Jobs at Alumni Ventures Portfolio Companies


Propulsion Engineer

Phase Four

Phase Four

Other Engineering
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2024

Propulsion Engineer

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 Propulsion Engineer you will be at the forefront developing new propulsion capabilities to provide breakthrough mobility and maneuverability to national security and civil science missions. You will be responsible for the technical efforts of one or more development programs, from concept development & requirements definition to delivery to the customer & demonstration on-orbit. You will lead trade studies, concepts evaluation, and system sizing for future propulsion technologies and mission applications, many of which will be the first of their kind. This role requires candidate to be on-site at our Hawthorne, CA, location.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Assist in overseeing technical effort(s) of one or more development programs, from concept development and requirements definition to technology demonstration and delivery to the customer
  • Lead trade studies, concepts evaluation, and system sizing for future propulsion technologies and mission applications
  • Perform design, analysis, development engineering, and flight operations tasks for propulsion systems
  • Interact with and manage engineers and technicians from all disciplines, including mechanical, fluids, electrical, ground support equipment, software, test and production flight
  • Act as the technical interface with internal (management, operations, product development teams) and external stakeholders (customers, subcontractors)
  • Develop test plans and analyze test results in support of test operations
  • Implement and maintain rigorous hardware and software verification and validation processes through practical application of automation and process controls
  • Align resources to accomplish key objectives, assign clear accountability for important objectives, and set the performance bar at the highest standard of excellence

Minimum Qualifications / Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Physics, or a related field
  • 2+ years of direct design and development experience in the space propulsion industry (liquid and/or electric)
  • Analytical/scientific programming experience (Python, Matlab, Excel, etc.)
  • CAD proficiency (Solidworks preferred)
  • Knowledge of plasma physics concepts
  • Experience with scientific simulation software
  • Experience managing or tasking a technical team
  • Demonstrated track record of success in a rapidly growing, changing and highly technical environment

Preferred Qualifications / Skills:

  • Master’s degree in Engineering, Physics, or a related field
  • 5+ Direct design and development experience with mechanical or fluid systems in the space propulsion industry (liquid and/or electric)
  • Experience with hardware development/delivery for US government customers (DoD/NASA)
  • Expert in GD&T application and analysis
  • Experience with design and test of electric propulsion systems (e.g., Hall-effect thrusters, gridded ion engines)
  • Experience with plasma diagnostics (Langmuir, Faraday, LIF, etc.)
  • Knowledge in the use of FEA analysis tools (ANSYS preferred)
  • Experience working with DoD, IC, and/or NASA
  • Active TS/SCI clearance

Salary Range:

  • $120,000.00-$140,000.00 Annually
  • Senior - $140,000.00-$170,000.00 Annually

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. In-Person Interview - 90-120 minutes - Join us for an in-person interview at our office. 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!


  • 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.
  • More details on our policies can be found here: https://px.sequoia.com/phasefour


  • 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.