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Spacecraft Propulsion Analysis Engineer


This position supports ispace's lunar lander development programs in the area of spacecraft propulsion. ispace is a leading micro-robotics Japanese company with a subsidiary in the United States and another in Europe. ispace’s Hakuto rover won the Google XPRIZE mobility milestone award and is a leading contender for the $20M Grand Prize. ispace’s lunar lander is its next step towards prospecting for, mining and utilizing lunar resources to expand human presence in space.

The ideal candidate will have broad knowledge of spacecraft propulsion technology, especially chemical propulsion systems. Most importantly, working knowledge and specific experience related to fluid dynamics as well as heat transfer is required. Although the key responsibility of this position will be mainly analysis, spacecraft propulsion system design-related experience, as well as readiness to take part in the propulsion system build, integration & test activities, is crucial.



  • Maintain ownership of high-fidelity propulsion system models, including: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations and thermal analysis models.
  • Ensure that the high-fidelity models are systematically checked and validated. When necessary, report the uncertainties associated with the results.
  • Collaborate on the propulsion system conceptual and preliminary design, especially in the areas of spacecraft thruster positioning studies, fuel/oxidizer tank positioning, and fluid induced oscillations.
  • Support the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) team, in the area of sensor positioning and landing site selection, by providing information on spacecraft-exhaust plume interaction effects, ground-exhaust plume interaction effects, and exhaust species deposition.
  • Actively liaise with the Structural, Avionics, Power & Communications, and other teams to ensure a holistic approach to the thermal management problem.
  • Collaborate on propulsion system detailed design, especially in the area of assessing detailed design changes on the whole system performance, reliability, and cost.
  • Support Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) activities and collaborate on propulsion system risk assessment efforts.
  • Actively take part in Root Cause Analysis investigations, and support them with fluid dynamics and thermal analysis expertise.
  • Participate in propulsion system build, integration & test activities. Be ready to gradually transition from analysis-focused work to hands-on-focused work.
  • Ensure adherence to the best Robust Design and Systems Engineering practices.
  • Provide expertise in the area of parallel computing.
  • Maintain strong communication with the spacecraft development team leadership.
  • Ensure that the team shared objectives are met in line with the program expectations.


  • Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering, or equivalent.
  • Three or more years of experience in propulsion system analysis and design.
  • Industrial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and thermal analysis experience.
  • Working knowledge of CFD software (Fluent, OpenFoam, or similar).
  • Working knowledge of thermal analysis software (Nastran, Thermal Desktop, or similar).
  • Familiarity with CAD software (SolidWorks, CATIA, or similar).
  • Proficiency in understanding technical drawings.
  • Capability to assess the quality and impact of design changes in the context of a larger system.


  • Ph.D. degree in Computational Fluid Dynamics, or related discipline.
  • Five or more years of experience in the space industry.
  • Previous experience in analyzing nozzle flows or tank sloshing effects.
  • Expertise in high-speed flow/ground interaction effects.
  • Familiarity with typical propulsion system failure modes.
  • Working knowledge of C#, C++, Fortran.
  • Strong working knowledge in parallel computing/High Performance Computing (HPC).