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Senior Aerodynamics Engineer

Relativity Space

Relativity Space

Other Engineering
Long Beach, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Company Overview:

At Relativity Space, we have two audacious goals: to build the next great commercial launch company with Terran R and to become America's leading force in additive manufacturing innovation. Both contribute to our long-term vision of creating humanity’s industrial base on Mars, paving the way for interplanetary life to expand the possibilities of the human experience. This journey begins right here on Earth – where we design, build, and fly rockets to deliver customer payloads to orbit. Terran R, our medium-to-heavy lift reusable rocket, fulfills the growing demand for launch capacity, thanks to our iterative approach that accelerates design, testing, and development while minimizing costs. While our groundbreaking research and development in 3D printing pushes the boundaries of large-scale additive manufacturing.

Your journey with us is more than just a job – it’s an opportunity to shape the future of aerospace technology, additive manufacturing, and the human experience alongside a community of passionate, creative individuals. Join us on this extraordinary journey, as we work together to transform our vision into reality.

About the Team:

Relativity’s Integrated Performance teams ensure that our products work across all systems and disciplines, from trajectory design to aerodynamics to reliability analysis and beyond. Our groups size the Terran R rocket, design its missions for customer success, reliability, and reusability, and ensure that every system on the rocket and ground is engineered correctly for the demanding environments of launch and entry. Recently, we completed the preliminary design and analysis of Terran R including Relativity’s first-ever work on launch vehicle reusability, spanning advanced trajectory simulations, wind tunnel testing, and structures analysis, among many other projects.

The Aerodynamics team shapes Relativity’s vehicle products by tackling intricate design challenges inherent to reusable launch vehicles. Drawing on a strong foundation in external and compressible flows, the team addresses a wide spectrum of aerodynamic challenges across all flight phases. Leveraging computational fluid dynamics (CFD), wind tunnel testing, reduced order modeling, and flight data, we take a proactive approach to supporting cross-disciplinary design initiatives. Our collaboration with hardware engineers further enables us to overcome design and integration hurdles, ensuring a seamless and efficient development process from concept and through launch.

About the Role:

As an Aerodynamics Senior Engineer, you will help drive the technical direction of Relativity’s products across the domains of Aerodynamics and Aerothermodynamics, focusing on external flow analyses using CFD, panel methods, and empirical methods. You will play a key role in shaping Relativity’s vehicle products and advanced technical analyses, including Terran R vehicle entry and reusability, and required simulation tools and methods. In short, you’ll determine how Relativity’s vehicles look and fly, leveraging a high degree of technical authority.

You will collaborate with our design, propulsion, GNC, and dynamics teams to deliver aerodynamics design, test, and analysis projects on time, while meeting our technical requirements. A high degree of autonomy along with an ability to prioritize work in our fast-paced environment is required. Additionally, you will help build an outstanding vehicle engineering organization at the cutting edge of commercial aerospace.

Here are some examples of projects you could be working on:

  • Develop and execute CFD analyses to solve novel challenges in vehicle entry stability and control
  • Validate CFD approaches and establish CFD best practices for ascent and entry phases of flight
  • Scope and develop aerodynamics databases for ascent and entry including uncertainty quantification
  • Drive the design of major Terran R system elements – like fins, flaps, and primary structure – to meet criteria for control, stability, heating, and pressure
  • Mature Relativity’s tools for developing and communicating aerodynamics data, including custom and commercial code, databases, and data processing tools
  • Guide and mentor responsible hardware engineers to ensure hardware meets aerodynamics and system-level requirements

Success in this role requires self-motivation, adaptability, and the ability to contribute significantly to a fast-paced, integrated vehicle program. You should be able to resolve ambiguity, identify what matters, and drive projects to completion. Ideally, you have significant compressible flow, CFD, and High-Performance Computing (HPC) experience as well as a proven track record for completing projects successfully in a highly collaborative environment.

On a weekly basis, you will be performing analysis, developing software tools, and supporting design teams. You will also use your strong organizational skills to properly manage the documentation and communication of your actions, recommendations, and decisions.

About You:

  • A graduate degree in engineering or related field and 5+ years relevant experience
  • Industry-leading expertise in compressible flow and CFD, preferably on entry vehicles
  • Experience architecting and executing CFD workflows for external flow
  • Experience solving complex problems on integrated vehicles
  • Proficiency in Python and industry-standard CFD tools like FUN3D, Pointwise, and Star-CCM+, including use of HPC clusters

Nice to Haves, but Not Required:

  • 10+ years relevant experience across 2 or more program lifecycles
  • Experience developing simulation toolsets and workflows, e.g., performing CFD validation studies and establishing CFD best practices

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

Relativity Space offers competitive salary and equity, a generous vacation policy, L&D stipend and more! Learn more here!

The below-range represents Relativity Space’s current good-faith pay scale for this role. Relativity Space reserves the right to modify or update this range at any time.

Compensation is only one part of our entire total rewards package. To see some of the benefits & perks we offer, please visit here: https://px.sequoia.com/relativityspace
Hiring Range:
$137,000$174,000 USD