Sierra Nevada Corporation | SNC | Logo Min Sierra Nevada Corporation SNC Logo Small search search icon arrow right arrow right icon press press release icon event event icon award award icon horn announcement icon facebook facebook icon google google plus icon linkedin linkedin icon youtube youtube icon instagram instagram icon flickr flickr icon icon pdf pdf download icon icon phone telephone number icon icon email email address icon

Sierra Nevada Corporation | SNC Sierra Nevada Corporation | SNC

Senior Systems Engineer (Integrated Vehicle Performance)

  •  Posted 11 Days Ago
  •   Full time
  •  Louisville, CO
  •  R0009657

SNC is seeking talented teammates to help design and build the Dream Chaser® lifting body spacecraft for NASA’s CRS2 mission. The Dream Chaser® program is looking for self-starting, outgoing, and efficient engineers to join and lead the Integrated Vehicle Performance (IVP) team. The IVP team is responsible for the technical integration of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft by analyzing spacecraft mass properties, power balancing, design driving scenarios, on-orbit attitude assessments, consumables, top level CAD integration, and other diverse analyses and performance metrics. The Integrated Vehicle Performance team is charged with understanding the vehicle system as a whole and managing margin such that the design meets or exceeds requirements. This lead Systems Engineer reports to the Systems Analysis leads, leads the IVP team, and works as an integrator across the program in concert with functional engineers. The Systems Engineer will prioritize tasks for the team while providing technical oversight and guidance from the early phases of design through operations. This lead Systems Engineer should have technical breadth including a strong understanding of spacecraft systems, aircraft systems, and orbital mechanics in addition to the creativity and agility to solve diverse analytical challenges. This position requires leadership, communication, ingenuity, resourcefulness, accountability, and technical breadth so that creative solutions can be found to complex and dynamic problems.

At SNC’s Space Systems Group (SSG) we are not only the creator of the Dream Chaser® spacecraft, but also the designer and manufacturer of rocket engines and components, systems that sustain life in deep space, as well as systems and satellites that improve life here on Earth. The work of our Space Systems team not only supports the U.S. government (including NASA), but also commercial customers and international organizations. Learn more about SSG


The System Engineer will be:

  • A Leader
    • Technical lead for the IVP/General Analysis team, including trajectory analysis, mass properties, power balance, channelization, and top level CAD integration.
    • Understand Program priorities and resources utilization accordingly.
    • Supervisory responsibilities of team members.
  • A Problem Solver
    • Create solutions to complex problems, and integrate disparate systems and concepts.
    • Research and analyze alternative technologies; contribute to trade studies.
    • Author technical and engineering memos to document decisions and solutions as required.
    • Ability to see process improvements and implement changes
  • An Integrator
    • Communication skills to facilitate integration among the design teams, functional areas, and operations.
    • Understand the vehicle system as a whole and manage margin such that the design meets or exceeds requirements.
    • Ability to decompose large complicated problems into manageable pieces, understand problems from different points of view, and explain issues/solutions to other engineers and management.
    • Ability to parse data from multiple sources, process it, develop useful conclusions, and then communicate the results to the program.
    • Strong propensity for System-level thinking. An ability to understand wide-reaching impacts of decisions across the system.
  • A Communicator
    • Lead Technical Interchange Meetings (TIMs) and other formal and informal engineering discussions with teammates, customers, and external stakeholders.
    • Brief customers and internal leadership on technical progress, risks, and alternative courses of action.
    • Prepare material for, and support periodic design reviews or major technical reviews, including design and test/launch readiness reviews.


  • Breadth of understanding across the following areas:  Orbital Mechanics, Atmospheric flight, Mass Properties, CAD, Spacecraft Structures, Thermal Control Systems (TCS), Electrical Power Systems (EPS), Propulsion, Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C), Avionics, Communication, Flight Software, and Mechanisms
  • Tools expertise:  Matlab or Python, STK/Freeflyer and Microsoft Office
  • Experience working on complex systems
  • Experience working in the space industry


  • Follow SNC policies, procedures and work instructions for all technical activities
  • Punctuality to work each day and prepared to work scheduled work hours
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Responsible for thoughtful adherence to all SNC Delegation of Authority requirements
  • Review Delegation of Authority thresholds as applicable to job position stated in the DOA Responsibilities Matrix


  • Responsible for thoughtful adherence to all SNC Policies, Procedures, and Compliance regulations (internal and external)
  • Responsible for timely execution of all personnel-related activities such as Time Sheet completion, Performance Evaluations, Salary Reviews, Succession Planning, etc.


  • Minimum physical requirements to perform all duties and responsibilities, as defined by management

SNC job descriptions are meant as summarizations only.  They do not necessarily reflect all duties and responsibilities of a position


  • Requires a BS in Aerospace Engineering or a Related Field, MS or PhD Preferred
  • 10+ years of related experience
  • 2+ years of managerial and supervisory experience
  • Excellent communication skills required in both verbal and written
  • Ability to rapidly work with minimal supervision on projects involving both small and large engineering teams
  • Must be able to work in a highly collaborative, fast paced environment with emphasizes in rapid prototyping and fielding of capabilities


To conform to U.S. Government export 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