Building the Team

As I mentioned in the post yesterday, one of the tasks I’m trying to work with right now is bringing together a core team of engineers with the skills we need to carry out the projects we want to go after as a company. We’re not yet in a hiring mode, but we wanted to let people know what sorts of people we were looking for, and to let people know how to contact us about employment and internship opportunities. I would rather be in a position where I know who we want to hire, and I just have to find some contract work to make that possible than to be stuck in a situation where all of the sudden we realize we need say an aerodynamicist and have to scramble and settle for someone that isn’t as good of a fit for our needs as we would like.

So in that spirit, I’m going to give a list of skillsets we’re looking to fill both near-term and medium-term. I should add that we really like people who have skills in more than one area. Also, if from our description of the projects we’d like to go after you see a skillset not listed here that you think we’ll need, contact us anyway.

Near-term (skills I’d like to have on-board in the next 6 months or so):

  • Embedded Programmers: While Ian is an amazing programmer and GN&C engineer, there’s only one of him, and nobody has successfully cloned humans yet. With the amount of demand we’re getting for his services, getting an experienced embedded programmer will help us spread his skills around more. Knowledge of C is critical, experience with microcontrollers, real-time or embedded systems, and/or UAV or flight systems programming are also good.
  • Electrical Engineers: We will be building many custom avionics systems for these projects, and need an experienced electronics hacker/engineer to augment our capabilities. We desire someone with broad experience in as many of the following categories as possible: PCB design, analog and digital circuits, data acquisition circuitry, microcontrollers, radio telemetry, motor control circuitry, electric motors and robotics. Experience with electronics for satellite or UAV applications is also a plus.
  • Rocket Propulsion Design, Analysis, and Testing: As with Ian, I’ve got a strong background in rocket propulsion myself, but with being the CEO, my bandwidth is going to be limited, and having someone to head-up propulsion efforts would be very useful. We’re interested in doing both liquid rocket propulsion research as well as developing flight systems for our Nanosat LV systems. Preferably, a candidate for this position would have both strong theoretical experience in fluids, heat transfer, and thermodynamics, and liquid rocket propulsion, as well as hands-on experience with actual liquid rocket propulsion testing and data analysis. Someone who can design, swing a wrench, plumb a rocket, and “read the squigglies” (if you know what I mean) is what we’re ideally after.
  • Mechanisms Engineer: Most of our product ideas and many of our projects involve mechanisms of some sort or another. These include the boom-rendezvous system, staging and payload fairing systems, deployable landing gear, aero control surfaces, and potentially a lot more. We need someone who has designed, built, tested, fixed, and then re-tested mechanical systems before. Preferably with a strong background in machine design, kinematics, structural and dynamic analysis, as well as 3D solid modeling, and a background of design for manufacturability. Experience with UAV, spacecraft, aircraft, or ground vehicle mechanisms a plus. Hot rodders are welcome.

Medium to longer term, we’re also looking at bringing on additional people to augment those core capacities. Ideally someone who has one of these specialties would also be good in other areas so we can mix and match as needed. I won’t go into as much detail on these but want to list them briefly:

  • Electromechanical Engineering: Experience with electric motors, mechatronics, robotics, etc.
  • Aerodynamics/Aerothermal Engineering: Subsonic through hypersonic analysis and design. Experience with testing and validation a plus. Experience with UAVs or other flight vehicles a plus. Experience with reentry system design a plus. While we’re not interested in scramjets, we might be interested in the aerothermal engineers who designed them!
  • Composite Design and Fabrication
  • Machinists and Aerospace TIG Welders
  • Additional Propulsion Technicians and Test Engineers
  • Structural and Aerospace Pressure Vessel Design Engineers
  • Additional GN&C Engineers: Especially those with experience in satellite GN&C
  • Additional Electronics Engineers and Fabricators
  • Lots of Technicians: Experience with UAVs, Aircraft, Spacecraft, or automobiles a plus. Hot rodders welcome for this too.
  • Speakers to Regulators: Someone who can deal with the FAA on a sane and calm basis.

There’s probably more, but that’s a basic list. If you’re interested in a full-time position, and think you fit one of these descriptions, email a resume and coverletter to Include in the subject line first the position you’re going after, and second your name. So for instance I’d say “Propulsion Engineer — Jonathan Goff”.

If you’re interested in internships, or are out in the Denver area and interested in student employment, put “Internship” or “Student Job” at the front. We’re not hiring yet, but we may be offering positions as soon as this spring.

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