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Senior Payload Systems Engineer

Varda Space Industries

Varda Space Industries

Software Engineering
El Segundo, CA, USA
Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2023

About Varda

There are many products that improve the quality of life on Earth that can only be manufactured in space. Our job at Varda is to make those products and bring them back down. We at Varda are proud to expand the economic bounds of humankind.

Here, you’ll have the opportunity to work at the intersection of ambition and experience. Our team has deep experience in aerospace and tech. They have honed their crafts in the trenches of major companies. Your work will be valued and evaluated by proven leaders who have chosen to apply their talents to manufacturing in space.

While our vision is big, the steps to get there are technically reasonable and operationally feasible. Our conops are clear and use cases have been proven out over decades of ISS-based research and development.

Join Varda to help leverage space for business.

About this Role

As a Senior Payload Systems Engineer, you will be responsible for the overall successful execution of flight payload projects from cradle to grave. In this dynamic position, you will lead both as a systems engineer and technical project manager throughout the entire payload project lifecycle. You will work with a multi-disciplinary team across avionics, software, mechanical, integration, and test as the owner of overall payload requirements from definition to verification and validation. As the project matures, you will be responsible for both critical technical decisions and ensuring the overall payload engineering team delivers.

In addition to project leadership, this role will require you to act as the primary technical point of contact. Whether dealing with external or internal customers on government or commercial projects, you will act as a customer advocate through technical leadership to ensure that Varda's platforms and payloads meet customer needs while minimizing program risk and complexity.


  • Drive technical and schedule execution for one or more payload projects, including definition of success criteria and determination of key objectives or milestones for the entire design, build, and fly cycle
  • Define and manage payload subsystem scope and requirements from concept through flight, especially as those requirements or trades pertain to the interfaces between disciplines
  • Own critical project technical and programmatic decisions to ensure payload project success
  • Drive the project through development, test, verification, and validation by setting the test objectives and ensuring the project risk is at parity with the overall program risk
  • Act as the primary technical interface and internal champion for the customer’s needs
  • Technical leadership of a team of responsible engineers across multiple the payload subsystem technical disciplines

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant technical field with 5+ years of professional experience in systems engineering or a related technical discipline
  • Proven experience leading and managing complex technical programs, preferably within aerospace or related industries
  • Strong first principles thinking and substantial technical breadth across relevant fields (electrical, mechanical, software, etc.)
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, enabling effective collaboration with cross-functional teams and direct customer engagement
  • Demonstrated ability to make critical decisions and act as a tie-breaking authority in complex technical scenarios
  • Ability to successfully respond to evolving requirements in a fast-moving organization

Preferred Skills And Experience

  • Experience working directly with customers and managing customer relationships
  • Technical depth in one or more of structures, mechanisms/mechatronics, fluid systems, and/or avionics
  • Ability to obtain security clearance
  • Experience with aerospace hardware development practices (e.g., qualification testing practices, design for typical space environments, cleanliness, etc.)

Pay Range

  • Sr. Payload Systems Engineer: $135,000 - $185,000 per year
  • On site role located in El Segundo, CA

ITAR Requirements

  • 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.


  • Exciting team of professionals at the top of their field to working by your side
  • Working in El Segundo, CA - an awesome Southern California beach city with quick access to entertainment and outdoor activities
  • Equity in a fully funded space startup with potential for significant growth
  • 401(k) matching
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Health insurance, including Vision and Dental
  • Lunch and snacks provided on site every day. Dinners provided twice a week.
  • Maternity / Paternity leave

Varda Space Industries is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Candidates and employees are always evaluated based on merit, qualifications, and performance. We will never discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, martial status, mental or physical disability, or any other legally protected status.