Dynamics and Controls Engineer

Berthoud, CO
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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.

This Dynamics and Controls Engineer will be responsible for the design, testing, and analysis of closed-loop control algorithms to be deployed on all Ursa Major propulsion systems. We seek a unique individual who can drive the development of innovative strategies for the control of critical engine performance parameters such as thrust, propellant consumption, and thrust vectoring. This candidate will interface with our engine system modeling, avionics, test, and customer-facing teams to define control system requirements, develop algorithms, and author control performance documentation for internal and external distribution. This candidate will also assist with the development of control-oriented system modeling tools and simulation frameworks, including integration with engine thermodynamic transient models, as well as provide an understanding of engine dynamics and vehicle-level interactions as required.


  • Design new control algorithms for both current and future engine programs and coordinate the successful implementation of these systems on development, qualification, and flight engines.
  • Develop standardized methods and easy-to-use tools for the analysis of control loop performance, derived from both simulations and engine test data.
  • Collaborate with engine leadership, engineering, and customer-facing teams to define control system requirements and verification methods.
  • Assist with the definition of control system performance specifications in the Interface Control Document and other customer-facing documentation.
  • Contribute to the development of closed-loop control system design and analysis tools including integration with engine thermodynamic transient models.
  • Provide support for the understanding of engine dynamics, including high-frequency data analysis and engine-vehicle interactions.
  • Support customer-facing discussions pertaining to engine control system performance.

Required Qualifications:

  • B.S. in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering (or another related technical field) with 5+ years of demonstrated experience in the design, development, and analysis of feedback control systems.
  • Experience with the design and tuning of Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers and gain scheduling parameters.
  • Understanding of feedback control system analysis techniques and design for transient response and stability margin criteria.
  • Familiarity with time-domain and frequency-domain analysis techniques for dynamical systems.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Comfort working in a fast-paced, startup environment.

Desired Experience:

  • M.S. or Ph.D. in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering (or another related technical field).
  • Liquid rocket engine design, analysis, and test experience.
  • Experience with MATLAB/Simulink for the design and analysis of feedback control systems, including the use of Control System, System Identification, and Signal Processing toolboxes.
  • Knowledge of state-space control schemes, MIMO controller design, and actuator sharing strategies.
  • Experience deriving reduced-order models for control system design and analysis.
  • Experience developing control system simulation platforms and hardware-in-the-loop testing.
  • Understanding of analog and digital filters and signal processing techniques.
  • Familiarity with launch vehicle dynamics and engine-vehicle interactions, such as propellant settling, slosh dynamics, and feed system coupling.
  • Experience with frequency domain analysis combustion-, turbomachinery-, or thrust vector-related dynamics.
  • Track record of working effectively in fast-paced engineering environments.
  • Track record of effective oral and written communications of complex technical information.

Benefits Include:

  • Unlimited PTO – Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Bereavement
  • Paid maternity/paternity/adoptive leave
  • Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance; Tax Advantage Accounts (HSA/FSA); Employer Paid Short- and Long-Term Disability, Basic Life, AD&D and EAP Program; Additional Benefit Options Including Voluntary Life, Emergency Medical Transport and Pet Insurance
  • 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 $105,000 - $160,000, determined by your education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities. The salary range for this role is intentionally wide as we are evaluating individuals based on their unique experience and abilities to fit our needs. Most importantly, we are excited to meet you, and see if you are a great fit for our team. 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.