, NJ, USA
Posted on Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Senior Systems Engineer

About the Company

Phase Four is developing the next generation of in-space propulsion for the rapidly expanding space economy. From large constellations in low earth orbit to new missions and cutting-edge capabilities, our team is the key to mission success. We are an innovative team that’s focused, passionate, and excited about space.

Join us at Phase Four as we design, build and deliver the next generation of in-space propulsion and change the way humanity moves in space.

Job Summary:

As a Senior Systems Engineer at Phase Four, you will be a critical part of our engineering team responsible for the design, analysis, development, and testing of propulsion systems for space vehicles. You will work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team of engineers and scientists to push the boundaries of space propulsion technology. Additionally, you’ll be responsible for all aspects of systems engineering including performing preliminary concept development, trade studies, CONOPS definition, requirements decomposition and allocation, interface requirements definition, requirements verification and validation, support to integration and test operations, and anomaly resolution. This role requires candidate to be on-site at our Hawthorne, CA, location.

Core Responsibilities

  • Lead and contribute to the design and optimization of propulsion systems, including thrusters and associated components.
  • Responsible for the design and interfacing between subassemblies including thrusters, electronics and fluid systems, and harness design (and routing) using best draft practices per ASME Y14.5 GD&T standards along with clear and well-documented analysis reports.
  • Conduct performance simulations, trajectory analysis, and propulsion system sizing to ensure mission objectives are met. Additionally, perform analysis at all levels of total system product, including: concept, design, fabrication, test, installation, operation, and maintenance. Analysis to include Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA).
  • Plan and oversee propulsion system testing, including component testing, system integration testing, qualification testing, and acceptance testing.
  • Investigate and troubleshoot propulsion system anomalies, propose corrective actions, and enhance system reliability.
  • Work with materials and manufacturing engineers to ensure the production and assembly of propulsion systems meet quality and safety standards. Work alongside software team in developing and working with/on flight and ground test software.
  • Capture and organize risks and generate and assess mitigation plans and strategies. Work with Management to ensure the integrity of high-quality operational products, including procedures, tools, and system configuration.
  • Ensures the logical and systematic conversion of customer or product requirements into total systems solutions that include technical, schedule, and cost constraints.
  • Ensure propulsion systems meet industry standards, safety regulations, and environmental requirements.
  • Generate and maintain comprehensive technical documentation, including system specifications, test plans, and reports.
  • Stay current with the latest advancements in space propulsion technology and contribute innovative ideas to improve propulsion system designs.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Fluid Dynamics, Physics, Chemistry, Math, or similar
  • 8+ years of experience in relevant engineering position
  • Experience developing flight and ground test software
  • Experience with CAD programs (Solidworks and PDM preferred)
  • Knowledge of engineering standards (ISO/ASTM/SAE) and best practices
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with NASA Systems Engineering Handbook
  • Experience with integration of myriad engineering systems ranging from plasma thruster to electrical and fluidic systems
  • Experience with electric or liquid propulsion systems within Aerospace & Defense or equivalent type fluid systems and components
  • Understanding of in space electrical and fluid systems
  • Knowledge of fabrication, integration processes and quality control relative to harnessing and tubing
  • Working knowledge of materials and treatments
  • Ability to earn trust, maintain positive and professional relationships, and contribute to a culture of inclusion
  • Ability to work independently to identify and address issues with strong attention to detail
  • Experience working with DoD, IC, and/or NASA
  • Ability to work in a dynamic and fast-paced environment
  • Experience with Plasmas or Space Weather
  • Active TS/SCI clearance

Salary Range:

  • $150,000.00-$180,000.00 Annually, DOE


  • Competitive salary and equity commensurate with the Los Angeles Aerospace industry.
  • Comprehensive health benefits (Medical, Dental, and Vision) with company contributions for both employees and dependents.
  • 401k with company matching incentive, eligible after your first 90 days of employment.
  • ~10 paid holidays annually.
  • Robust PTO and sick accrual policy.

Our Interview Process:

We understand that interviewing is an art that takes time on both sides of the spectrum. Phase Four's interview process is as follows:

  1. Phone Interview with our Recruiting Team - 15-30 minutes - Where we learn about you, your experience, and what you're looking for in a new role, as well as give you a chance to learn about us, the role, and any questions you may have. If progressing to next step;
  2. Video Interview with the Hiring Manager - 30 minutes - This interview reviews the technical aspects of the role as well as your technical background. This is a great time for both you and the hiring manager to get more in depth about the expectations and technical mindset needed for the role. If progressing to next step;
  3. 'Challenge Question' + In-Person Interview - 90-120 minutes - You will be given a technical question to work through that relates to the role to present during the In-Person interview at our office. Also during this time, you'll get to meet our team, tour our facility, and see what we do at Phase Four! If progressing to next step;
  4. Offer Stage!


  • 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.
  • We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or disability status.