Staff Design Engineer - Solid Rocket Motors (SRM)

| Denver, CO, USA | Hybrid
Employer Provided Salary: $120,000-$190,000 Annually
Salary data is provided by the employer. Please note this is not a guarantee of compensation.
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Ursa Major was founded to address a critical shortfall in the U.S. industrial base and bring a new model to aerospace and defense systems: we design and manufacture the world’s leading propulsion systems for space, hypersonic applications, and missile systems. 

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

As Ursa Major expands into the realm of solid propulsion, we’re assembling the most innovative and nimble team in order to unseat the reigning players.  We’re applying the latest technologies to an outdated business model that improves cost, lead time, and flexibility without impacting reliability.  We must continue to build in-house capabilities in energetics, ballistics, and composites with an emphasis on novel designs focused on manufacturability and high-rate scalability.  

The Staff Designer is responsible for the design, analysis, and qualification of solid rocket motor primary structures as well as secondary structures and propulsion elements based on customer requirements and industry specifications.  Since Ursa Major leverages additive manufacturing to a significant degree, experience with metal additive design and emerging technologies is required.  Additionally, experience designing for high-rate production, automation, and reduced touch labor is essential to scalability.


  • Clean sheet design of novel solid rocket motors with limited guidance from subject matter experts.
  • Distill customer requirements into a design that meets or exceeds the intent while adhering to the Ursa Major criteria for low-cost yet reliable products. Also, support customer interactions when requested.
  • Lead development campaigns to prove conceptual designs and evaluate applicability to realized products.
  • Provide guidance on assembly and testing of initial prototypes and troubleshoot as required.
  • Review test data to ensure the product is operating as expected and support design changes as needed.
  • Lead cross-functional communications to ensure designs satisfy the needs of each stakeholder.
  • Develop and maintain aggressive but achievable product schedules that proactively identify and mitigate high-risk design decisions.
  • Generate, review, and approve CAD models and drawings that are consistent with internal best practices and ASME Y14.5-2009
  • Provide dispositions for discrepant hardware including supporting analysis if required.
  • Maintain proper documentation of all designs including design reviews, test plans, requirements verification, customer documentation, etc.
  • Work with the procurement team to ensure the supply chain can support anticipated production rates and adjust designs when significant supply chain risks are identified.
  • Technical mentor for less senior members of the team.
  • Author guidance on design best practices and supporting formal documentation as required.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field with 7 years of relevant experience.
  • Relevant experience with rocket motors, solid propulsion elements, and structural interfaces.
  • Proficiency with computer-aided design and analysis tools.
  • Strong understanding of design for additive manufacturing including material and design limitations of metal additive processes.
  • Strong engineering fundamentals including in-depth knowledge of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and structural mechanics.
  • Effective communication skills are crucial for collaborating with cross-functional teams, presenting design concepts, and documenting work.
  • An understanding of insensitive munitions protocols and practices utilized in the design of solid rocket motors.
  • This position requires that the employee be eligible and maintain eligibility for a Secret Clearance.

Desired Experience:

  • Master’s degree or PhD in in a technical discipline such as mechanical or aerospace engineering.
  • Experience conducting insensitive munitions testing and product qualification.
  • Hands-on experience supporting rapid product development.
  • Experience designing hardware for high-rate production including automated processes.
  • Familiarity with composite overwrap and filament winding design and analysis.
  • Experience with Siemen’s NX and Ansys software packages.
  • DoD Secret Security Clearance or higher.

Colorado law requires us to tell you the base compensation range of this role, which is $120,000 - $190,000, 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.

Classification: Full-time Exempt

Benefits Include:

  • Unlimited PTO - Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Bereavement
  • Paid parental and Adoptive Leave
  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance
  • Tax Advantage Accounts (HSA/FSA)
  • Employer Paid Short and Long Term Disability, Basic Life, AD&D
  • Additional Benefit Options Including Voluntary Life, Emergency Medical Transport and Pet Insurance
  • EAP Program 
  • Retirement Savings Plan - Traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k)
  • Company stock options 

NOTE: Research suggests that women and BIPOC individuals may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage anyone who believes they have the skills and the drive necessary to succeed here to apply for this role.




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.


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Our one-of-a kind campus co-locates engineering, manufacturing, & testing operations, allowing for unmatched development time and the chance for employees, customers, and investors alike to experience rocket engine testing as a part of the normal work day.

An Insider's view of Ursa Major

What’s the vibe like in the office?

In short, working at Ursa feels ‘electric.’ There’s something special about work when every employee feels directly responsible for the company’s success or failure. It’s much easier to love and care about your own job when everyone else feels the same way. Working on rocket engines also makes it easy to fall in love with the job.


Staff Sales Engineer

How does the company support your career growth?

Career growth on my team is multi-faceted. The leadership and your team members at Ursa Major help you to grow your technical skills and ensure that you are constantly growing your soft skills. Ursa Major cares about what interests you and what future opportunities you are working towards and helps you get there!


Systems Engineer

What are Ursa Major Perks + Benefits

Volunteer in local community
Open door policy
OKR operational model
Team based strategic planning
Open office floor plan
Flexible work schedule
Remote work program
Mean gender pay gap below 10%
Diversity employee resource groups
Hiring practices that promote diversity
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Disability insurance
Dental insurance
Vision insurance
Health insurance
Life insurance
Pet insurance
Team workouts
Mental health benefits
Financial & Retirement
Company equity
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Generous parental leave
Family medical leave
Company sponsored family events
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited vacation policy
Generous PTO
Ursa has an unlimited PTO policy with 2 required weeks off during which the company closes (one in December and one in July).
Paid holidays
Paid sick days
With our unlimited PTO policy, sick days are covered!
Office Perks
Company-sponsored outings
Ursa periodically has social events to celebrate holidays, qualifications, and sometimes just for fun!
Free snacks and drinks
Company-sponsored happy hours
Onsite office parking
Pet friendly
Our Berthoud location is dog friendly. We have a pup policy in place to assure the health and safety of all of our furry friends and are working on putting in a dog park.
Relocation assistance
Onsite gym
Professional Development Benefits
Job training & conferences
Lunch and learns
Promote from within
Mentorship program
Online course subscriptions available
Customized development tracks
Paid industry certifications

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