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How I Got into Aerospace: An Ursa Major Series on Career Pivots - Part 2


Two engineers apply experience from vastly different industries to rocket propulsion  

Research demonstrates that diverse and inclusive teams make better decisions and are more successful at solving complex problems.  

Diversity of thought, education, and background contribute to the dynamic culture and work environment at Ursa Major.  

In this series, we highlight the journeys of our colleagues who didn’t start their careers in aerospace. Read the first installment here.  

Bringing Experience with Turbines to Propulsion Systems

Benjamin Gindl, Propulsion Engineer

The Journey

I studied mechanical engineering at Colorado State University. My first engineering job out of college was at a small company that makes equipment to measure air flow for various industries. From there, I joined an energy company that manufactures turbine control equipment. I had racked up almost a decade of engineering experience serving the aerospace industry, but not working on aerospace technology itself. When I was ready to make the leap, Ursa Major was at the top of my list of aerospace companies. 


My role at Ursa Major is to step in when the most challenging technical problems arise. Because of my diverse background, I can often see different solutions than others on the team. I thrive in the dynamic, fast-paced environment and learn a great deal every day.  

Why Ursa Major?

Ursa Major recognized my passion for aerospace and raw engineering talent and gave me the chance to learn the industry. Everyone at the company from the CEO to the management team to my colleagues in engineering has been tremendously supportive and informative. 

Ursa Major in three words:

Focused. Fun. Growing.

From Iowa Agriculture to Colorado-Made Engines

Ryan Yen, Manufacturing Engineer

The Journey

I have Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University. I worked in civil engineering in Florida and agricultural engineering in Iowa. I had always wanted to move to Colorado, and aerospace was the most exciting way to apply my engineering education and professional experience. 


At Ursa Major, I oversee and assist with the processes, tooling design, and construction for our Hadley engines. This involves a lot of collaboration among the engineers, quality inspectors, inventory specialists, technicians, and program managers. Essentially, I function as a central point of contact to assist and navigate each engine’s build processes for Ursa Major: from construction, to test, and then shipping it out the door. 

My secondary role is to create and design tooling that will assist in the engine’s construction. This can range anywhere from modeling simple hoist picks to creating fixtures that empower engine technicians to perform their tasks with greater efficiency. Here, my designs will undergo peer reviews and consultation with purchasing for raw materials. It is here where I gladly lend my creativity in engineering to serve the needs of the technicians and builders who hand-build each Hadley engine from the ground up. 

How Ursa Major has supported his journey in aerospace:

There are a lot of aerospace companies to work for in Colorado, but the environment at Ursa Major is extremely people-oriented. The company is large enough to offer resources and a solid career growth path, yet small enough that I have exposure to people at all levels in all departments. In this regard, Ursa Major separates itself from every experience I’ve had as a working professional. It’s my hope to compound the knowledge given to me into helping those who have invested their time in me! 

Ursa Major in three words:

People-oriented. Innovative. Fast-paced.

Ursa Major Staff - Launch-Ready Propulsion for every sector of aerospace

Seeing aerospace advancement as a technological imperative, we're accelerating the industry as the leading source of world-class propulsion systems.


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