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Technical Lead Chemical Propulsion Engineer

ID de l'offre R0083519 Date de publication 24/07/2020 Lieu: Oxford, Angleterre, United Kingdom
Full time, Contrat à Durée Indéterminée (CDI)
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Thales people architect and deliver satellite-based systems that help position, connect and observe our planet, and push the boundaries of our understanding of planet's resources. Our systems are in orbit at 400 km, 20000 km, 36000 km and beyond to the edges of the solar system.

Together we offer fantastic opportunities for committed employees to learn and develop their career with us. At Thales UK, we research, develop, and supply technology and services that impact the lives of millions of people each day to make life better, and keep us safer. We innovate across five major industries; Aerospace, Defence, Ground Transportation, Security and Space. Your health and well-being matters to us and that’s why we offer you the flexibility to do what’s important to you; whether that’s part time hours, job sharing, home working, or the ability to flex your start and finish times. Where possible, we support a working pattern that suits your lifestyle and helps you reach your ambitions.

Chemical Propulsion Engineer

Location: TAS UK – Harwell


Thales UK: Aerospace

One of the world's only technology providers serving both the civilian and military markets, Thales UK is a key participant in an extensive range of major aircraft programmes. Guiding, protecting, equipping, tracking, controlling – Thales’s technology is making fixed and rotary wing aircraft of all types safer and more efficient, all around the world.

Principal Purpose of the Position:

Working as part of the Thales Alenia Space UK Propulsion Engineering Team:

• Work with a team of talented and passionate engineers to tackle difficult problems and push the boundaries of in-space propulsion

• Lead a project technical team for the delivery of new chemical propulsion subsystems, with a strong systems engineering approach, considering all 3 dimensions: technical, cost and schedule.

• Provide technical input to future propulsion developments and continuous improvement of our products, systems and processes.

• Provide expertise across the team for chemical propulsion developments and technical review of design documentation

• Provide senior engineering expertise and industry knowledge to the wider propulsion team and support the growth and mentoring of less experienced engineers in the technical domain of propulsion.

Principal Relationships:

• Propulsion Engineering Manager, Design Authority and Propulsion Technical Skill leaders

• Propulsion Product Manager and Satellite Project PMO 

• Satellite system teams in TAS France / Italy

• Propulsion equipment suppliers

• External partners & customers eg ESA, UKSA, Satellite Operators

Key Responsibilities and tasks

• Lead the design and development of state-of-the-art propulsion subsystems with particular emphasis on conventional chemical propulsion subsystems and technologies (monopropellant hydrazine and bipropellants: MMH/MON). This will involve, but not be limited to;

Interpreting and extracting subsystem requirements from system level requirements to produce the subsystem Technical Requirement Document;

  • Managing technical trade-offs at propulsion subsystem level leading to the definition of a frozen propulsion subsystem design;
  • Establishing a development plan for the propulsion subsystem & implementing it throughout the product life cycle;
  • Generating propulsion AIT plans and test requirements
  • Act as the primary technical point of contact between satellite system/customer & subsystem/AIT teams;
  • Managing the delivery of technical documentation for the propulsion subsystem through the different project life cycle milestones & reviews (PDR, CDR, QR…)
  • Contribute to the TAS propulsion product policy definition & ensure its implementation on new programmes
  • Support system teams & customers system level propulsion trade-offs for optimization of the satellite and mission design.
  • Provide guidance and system engineering support to continuously improve our products and subsystems.

• Provide input and guidance to industrialisation of propulsion MAIT facilities and processes for high volume production

• Provide input to technical documents for proposals and project reviews.

• Technical coordination of inputs / outputs key interface data.

• Respond to customer technical queries and actions from meetings/reviews

• Manage and coordinate multiple system/subsystem engineering tasks with support from technical experts in other disciplines (eg Mechanical, thermal, AOCS)

• Perform ad-hoc additional duties that will arise from time to time that are consistent with the nature of this technical managerial position

Qualifications, Skills & Experience;

• Degree level qualification in a discipline associated with Space Engineering (such as aerospace/astronautics/mechanical engineering) or a related subject (such as physics)

• Post-graduate research in a subject related to propulsion/space systems would be desirable

• >10 years previous experience in the design of space propulsion systems using liquid propellants, specifically Hydrazine and its derivatives and bipropellants (MMH/MON) is essential.

