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Space systems engineer

Learn about a career as a space systems engineer.

Space systems engineers design, construct and test aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, satellites and equipment.

Space systems engineers are responsible for making sure that all of the subsystems in a spacecraft work together so that the spacecraft meets its objectives. They are part of the spacecraft program lifecycle from start to finish, including designing, building, testing, and, sometimes, deploying the spacecraft. Space systems engineers have a technical understanding of all of the subsystems involved in a spacecraft, including the structural and electrical systems, thermal control, power, and communication.

Most space systems engineers are senior engineers with a number of years of experience in the space industry. Space systems engineers also typically have an area of special expertise, such as:

  • aerostructures
  • aerodynamics
  • guidance and control
  • propulsion
  • optical systems
  • thermal systems.

Study pathway

The minimum study requirement to work as a space systems engineer is typically a relevant undergraduate degree in engineering. Some employers may have further requirements, such as postgraduate qualifications or research in a particular specialty.

Degrees in the following study areas may also be relevant to becoming a space systems engineer:

  • aeronautical engineering
  • aerospace engineering
  • electrical or electronics engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • mechatronics engineering
  • robotics engineering
  • systems engineering
  • telecommunications engineering.

Almost all universities in Australia offer degrees in engineering. Visit individual university websites for more information.