Automation & Controls Engineer, Vehicle Test (Starship)

human resources

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


Starship is the largest and most capable space launch system ever developed. With the capability to deliver in excess of 100 metric tons to Earth’s orbit, it will fundamentally change access to space, and is the technology that will be used to establish a self-sustaining city on Mars. We will ultimately need thousands of Starships to accomplish that feat.

The vehicle test team develops machinery used for flight-like validation of all Starships systems prior to flight! We are looking for enthusiastic and creative individuals to pave the future of Starship production testing & automation. As an automation & controls engineer, you will be responsible for the full design and development cycles of a new automated test fleet of equipment. Specifically, this involves taking a problem, breaking it down to its core fundamentals, and designing / building / deploying a hardware & software interface controlling a mass-production grade piece of test equipment. We are looking for exceptional and aspirational engineers ready to take on this challenge.


  • Design, build, and deploy data acquisition and control systems for flight-like pressurized validation testing
  • Architect, write, and debug PLC code with an emphasis on generating code that is organized, structured, documented, maintainable and reusable for manufacturing applications
  • Develop and deploy intuitive HMI interfaces to be used by integration & test technicians
  • Collaborate with our in-house build shop technicians. Provide training and documentation as needed
  • Work closely with build, test, and launch operations teams to develop necessary test equipment.
  • Make high-value decisions on the fly, use feedback to continuously iterate and develop both product and process
  • Provide troubleshooting and technical support for critical vehicle operations
  • Develop build, maintenance, and upgrade plans for new and existing equipment to maximize up-time


  • Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, manufacturing engineering, mechanical engineering, or other technical discipline
  • Hands-on project experience with mechanical/electrical systems


  • 2+ years of manufacturing design experience
  • 2+ years’ experience in the design and commissioning of automation and controls systems for industrial applications
  • Experience with manufacturing automation
  • Experience with PLC programming, such as Siemens TIA Portal
  • Process development, facility and line layouts, error-proofing
  • Experience with Siemens NX and Teamcenter CAD (or similar)
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment
  • HMI and SCADA programming experience
  • Experience designing and working on high-voltage systems
  • Experience with wide variety of industrial components (pumps, motors, servos, valves)
  • Electrical schematic design experience
  • Understanding of field bus networks, serial communication, and Ethernet communication
  • Experience in fast-paced iterative design and manufacturing environments
  • Experience solving complex problems with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team


  • Ability to perform job duties that require standing, kneeling, crouching, twisting upper body, working in cramped positions in small openings and climbing hand over hand
  • Typically exposed to work in outdoor environments – heat, cold, rain
  • Schedule varies depending on site operational needs; must be willing to work extended hours and/or weekends as needed, flexibility required
  • Ability to pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg
  • Flexibility to travel to other SpaceX sites, up to 30%


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you 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. Learn more about the ITAR here.


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

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.

SpaceX logo
United States, Brownsville, TX
Posted a year ago
Job offer closed
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