Space Propulsion Project Researcher (f/m/d)

Updated: about 2 months ago

14.09.2023, Wissenschaftliches Personal

The boom of the NewSpace industry and its start-up ecosystem, as well as the evolution of the space market linked to satellite constellations and new destinations (Moon, Mars) are today challenging the traditional space transport concept built on tailor-made solutions for each mission. Against this background, the development of critical technologies for such a space logistics ecosystem is considered key to meet the evolution of institutional and commercial transport needs in a sustainable, innovative, efficient and cost-effective way. By 2030, such a European ecosystem should provide the new transport services to and in space required by space user markets. To achieve this goal, a number of key technologies as well as building blocks such as motorised dispensers, space tugs, kickstages and transfer vehicles should be adapted - for which a reliable and efficient propulsion system is the most important basis. The project will combine the capabilities of the industrial company and the research institution - the Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM). As a partner in the consortium, TUM will focus primarily on the research and development and scientific elements of the project. The project also deals with test facilities that should be set up at SpaceTeC in the future. The Space Propulsion Test Center is the first centre for innovative space propulsion worldwide that is genuinely tailored to the needs and requirements of universities and start-ups. SpaceTeC is established at the special airport in Oberpfaffenhofen.

Project goals

The objectives to be achieved by TUM under the project are listed below.

• Implementation of the project within budget and schedule

• Successfully analyse and summarise existing orbital stage engine testing facilities and preparatory activities for further development of the test equipment and test bed concept, outlining critical issues and challenges that may arise during the project

• Successful implementation of activities related to the definition of vacuum test concepts/strategies for the orbital stage engines, incorporating existing best practices

• Carry out simulation and modelling work to determine the operating parameters of the propulsion system under real vacuum conditions, using the results of the test campaigns carried out as part of the project.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

• Responsible for the implementation of the project within time and budget.

• Reports project status, issues, and problems to the Head of Department

• Preparation of a comprehensive overview of ongoing and expected research efforts

• Compile a survey of vacuum test facilities in international research and commercial facilities

• Establishing a holistic system overview for vacuum system integration, defining the vacuum concept, conducting preliminary design work for key vacuum system specifications, conducting initial component research and evaluation, analysing interface requirements and pre-selecting technical solutions for seamless interface integration

• Developed a simulation model and calibrated it using data from test campaigns

• Creates the definition of operational scenarios and mission profiles for the orbital stage engine, covering different thrust levels and burn times

• Performs simulations and analyses results to evaluate the engine's performance, efficiency, and response to different scenarios, while identifying areas for improvement or optimisation beyond the scope of the project. • Performs sensitivity analyses

• Prepares documentation of simulation methods, assumptions, and results

• Collaborates with the entire space propulsion and mobility team

• Maintains relationships with a wide range of internal and external engineering and production teams (not direct collaborators) to achieve project objectives

• Develops and maintains professional working relationships with all project stakeholders within the University and with external partners

Required Skills  & Expirience

• Masters of Science/Engineering degree in engineering, physics, math, or related discipline (e.g. Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering)

• More than 3 years proven experience in rocket propulsion systems

• Proven ability to deliver projects

• Proven ability to identify and solve problems through a proactive, systematic approach

• Proven ability to develop test benches, preferably for space propulsion systems

• Experience of systems engineering methodologies, including systems craftsmanship, requirements management, performance characterisation and interface management

• Extensive knowledge of the test bed component supply chain. • Thorough understanding of test bed systems and subsystems and demonstrated broad and deep knowledge of multiple test facility technical disciplines. • Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken in English

We offer

• An amazing team that you can work with

 A large network of people in the space business

Challenging exchanges with peers  The possibility of getting involved in something big

A 4-year contract


Application We look forward to your application. Please inform us of your interest accompanied with any additional important information per E-Mail at:

As the position entails hard physical work at the testbench in addition to office work, the position is not suitable for severely disabled persons.

The position is suitable for disabled persons. Disabled applicants will be given preference in case of generally equivalent suitability, aptitude and professional performance.

Data Protection Information:
When you apply for a position with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), you are submitting personal information. With regard to personal information, please take note of the Datenschutzhinweise gemäß Art. 13 Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (DSGVO) zur Erhebung und Verarbeitung von personenbezogenen Daten im Rahmen Ihrer Bewerbung. (data protection information on collecting and processing personal data contained in your application in accordance with Art. 13 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)). By submitting your application, you confirm that you have acknowledged the above data protection information of TUM.


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