Senior Propulsion Structural Analyst

Lafayette, CO

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 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 a Senior Propulsion Analysis Engineer you will primarily focus on structural analyses across all our engines. You will be exposed to all systems on our engines and the unique challenges each component presents. We are looking for experienced analysts who bring new skills and best practices from their prior experience to Ursa, and who in time will mentor younger employees as the team grows. You will be expected to assess risks posed by the hardware and to provide proactive feedback to our design team regarding how to improve their components based on the results of your work. Lastly, as Ursa ramps up its production rate and begins development on new engine platforms, you will be expected to assess nonconforming hardware, introduce approaches that could improve our team’s efficiency, and to potentially venture into fluid analysis to support our fluids analysts when large volumes of work flow their way. You will report to our Propulsion Analysis Team Lead.


  • You will evaluate our designs through static, dynamic, fatigue, and fracture analyses, and provide recommendations when needed to achieve our objectives.
  • You will collaborate with other engineering teams to develop our engines while ensuring they meet our system-level requirements and comply with the structural standards we follow.
  • You will work closely with our test team to request instrumentation necessary to anchor our analytical models.
  • You will collaborate with our manufacturing team to assess nonconforming hardware for both development and flight engines as well as provide recommended dispositions and repairs.
  • You will improve our analytical methods and seek out new approaches and tools.
  • You will 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’ experience performing structural analysis.
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced, startup environment.
  • Prior experience working on safety-critical systems in production environments.
  • Experience performing Finite Element Analysis (FEA / FEM) using commercial codes (e.g. ANSYS, Abaqus, of NASTRAN-based solvers).
  • Thermal-Structural static analysis (particularly dealing with nonlinear materials and large strains).
  • High Cycle Fatigue Analysis (HCF, crack initiation predicted by a stress-life / SN approach).
  • Low Cycle Fatigue Analysis (LCF, crack initiation predicted by a strain-life / e-N approach).

Ideal Experience/Requirements:

  • M.S. degree or higher in Mechanical, Aerospace Engineering, or a comparable field ideally with a focus on solid mechanics, fatigue, fracture, or structural dynamics.
  • Dynamic analysis methods (modal, random vibration, shock response).
  • Fracture analysis (crack growth / safe-life and assessing for instability via LEFM, ideally with prior experience using NASGRO).
  • A strong theoretical background heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and/or compressible flow.
  • Experience with the ANSYS FEA suite.
  • Experience with NCode.
  • Experience anchoring analytical models to physical testing.
  • Knowledge of turbomachinery-related analytical methods (e.g. generating Campbell diagrams to assess margins on rotordynamics or structural modes or rotating hardware).
  • Prior professional experience working on either rocketry or turbomachinery.
  • Experience supporting failure investigations and root-cause analysis.
  • A track record of working efficiently in fast-paced engineering environments.
  • A track record of effective oral and written communications to support your recommendations.
  • Fluid analysis (e.g. Computational Fluid Dynamics / CFD or 1-D transient analysis using SINDA/FLUINT or ROCETS).

Benefits Include:

  • 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

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.

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.
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. However, recently a federal judge in Georgia issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prohibits the government from enforcing the federal contractor vaccine mandate. The order covers all contractors and subcontractors in the United States and its territories, and will be in place until further notice. Additionally, while Ursa Major is still subject to OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard given our 100+ employees, its implementation and enforcement is currently suspended pending future developments in the litigation.
Given these updates, we are suspending the Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy until further notice. With this is mind, Ursa Major fully intends to comply immediately with changes to any COVID-19 mandates.