• Expertise in ‘green’/low toxicity propellant alternatives such as HTP, ADN, HAN would be desirable.

• Expertise in propulsion subsystem manufacturing processes (TIG welding, NDT, precision cleaning etc) and AIT is considered essential

• Experience in propellant and/or pressurant tank design and structural analysis would be advantageous

• Experience in thruster and combustion design would be advantageous

• Experience in PMD and PED design and analysis would be advantageous

• Proven experience and proficiency in mathematical tools such as Excel/MATLAB and/or CFD software, such as EcosimPro is considered essential

• Experience in CFD software for heat transfer such as ANSYS would be advantageous

• Demonstrated experience in space projects through the full lifecycle from Phase 0/A to Phase D/E in propulsion subsystem or equipment is desired.

• Demonstrated knowledge of state of the art electric propulsion subsystem technologies would be advantageous.

• Experience of working in a multi-discipline and international team environment is expected

A proven track record in the following activities is essential:

• System engineering for complex propulsion systems in a commercial project delivery context;

• Technical project management, preferably in a propulsion product development context

• Chemical propulsion subsystem design and analysis, including specification writing and technical follow-up of equipment qualification and procurement;

• Good communication and influencing skills to build productive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders;

• Technical mentoring/coaching and development support to young engineers in the early stages of their career

• Good working knowledge of government / institutional contractual rules and forms (ECSS, MIL standards, etc);

• While specific knowledge of the French and Italian languages is not a prerequisite for this position it would be advantageous to facilitate activities across the TAS JV organisation.


The incumbent needs to be able to demonstrate a positive approach in relation to the Thales Leadership Model:

• Shape Solutions Out of Complexity

• Be Ambitious and Accountable

• Perform Through Co-operation

• Influence Key Stakeholders

• Manage Self

• Engage and Develop Teams

•  Display energy, drive, agility and resilience in achieving work-related goals under difficult circumstances;

• Developing and performing through teamwork, and promoting improvements and change;

• Ability to communicate well and influence effectively at all levels internally and externally with customers, partners and suppliers;

• The ability to work innovatively with sometimes-unclear briefs; a persistent and tenacious high achiever, with the ability to quickly adapt and learn new skills and concepts;

• Be ‘customer focused’ to ensure that the needs of the customers are met;

• The job requires a flexible and “can do” approach to perform effectively in a fast changing business growth environment and a willingness to “go the extra mile” to achieve results when required.

Demonstrate behaviours that contribute to an agile and collaborative operating model, “One Team – One Company”

What we offer you

At Thales we provide CAREERS and not only jobs.

We value talent and provide growth paths to all depending on the individual skills and abilities to move up the ladder.

With Thales employing 68,000 employees in 50 countries and 43% of all Thales UK roles being filled via internal movements our mobility policy enables thousands of employees each year to develop their careers at home and abroad, in their existing areas of expertise or by branching out into new fields.

Thales UK Key Facts

  • Each year, Thales registers more than 300 patents
  • A prominent retailer commissioned Thales to develop a ‘heat-sensing people counter' for use in its 400 stores
  • 90% of all UK credit card transactions are secured by Thales
  • Over 120,000 Thales Chip & PIN terminals have been installed across Europe
  • Thales UK has earned 79 Queen's Awards for Technology and Export
  • 90% of our sales are sourced from the UK
  • 7% of our revenue is reinvested in R & D
  • Thales has invested more than £2bn in the UK within the last 10 years

Thales is the second largest defence systems supplier

Thales embodies many famous companies, including Racal, Shorts Missiles, Pilkington Optronics, Redifon MEL, Thomson Marconi Sonar, Thorn Missile Electronics, Avimo, Helio and others

In line with Thales' Baseline Security requirements, candidates will be asked to provide evidence of identity, eligibility to work in the UK and employment and/or education history for up to three years. Some vacancies may require full Security Clearance which can require further evidence to be provided. For further details of the evidence required to apply for Baseline and Security Clearance please refer to the Defence Business Services National Security Vetting (DBS NSV) Agency.

At Thales we provide CAREERS and not only jobs. With Thales employing 80,000 employees in 68 countries our mobility policy enables thousands of employees each year to develop their careers at home and abroad, in their existing areas of expertise or by branching out into new fields. Together we believe that embracing flexibility is a smarter way of working. Great journeys start here, apply now!

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