Job opportunities in the Octopus Ventures portfolio

Octopus Ventures
Octopus Ventures

Mechanical Design Engineer

Orbex Space

Orbex Space

Forres IV36, UK
Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2024
Orbex are looking for Design Engineer to design and support System routing, both electrical harnesses and pipework, for the Orbex Prime launch vehicle and its supporting ground segment equipment. You will have significant responsibility for the technical delivery of your work streams, supporting more junior engineers and playing a key, decision making role in our technical development.

You will initially be deployed on producing and optimising Systems models as well as routing for electrical harnesses and fluid systems, it is likely that your role will broaden to include flight structures and other products in the medium ter


Orbex is a leading micro-launch company with our Prime vehicle being prepared to launch from our home spaceport, Space Hub Sutherland. We are well placed to be one of the first operational micro-launch companies in Europe with over £103m of project financing secured, a number of customers signed up, our launch licence application submitted, and backing from organisations including UKSA and ESA.

We are a rapidly growing company with staff located between our production and test facilities in Forres, Scotland and Copenhagen, Denmark. Working on cutting-edge advances in rocket fuel technology, Prime’s carbon footprint is up to 96% lower than comparable vehicles, leading to innovations in propulsion and tank structures. A state-of-the-art re-flight system means we can recover and reuse our technology, and innovations in separation mechanisms mean we leave no debris in space.

Having developed in-house production capability, we can 3D print complex engines, produce full-scale carbon composite fuel tanks, and have avionics and software testing labs in both Scotland and Denmark. Based in Forres, you will be right in the heart of this fast-paced cutting-edge company, gaining a unique insight into what it takes to build a new launch vehicle for a buoyant commercial market.

Orbex is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is working towards a more diverse workforce in the aerospace industry.

The Position

The position includes the following tasks and responsibilities:
  • Producing designs and models for Electrical Harnessing and Fluid networks for the Orbex Prime Launch Vehicle.
  • Design structural and mechanical components and assemblies of both the launch vehicle and its supporting ground segment equipment, including assembly and test fixtures.
  • Provide hands-on engineering support to hardware prototype development and test
  • Managing multiple tasks and work packages in parallel with changeable priorities
  • Support and collaborate with analysis and manufacturing across the product development lifecycle, owing products through an iterative design process.
  • Although an appreciation of analysis and its underpinning principles would be beneficial, this role is focused on design and modelling.

Key Qualifications and Experience
  • Bachelor or Master’s degree in an Aerospace/Mechanical or another related engineering fields.
  • Proven experience in routing projects for harnesses and fluid networks, ideally for flight or space-grade projects.
  • Proficient in the use of CAD (SOLIDWORKS, CATIA, NX) and in the generation of technical and production drawings in accordance with relevant standards
Essential Experience:
  • At least 6 + years’ experience in engineering design, ideally of high-performance or flight-critical components
  • Demonstrated experience across the full lifecycle of mechanical engineering developments
  • Working knowledge of aerospace and industrial engineering materials and their properties
  • Significant experience of design and related tools, with the ability to run CAD but also to understand the underpinning maths
  • Solid understanding and application of GD&T
  • Appreciation of composite materials and their associated manufacturing processes

Desirable Experience:
  • Understanding of kinematics and derived tolerance specification
  • Familiarity with metallurgy, material selection and material coatings for space applications
  • Familiarity with spacecraft structural loads (quasi-static loads, random vibration, shock, thermo-mechanical)
  • Working knowledge of structural sizing approaches by hand calculation and/or FEA
  • Experience with mechanical and materials testing
  • Experience with cryogenic fluids
  • Familiarity with industry standards and references (e.g. MIL-HDBK-5/17, ECSS-E-HB-32, NASA-STD-5001, GSFC-STD-7000)
  • Knowledge of mechanical components (e.g. bearings, shafts, transmissions, sealings)
  • Proactive problem-solving skills such as failure analysis and root cause investigation


Orbex is a high-paced, startup culture where you will be encouraged to take assume responsibility for tasks and see them through.
It is imperative that you take initiative, communicate openly and can collaborate with technical and non technical team members.

Typically you will:
  • Be proactive and strong team player with excellent communication skills able to communicate with multi-disciplined and international teams
  • Have engineering intuition with an ability to recognise factors that are driving the performance of a design
  • Have organisation skills, adaptable, and able to work under pressure to tight timescales across multiple concurrent workstreams


This role is based in Forres at Orbex’s headquarters.

Orbex Forres is located at the foot of the Scottish Highlands, near Inverness. It's close to the spectacular coastline, wild beaches and amazing wildlife of the Moray Firth, as well as being a short distance from the world famous Loch Ness, and Aviemore ski resort.

If you enjoy adventurous outdoor pursuits in extraordinary natural environments, the coast and highlands around Forres offer an ideal location.Mountaineering, rock climbing, abseiling, hiking, mountain biking, cycling, camping, sailing, surfing, motorbiking and skiing are all within easy reach of our main UK factory, and many members of our team participate in adventure sports in the vast, beautiful settings of Sutherland.

If you enjoy drone flying, wildlife or landscape photography, some of the most spectacular vistas in the world are directly at your doorstep.


You must be a UK or European citizen or from a country that is a signatory to the MTCR convention. You may be required to undergo a UK BPSS check which includes a criminal record check.


Our roles need to be on-site in Scotland due to the nature of the position, export controls and security, but we are happy to sponsor visas for you and your family and provide relocation assistance as required

For the right candidate, we offer an excellent benefits package that includes:
  • Competitive salary
  • Share Options in the company so you will really benefit from your hard work as the company grows and is successful
  • Company Cycle to Work scheme
  • 3% Nest Pension
  • EA Programme
  • Independent Mortgage Advice
  • Health Assurance