Electric Propulsion Engineer

Thales Alenia Space

Direct Entry Job Permanent Harwell, Oxford, UK

Uploaded 7 Sep 2020

Job Description

Principal Purpose of the Position:

Working as part of the Thales Alenia Space UK Propulsion Engineering Team:

  • Work with a team of talented and passionate engineers to tackle difficult problems and push the boundaries of in-space propulsion;
  • Take responsibility for the electric propulsion equipment selected for the subsystem (Hall Effect Thrusters, Gridded Ion Engines, HEMPT, PPUs etc) and technical follow-up with suppliers for the equipment qualification and procurement.
  • Actively participate to subsystem tests (coupling test, EMI..) and data post-processing
  • Support propulsion architects and subsystem technical leads with technical document preparation for projects, studies and bids;
  • Provide technical input to future propulsion developments and contribute to continuous improvement of our products, systems and processes.

Key Responsibilities and tasks

  • Provide technical input to the design and development of new electrical propulsion subsystems for TAS satellites/product lines. This will involve, but not be limited to;
  • Managing the technical requirements specification (URD) for electric propulsion equipment and interface with the equipment supplier/s
  • Evaluating supplier proposal reviews in TEBs and supporting propulsion equipment definition and selection;
  • Preparing technical documentation for the solution through the different project life cycle milestones & reviews (PDR, CDR, QR etc)
  • Support to propulsion subsystem fluidic analyses and preparation of analysis reports for subsystem PDR/CDR data packs
  • Prepare and manage test plans and requirements for electric thruster-PPU coupled tests and input to system level tests to characterise EMI and multi-firing effects etc.
  • Perform subsystem engineering tasks with support from technical experts
  • Perform ad-hoc additional duties that will arise from time to time that are consistent with the nature of this position

Person Specification

The following are considered essential for this role:

  • Degree level qualification in a discipline associated with Space Engineering (such as aerospace/astronautics/mechanical engineering) or related subjects (such as physics). Post-graduate research in a subject field related to propulsion would be desirable
  • Demonstrated knowledge of state of the art electric propulsion thrusters is essential (primarily HET, GIE).
  • Previous experience in testing electric propulsion thrusters
  • Experience of collaborating in a multi-discipline and international team environment
  • Proven experience and proficiency in mathematical tools such as Excel/MATLAB.

The following are considered desirable for this role:

  • Demonstrated knowledge/experience in space projects at different stages of the lifecycle from Phase 0/A to Phase D/E .
  • Previous experience in design/specification/testing of electric propulsion thruster power supply and processing units (PPUs)
  • Demonstrated knowledge/experience in state of the art chemical propulsion thrusters and subsystem fluidic equipment (tanks, filters, valves, pressure regulators)
  • Systems engineering knowledge – across the “Systems V” – to achieve critical project outcomes to time, cost and quality;
  • Good communication and influencing skills to build productive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders;
  • While specific knowledge of the French and Italian languages is not a prerequisite for this position it would be advantageous to facilitate activities across the TAS JV organisation.

Expected Behaviours

  • Display energy, drive, agility and resilience in achieving work-related goals under difficult circumstances;
  • Developing and performing through teamwork, and promoting improvements and change;
  • Ability to communicate well and influence effectively at all levels internally and externally with customers, partners and suppliers;
  • The ability to work innovatively with sometimes-unclear briefs; a persistent and tenacious high achiever, with the ability to quickly adapt and learn new skills and concepts;
  • Be ‘customer focused’ to ensure that the needs of the customers are met;
  • The job requires a flexible and “can do” approach to perform effectively in a fast changing business growth environment and a willingness to “go the extra mile” to achieve results when required. 
  • Demonstrate behaviours that contribute to an agile and collaborative operating model, “One Team – One Company”