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Mechanical Engineer (Starlink)

Location: Redmond
Posted on: November 23, 2022

Job Description:

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 ofenabling human life on Mars.
Starlink aims to provide fast, reliable internet to serve populations with little or no connectivity. We design, build, launch, and operate the world's largest constellation of satellites, enabling us to operate a global internet network unbounded by traditional ground infrastructure limitations. Starlink also designs, builds, and delivers high-volume consumer hardware that allows users to be connected to these satellites within minutes of unboxing. The root of SpaceX's success so far lies in our mission to keep all engineering and production in-house, which enables a tight feedback loop, nimble decision making, and speedy deliverables. With half a million users in 30+ countries already online, Starlink is truly a game changer and levels the playing field for those that were previously unconnected.
As a Mechanical Engineer at our Redmond facility, you will own complex hardware from cradle to grave and will interact regularly with senior leadership during critical design phases, ultimately ushering in the next era of internet and delivering internet to those that need it most.
There are several sub-teams within the larger Starlink Mechanical Engineering group, each with different focus areas. The interview process is the same for each team. Candidates will ultimately be placed on teams after interviews are complete and after factoring in best technical fit and candidate preference. Sub teams include:

  • Space Lasers- Advanced optical/laser systems that allow for inter-satellite communication at the speed of light
  • Solar & Battery - Grid-scale solar and automotive-scale battery systems which power our satellites in orbit
  • Propulsion- A small but mighty krypton-powered propulsion system that enables our satellites to reach the correct orbit and make orbital adjustments on command
  • Payload - Solving the complex structural, thermal and mechanical problems at the heart of Starlink's service
  • Bus - Satellite structures, avionics packaging, and a wide variety of spacecraft mechanisms
  • Aviation - Starlink on planes! Imagine truly fast internet when flying from New York to Shanghai
  • Gateway - Robust communication stations deployed in countries throughout the world
  • Tooling & Automation - Robotic and semi-automatic production lines that allow us to build hundreds of satellites every month


    • Own hardware from conceptual design through high volume production and on-orbit operation for the Starlink constellation
    • Develop design criteria, collaborate on requirements, and drive system-level optimization
    • Rapidly iterate on designs and analysis to inform high level systems trades and steer overall product direction
    • Drive holistic DFM to create elegant designs with a focus on piece part and process count reductions, error proofing at every step of fabrication and integration, and consistent performance and production metrics
    • Establish an efficient product lifecycle starting in the supply chain all the way through final integration that balances cost, complexity, and quality; work closely with partner teams to design and realize an efficient in-house production line
    • Perform environmental and performance testing on hardware to validate analysis and demonstrate compliance to design criteria
    • Own product delivery timeline through conception, design, assembly, and launch
    • Demonstrate extreme ownership of product outcomes at every stage of development and production


      • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline
      • Experience with CAD and FEA software packages
      • 1+ years of experience with mechanical/electromechanical design, analysis, testing, and/or manufacturing (internship and extracurricular experience is applicable)


        • Master's degree in engineering or a related technical discipline
        • 3+ years of professional experience in mechanical design and analysis
        • 2+ years of hands-on project experience with complex mechanical systems, preferably as a team lead
        • Proficient in 3D CAD (NX preferred)
        • Solid understanding and application of GD&T
        • Demonstrated understanding of structural analysis and failure modes of complex mechanical systems
        • Prior ownership of a complex component or assembly from initial design through high-volume production ramp
        • Self-motivated with strong organizational, written, and oral communication skills
        • Ability to work in a fast paced, autonomously driven, and demanding atmosphere

          Some preferred skills and experience depend on the specific team within Starlink Mechanical Engineering, and may include:

          • Knowledge of and experience in selecting materials, manufacturing methods, and surface treatments for mechanical components
          • Proficiency in one or more programming languages
          • Experience working with PCB designers and exposure to PCB layout and PCBA mechanical design
          • Experience with design of experiments, statistical process control, and process qualification
          • Specific expertise applicable to any of the above sub-teams


            • Ability to work long hours and weekends as necessary to support critical milestones

              ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

              • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you 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 the ITAR.

                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.

Keywords: SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Redmond , Mechanical Engineer (Starlink), Engineering , Redmond, Washington

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