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Sr. Engineer, Actuators

Tustin, CA

Virgin Galactic is seeking a talented and motivated engineer with flight control actuation experience. You will work in a small team within the Flight Controls Department. The focus of the role is developing and qualifying electro-mechanical actuators for primary flight control of the spaceship vehicle.



  • Perform trade studies to determine actuator architectures, technologies, sizing, and performance.
  • Create specifications for actuators, sensors, and subcomponents. 
  • Analyze actuator performance from system models and hardware test data. 
  • Interface with other engineering teams to integrate actuators into vehicle, including finding novel solutions to cross-discipline problems. 
  • Coordinate with supplier partners to design, qualify and produce actuators. 
  • Create test plans, procedures, and reports for actuator qualification. 
  • Manage verification, including environmental qualification, functional testing, endurance testing, and analysis. 


Knowledge and Experience:

  • Must have a B.S. or M.S. in Mechanical, Aerospace, or Electrical Engineering discipline from an accredited university. M.S. degree or higher preferred.
  • Experience with design and development of mechanical components and assemblies.
  • Expertise with electromechanical actuator design, development, and qualification is preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong technical writing skills for authoring engineering reports is a plus.
  • Experience with supplier management.
  • Experience with leading investigations and resolving component or system failures using standard root cause corrective action (RCCA) tools and methods.
  • Engineering knowledge criteria:
  • Strong foundational knowledge of mechanics of materials, vector mechanics, stress analysis, and machine design principles.
  • Knowledge of MATLAB is a plus


The annual U.S. base salary range for this full-time position is $105,700.00–$161,200.00. The base pay actually offered will vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, location, and experience and take into account internal equity. Other forms of pay (e.g., bonus or long term incentive) may be provided as part of the compensation package, in addition to a full range of medical, financial, and other benefits, dependent on the position offered. For more information regarding Virgin Galactic benefits, please visit

Who We Are

Virgin Galactic is transforming humanity’s relationship with space. By making it more open and accessible, we are connecting the world to the love, wonder and awe inspired by space travel, helping to create new opportunities for the benefit of life on Earth. Whether it’s supporting cutting-edge research missions for scientists and students, or offering life-changing experiences for the adventurers among us, Virgin Galactic is THE spaceline for Earth. Such an audacious vision requires a team as driven as they are curious - one capable of redefining the boundaries of what’s possible. 

Export Requirements 

To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. Person (either a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident or a protected individual as defined 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3) or be able to obtain the required authorization from either the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Department of Commerce. The applicant must also not be included in the list of Specifically Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. See list here.

EEO Statement

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


Virgin Galactic is committed to a Drug Free Workplace. All applicants post offer and active teammates are subject to testing for marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, PCP, and alcohol when criteria is met as outlined in our policies. This can include pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, and accident related drug and alcohol testing. 

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