Director of Mission Assurance
Varda Space Industries
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
The Director of Mission Assurance will partner with Varda’s design, manufacturing, legal, and regulatory teams to ensure Varda's vehicle can safely and reliably operate through launch, orbit, microgravity manufacturing, and atmospheric reentry. You and your team coordinate vehicle readiness to fly and verifies the hardware, software, and operations teams are ready for the mission. This position answers directly to the CEO and covers two main areas (1) regulatory and licencing deliverables, and (2) vehicle reliability. Prior to the mission, Mission Assurance is responsible for ensuring the vehicle meets all internal and external requirments, and during the mission, the Mission Assurance teams owns any anomaly investigations and drives tows continues improvements in the vehicle.
- Assess and drive improvements to vehicle design working closely with hardware teams
- Develop design criteria, requirements, and verification approaches for new and existing systems
- Provide critical peer review of hardware during design reviews and acceptance and qualification test campaigns
- Develop, implement, and validate test and inspection processes for new and existing products and processes
- Develop, write, and submit landing site environmental assessments to ensure area and spacecraft safety
- Develop, write, and submit Flight Safety Analysis documents working with GNC and vehicle teams
- Develop and improve program by use of subsystem criticality, failure modes and effects analysis, requirements compliance matrix tools to identify failure modes and the mitigations to ensure adequate coverage, change management, and optimize effects on production
- Responsible for vehicle level deliverables for regulatory bodies including, but no limited to, requirements compliance, functional or flight hazard analyses, and verification evidence for the FAA, FCC, or Air Force Range
- Responsible for vehicle level risk management and execution of program risk posture, execution, and identifying mitigation strategies
- Investigate failures in production, test, and flight identifying and mitigating the immediate and underlying root causes in order to reduce risk and improve reliability of designs and processes
- Contain suspect or known non-conforming products, providing guidance to quality inspectors, technicians, shop supervisors, and engineers to assist in quarantining and rework activities
- Build a team of at least two engineers (1) a flight safety engineer and (2) a mission assurance engineer to help with Design Reliability, Build Reliability, and Flight Reliability
- 7-10 years experience in a manufacturing, quality, design, or similar engineering role
- Bachelor's degree in computer science, electrical, manufacturing, mechanical, aerospace, or material sciences engineering
- Experience with integration of interdisciplinary systems in the Aerospace industry
- Experience working with the FAA and certifying vehicles for flight
- Experience with FMECA risk assessment
- Strong computer skills with demonstrated ability in a programming language
- Structured problems solving methodologies (DMAIC, 8D, etc.)
Preferred Skills and Experience
- Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, computer engineering, aerospace engineering, materials engineering, or electrical engineering
- Strong interpersonal and collaborative skills, and enthusiasm for Varda’s spirit of innovation and drive for improving reliability in cutting-edge technology
- Familiarity with FAA Part 450 and RCC-321
- Full project lifecycle ownership experience (cradle to grave)
- Demonstrated application of process controls in high volume manufacturing, test, and quality environment
- Knowledge of quality tools such as measurement systems analysis, design of experiments, statistical process control, root cause analysis and corrective action, advanced product quality planning (APQP), metrology, process failure mode and effects analysis (PFMEA), control plans, and various problem-solving approaches
- Dedicated to adopting a lean approach to quality without compromising safety or reliability
- Experience developing or supporting any of the following:
- Certification or licensing process for spacecraft or launch vehicles for flight (FAA, Range Safety, etc.)
- Complex mechanical/structural assemblies
- Advanced composites systems
- Fluid component/valve assembly
- Pre-impregnated lamination/curing composites
- CNC machining, forming, bending
- Bonding, drilling, fastening and other assembly manufacturing processes
- Avionics integration and testing
- Fluid system pressure testing
- Welding (Electron Beam (EB), TIG)
- Salary range: $153,000 - $208,000
- This role is on-site in El Segundo, CA
- Leveling and base salary is determined by job-related skills, education level, experience level, and job performance
- You will be eligible for long-term incentives in the form of stock options and/or long-term cash awards
- Offer compensation also includes the ability to purchase company stock through the Employee Stock Purchase Plan
- 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.