Chief Software Engineer

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Sierra Space’s vision is to enable humanity to begin new civilizations beyond Earth. The Engineering team brings that vision to life. The Senior Director of Software leads the Sierra Space software engineering community as the recognized industry expert in software development methods, tools, testing, V&V, collaboration, and software evolution over the entire mission lifecycle. This role is enterprise-wide across all Sectors, including Space Transportation, Destinations, and Applications. Technology applications may include; embedded systems, models and simulations, autonomous operations, artificial intelligence and machine learning, virtual reality, optimization, space flight and ground software and crewed and uncrewed spacecraft. This role is responsible for enterprise technical execution of, and accountability for, the software engineering related elements of space programs (along with the program manager and engineering lead). The Sr. Director also provides the mentoring, best practices, tools and guidance for the Sierra Space software engineering population. This role reports to the VP of Engineering.

SNC’s subsidiary, Sierra Space, based in Louisville, Colorado with operations in Madison, Wisconsin and Durham, North Carolina, designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, satellites, propulsion and environmental systems, spacecraft subsystems and components for the U.S. government (including NASA), commercial customers and international organizations. Learn more about Sierra Space

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Full lifecycle design, development, test, deployment, and operational support of software applications and products in Sierra Space.  Accountable for software-related program execution.

  • Builds and leads a team of world-class space software engineers to develop commercial-based products in a dynamic accelerated environment.  Ensures Sierra Space software engineer competency.

  • Collaborates with other subject matter expert directors to ensure product performance meets/exceeds mission requirements. Also participates in strategic technology development of unique capabilities and experiences for Sierra Space’s mission offerings.

  • Review, approve and monitor program software engineering implementation and execution. Topics include; program start-up and development methods, planning, coding, software quality assurance, configuration management, hardware selection input, compliance, test, and verification.

  • Development, deployment, maintenance, and training of engineering policies, processes and procedures related to software engineering that are on the cutting edge of new-space industry practice.

  • Oversees software engineering execution on Sierra Space programs, organizations and external organizations. Manage a budget for engineering tools.  Supports Sierra Space’s integrated digital enterprise objectives.

  • Works with Manufacturing/Production, Test, and Industrial engineering teams, as well as Mission Assurance/Safety in a concurrent engineering paradigm to ensure these considerations are addressed in software requirements and technical baselines.

  • Supports Model-Based approaches (Model Based System Engineering – MBSE, Model Based Definition – MBD, etc) in an Integrated Digital Enterprise (IDE) to ensure integrity and utility of digital twin/digital thread.

  • Develops and manages technical/cost/schedule baselines in collaboration with Program/Product managers.  Management may include dealing with relevant suppliers on a technical and contractual level.    Works with Program Managers to define required skills and support acquisition of key engineering talent.

  • Manage direct-report engineers including Human Resource tasks and budget.

  • May support business development in defining related systems architectures and engineering cost estimates for business opportunities during the program capture phase.

  • Prepares material for, and conduct, periodic progress and risk reviews for senior management and appropriate customer representatives

  • Responsible for conducting personnel reviews for assigned direct staff.

  • Works with Sierra Space subject matter expert directors, support organizations and line engineers to implement operating procedures, resolve system issues, identify and recommend required engineering tools and provide technical information.


  • Requires a BA/BS in Related Field. Relevant work experience may substitute for required education.

  • Position requires a minimum of 15 years of experience in a related engineering environment, including management of high-performing teams.

  • C++/Python experience

  • Matlab/Simulink

  • Atlassian tools, SVN, bitbucket, GIT

  • First-hand experience with the Agile software development process is preferred.

  • Extensive knowledge/experience with space flight software architecture, design, development and verification in particular to a human rated software

  • Demonstrated experience in all phases of design lifecycle management to include: Requirements, Design, Integration, Test, and Sustainment.

  • Experience in program management, development engineering and/or operational experience in a branch of the military relevant to the product line / business area.



To conform to U.S. Government international trade regulations, applicant 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 or U.S. Department of Commerce.

With 30+ years of proven spaceflight heritage, Sierra Space has provided more than 4,000 space systems, subsystems and components to customers worldwide, and participated in more than 500 missions to space, including to Mars. The company has technology in production and in development to enable space habitats for short- and long-duration space travel, a fleet of Dream Chaser spaceplanes, and the first free-flying commercial space station. Please visit www.sierraspace.com to learn more about Sierra Space, its business areas, capabilities, programs, products and services.

Estimated Starting Salary Range: $180,679.95 - $248,434.93

Sierra Space offers annual incentive pay based upon performance that is commensurate with the level of the position.

Sierra Space offers a generous benefit package, including medical, dental, and vision plans, 401(k) with 150% match up to 8%, life insurance, 3 weeks paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and more.

As COVID-19 continues to significantly impact our employees, families and communities, we are taking action to address the increased risk and uncertainty COVID-19 and associated variants pose in the workplace. SNC is committed to supporting our employees while ensuring we continue to meet essential national security needs of our country.

With employee health and safety as our top priority, and as a federal contractor, SNC will continue to require COVID-19 vaccination status for all employees including new hires. In accordance with applicable requirements, all current and newly hired employees who are unvaccinated may be required to adhere to enhanced onsite safety protocols including weekly COVID-19 testing, face coverings, and social distancing. 

The status of applicable COVID-19 vaccination requirements are subject to change depending on applicable court orders and the course of ongoing litigation. Candidates may later be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or have an approved exemption. 

At Sierra Space, our mission is to dream, innovate, inspire and empower the next generation to transform humanity through technology and imagination. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we welcome our employees to bring their whole selves to their work. Sierra Space is committed to fostering an inclusive, accepting, and diverse environment free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. Contributions to Sierra Space come in many shapes and styles, and we believe diversity in our workforce fosters new and greater ways to dream, innovate, and inspire.

Sierra Space
Sierra Space

United States, Louisville, CO

Posted 4 months ago

Job offer closed

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