Automation & Controls Engineer (Materials Engineering)
Hawthorne, CA 
Posted Today
Job Description

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


SpaceX is developing a low latency, broadband internet system to meet the needs of consumers across the globe. Enabled by a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites, Starlink will provide fast, reliable internet to populations with little or no connectivity, including those in rural communities and places where existing services are too expensive or unreliable.

Working directly in the materials engineering group, this position will primarily support manufacturing and development of SpaceX's Starlink product components alongside a strong group of mechanical and process engineers. The goal of the team is to develop new manufacturing methods and qualify processes to be introduced into production. As an Automation Engineer, you will be responsible for

designing and developing control systems and software for production line machinery - ultimately tackling the toughest mechanical, software, and electrical challenges that come with high volume manufacturing, all while maintaining a focus on flexibility, reliability, maintainability, and ease of use.

Additionally the Automation Engineer will be responsible for maintaining daily production uptime of fully automated injection molding and high pressure die casting machines, including all subsequent pre- and post-mold/cast operations such as trimming, insert loading, machining and automated part handling.


  • Design, develop and manage automation and controls projects from initial concept, to on-line commissioning and proof of rate capability, and hand-off to operational teams
  • Spearhead facility bring up and initial equipment conceptual development by carefully balancing product specifications, process requirements, layout complexity, cost, and lead-time limits
  • Architect, write, and debug PLC code with an emphasis on generating code that is organized, structured, documented, maintainable, and reusable for high-volume manufacturing applications
  • Implement (ANSI/RIA15.06/OSHA compliant) control reliable safety systems for safeguarding robots, gantries, conveyors, and other manufacturing equipment
  • Trade machine design options for flexibility vs risk, cost and schedule comparisons
  • Participate in initial equipment conceptual development and carefully balance product specifications, process requirements, layout complexity, cost, and lead-time limits
  • Wire and commission electrical and pneumatic automated control systems
  • Design electrical control systems compliant to NEC70, NFPA79, & UL508A
  • Design and commission basic PLC and HMI software applications
  • Troubleshoot and modify PLC software where required
  • Set, implement, and maintain schedules and budgets to ensure project completion
  • Develop detailed training manuals and independently train production staff on machine and cell operations
  • Audit manufacturing process - assessing process inefficiencies, safety improvements, and potential optimizations through the implementation of automation


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering, physics, or computer science discipline
  • 3+ years of experience in one or a combination of the following:
    • Professional experience or internships in automation (industrial, machine, robotic, test, or control systems)
    • Involvement with a project team designing and building robotics or automated systems
    • Academic research on robotics or machine design


  • 3+ years manufacturing experience in a high volume production environment
  • Electrical schematic CAD experience using EPlan
  • C#, .NET, python and/or SQL experience
  • PLC programming or Beckhoff experience
  • HMI and SCADA programming experience
  • Field bus networks, serial communication and Ethernet communication
  • Hands-on experience building and commissioning high quality electrical control panels and electro-mechanical systems
  • Experience in independently troubleshooting advanced electrical circuits, electronic systems, motors & starters, electrically operated equipment and making successful repairs and modifications


  • Willingness to travel to other SpaceX sites and/or vendors for extended periods of time
  • Ability to lift up to 40 Ibs unassisted
  • Standing/walking for long periods of time
  • Willingness to work long hours and weekends as necessary to accommodate manufacturing and test campaigns


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR .

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX's Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
3+ years
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