Lead Thermal Engineer

Space Forge

  • Full Time

To apply for this job please visit apply.workable.com.


Space Forge is transforming return from space to deliver revolutionary experiments and products, for the benefit of humanity.

We are developing an end-to-end service for a satellite that can be launched into orbit, manufacture new materials, return independently, then be recovered, refurbished and relaunched. We have a core team of highly qualified engineers who are developing the key technologies simultaneously and we are in need of a lead thermal engineer.

Ultimately we are looking for someone who can lead the development of the thermal sub-systems that we need for our service, managing the on-board temperature of our returnable satellite, to achieve our goal of transforming return from space for the benefit of humanity.

The primary roles for this job are:

  • Lead for the thermal design, modelling and testing for our satellites
  • Lead for defining the methods and procedures for verifying thermal designs

Key areas of responsibility:

  • Leading the development of the thermal design that we need to build our reusable satellite service.
  • Verification via modelling and testing of the thermal design.
  • Leading of the thermal test campaign for our satellites.
  • Documenting interfaces and operational procedures for internal use.
  • Engaging with internal and external system providers to ensure compatibility with the whole system.
  • Assisting with thermal monitoring on test days and during space missions.
  • Helping us to define our company level thermal development approach.

A typical day:

  • Running thermal and thermo-mechanical models of our satellite hardware for in-orbit and re-entry cases.
  • Selecting coatings and providing feedback into the mechanical design teams to refine the satellite design.
  • Planning, executing and analysing satellite on-ground thermal tests (including thermal-vacuum).
  • Being out in the field testing satellite recovery hardware and monitoring in-orbit thermal data.
  • Working closely with the engineering team and CTO to solve problems and refine baselines


The Space Forge team is deliberately made from individuals who are adaptable and willing to learn new skills quickly. Therefore we are looking for engineers who are willing and able to adapt to the requirements asked of them whilst maintaining a good level of technical quality. Additionally as a start-up, staff are sometimes asked to assist with duties beyond their nominal job description and we are looking for candidates who are happy to step up and try something new when needed.

Technical skills:

  • Practical knowledge of thermal modelling based upon majority radiation transport.
  • Ability to work with Ansys thermal modelling tools.
  • Experience in carrying out and analysing thermal testing of hardware.
  • Ideally experience with CubeSat class or larger satellite thermal design.

Soft skills:

  • Able to communicate with teams working both in and out of the office;
  • Able to communicate professionally with customers and external stakeholders;
  • Resilient and adaptable to technical and non-technical roadblocks, as many are expected

We are looking for people who are willing to work hard, think logically, have high energy levels, respect others’ abilities and ultimately have an unending appetite to learn a large number of new skills quickly. Space Forge is committed to making super-powered teams of diverse individuals in all senses of the term, therefore women are strongly encouraged to apply and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.


Salary expectation: £35,000 to £45,000 dependant upon experience

Beyond the salary, Space Forge has been set up to ensure that staff have everything they need to enjoy their work, as the executive team are strong believers in motivation and flexibility driving productivity. Therefore the current additional benefits are available to team members:

  • Remote working available, working from home when not needed to be in the office, high quality remote working equipment will be provided;
  • 29 days holiday (inclusive of 6 UK bank holidays per year);
  • Up to five volunteering days per year;
  • Opportunity to join employee share options plan;
  • Working with a passionate, friendly and highly motivated team;
  • Our inclusive culture, celebrating failure and success, fairness, respect and honesty;
  • Helping to shape the thermal engineering process at a rapidly growing start-up;
  • Contributing to the company impact of helping to reduce CO2 emissions across the globe by deploying space made materials into more energy efficient hardware.

CLOSING DATE: This application will close on 8th April 2021.