Manufacturing Engineer, Optics/Laser Communications (Starlink) – SpaceX – Redmond, WA

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.


This role is responsible for the design and implementation of a production line to fabricate high volume laser subassemblies for space and ground based applications. To succeed in this role, the manufacturing engineer must have heavy involvement in both product and production line design, and take ownership of successful outcomes at every phase in the product life cycle. This includes managing vendors and supply chain, driving design improvements, providing direction to technician teams to enable them to contribute to hardware development, designing tooling and test, and root-causing and resolving any issues that impact reliability or yield of the final product. Through the production, test, and integration of optical components, you will expand SpaceX’s capabilities to transmit high-rate data via laser communication systems.


  • Own overall product life cycle from suppliers through final integration
  • Co-design product and assembly lines to minimize labor and maximize reliability
  • Drive DFM and assembly error proofing into design & underlying design criteria
  • Develop process windows and in-process monitoring for key assembly procedures
  • Root-cause failures (electrical, mechanical, optical, etc.) and implement corrective actions into design, supply chain, or in-house assembly process
  • Manage scope and design criteria of tooling solutions (both manual and fully automated) to support production & actively participate in tooling design process with the tooling team
  • Collaborate with software, test, and automation teams to develop dev and production scripts and tools
  • Review test data and resolve production issues on vendor and in-house components
  • Work closely with analysts and design team to ensure solutions meet the requirements for design as well as manufacturing processes
  • Coordinate and execute development, qualification, and acceptance testing of systems and tooling needed to meet hardware deadlines
  • Execute design for manufacturability changes to enhance production efficiency
  • Create CAD models and prints for flight and tooling components


  • Bachelor’s degree in physics, optical engineering, mechanical engineering, or electrical engineering
  • 2+ years of hands-on laboratory or work experience in optics, photonics, laser technology, or precision mechanical design or testing (university lab, student project, or internship experience qualifies)


  • Experience setting up production lines for electronic, mechanical, or photonic assemblies
  • Knowledge of and experience in lasers, photodiodes, fiber optics, optics testing/troubleshooting techniques, or signal integrity principles
  • Competence with optical test equipment (power meters, interferometers, laser sources, etc.)
  • Experience with hardware development for high-reliability applications
  • Ability to assess risk and make design and development decisions without all available data
  • Strong sense of accountability and integrity
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, autonomously driven, and demanding atmosphere
  • Experience designing, developing, or testing space qualified hardware
  • Knowledge of machining and manufacturing of small mechanical assemblies
  • Experience with GD&T concepts
  • Experience with NX CAD software or similar
  • Passion for advancing the commercial space industry
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Strong work ethic and drive to succeed
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills


  • Extended hours and weekend work as needed to support critical deliverables and testing operations


  • 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 here.

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.

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