Senior Propulsion Fluids Analyst

Lafayette, Colorado
The journey to space starts with the engines. 

Ursa Major was founded to bring a new model to space access: one in which every link in an enormous value chain isn’t limited by those around it. We design rocket engines and propulsion solutions.  

Our products and technologies require an extraordinary team. A team who will mold tomorrow’s technologies while deploying today’s best. We are comprised of intrinsically motivated individuals who have a passion for solving problems and empower each other every day to develop our skills, knowing that there is always room for growth.

As a Senior Propulsion Fluids Analyst you will primarily support all our engine design programs through a broad variety of fluid analysis techniques. Our ideal candidate is one proficient in both CFD as well as steady-state and transient 1D (lumped parameter) fluid modeling. You will be exposed to all systems on our engines and the unique challenges each component presents. You will also be expected to leverage existing knowledge to solve difficult problems throughout an engine lifecycle.  
You will be expected to assess the risk and performance of the hardware and to provide proactive feedback to our design team regarding how to improve their components based on the results of your work. We are seeking an individual who is excited about solving problems on the edge of technical capabilities by using their deep understanding of fluids, thermodynamics, combustion, and simulation. This individual will be able to apply that understanding to predict the performance of rocket engine components including combustors, manifolds, and turbomachinery. 

We are looking for experienced analysts who will be responsible for the technical growth of Ursa Major’s fluid analysis capabilities. You will report to our Propulsion Analysis Team Lead. 
Colorado law requires us to tell you the base compensation range of this role, which is $100,000 - $140,000, determined by your education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities. What we can’t quantify for you are the exciting challenges, supportive team, and amazing culture we enjoy. Click here for more information about our awesome benefits.


We’re an equal opportunity employer. You will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

No outside recruiters please.


As a U.S. government contractor, Ursa Major is subject to President Biden’s September 9, 2021 Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors requiring federal contractors to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19. As such, Ursa Major requires employees to either show proof of vaccination or demonstrate an exemption for medical or religious reasons by December 8, 2021. Per the executive order, “fully vaccinated” means two weeks after a final dose of a one- or two-dose COVID-19 vaccine approved for regular or emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or World Health Organization.
Primary Responsibilities
  • Use hand calculations and steady CFD to predict fluid behavior throughout the engine system and its components (e.g. assess pressure drops and mass flow distributions).
  • Build steady-state and transient 1D models of our engines’ fluid systems to predict matters such as engine components’ operating states and engine startup behavior.
  • Identify potential design improvements and collaborate with other engineering teams to develop our engines while ensuring they meet our system-level requirements.
  • Work closely with our test team to request instrumentation necessary to anchor our analytical models.
  • Support anomaly investigations by building transient 1D fluid models to recreate measurements recorded during engine operation.
  • Ownership of fluid models of rocket engines and related systems. This will include support of concept and clean-sheet designs, as well as supporting mature system improvements.
  • Improve upon Ursa’s analytical methods and seek out new approaches and tools.
  • Provide professional development, mentorship, and technical guidance to peers.
Minimum Experience/Requirements
  • B.S. degree in Mechanical, Aerospace Engineering, or a comparable field.
  • 5+ years of combined fluids analysis experience (CFD and 1D, as detailed below).
  • Experience in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) using commercial codes (ANSYS Fluent or CFX preferred, but knowledge of StarCCM+ or similar tools is welcome).
  • Experience developing steady and transient 1D models of fluid system analyses ideally using ROCETS or GFSSP. Knowledge of SINDA/FLUINT, FloCAD, AFT Arrow/Fathom/Impulse, Flownex, Flowmaster, GT-SUITE, or comparable lumped parameter analysis tools would also be gladly accepted.
  • Demonstrated experience in fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer.
  • Programming experience (Python ideal, but MATLAB or other high-level languages acceptable).
  • Basic experience with 3D CAD software (Creo and NX are ideal).
  • Experience with complex fluid-mechanical systems - our engines are the product of integrated combustors, turbomachinery, and control systems, all of which must be well understood and optimized.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced, startup environment.
  • Prior experience working on safety-critical systems in production environments.
Ideal Experience/Requirements
  • M.S. or PhD degree in mechanical, aerospace engineering, or a comparable field.
  • 10+ years of combined fluids analysis experience (CFD and 1D, ideally with heavy focus on the specific applications detailed below).
  • Experience using CFD to predict performance in at least one specialty area: pump performance prediction, turbine performance prediction, cavitation/two-phase modeling, combustion modeling, or unsteady calculations.
  • Experience using 1D models of fluid systems to predict transient phenomena such as water hammer or engine start-up.
  • Analysis of cryogenic fluid systems, high-pressure pneumatics, two-phase or supercritical fluid systems, and compressible flows.
  • Professional experience in rocketry or turbomachinery.
  • Unlimited PTO - Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Bereavement
  • Paid maternity/paternity/adoptive leave
  • Medical, dental and vision insurance; STD; Life and AD&D
  • Retirement Savings Plan - Traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k)
  • Company stock options

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