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Principal Thermal Engineer



Atlanta, GA, USA · Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Hermeus is a startup developing hypersonic aircraft to radically accelerate air travel. At Mach 5, more than twice the speed of the supersonic Concorde, passengers will be able to cross the Atlantic in 90 minutes. On the path to hypersonic passenger aircraft, Hermeus is partnering with government agencies including the US Air Force and NASA to develop a series of autonomous aircraft that derisk the technology and solve urgent national security challenges. These products provide the data and confidence necessary to certify, produce, operate, and maintain safe and comfortable commercial aircraft. Hypersonic aircraft have the potential to create trillions of dollars of new global economic growth per year, unlocking significant resources that can be utilized to solve the world’s greatest problems.
As the Principal Thermal Engineer, you will lead the thermal engineering team in the development of thermal management solutions for hypersonic vehicles and propulsion systems. You will be responsible for overseeing the analysis, design, and testing of thermal protection systems, thermal control strategies, and heat transfer mechanisms. Your expertise will drive the optimization of thermal performance to ensure the safe and efficient operation of our hypersonic vehicles.


  • Technical Leadership: Provide technical leadership and guidance to the thermal engineering team. Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including aerodynamics, propulsion, materials, and structural engineering, to ensure effective integration of thermal solutions.
  • Thermal Analysis: Conduct in-depth thermal analyses and simulations to model heat transfer and thermal loads during all phases of hypersonic flight, including launch, ascent, cruise, and re-entry.
  • Thermal Protection Systems: Lead the design and development of innovative thermal protection systems to withstand extreme temperatures experienced during hypersonic flight. Evaluate and select appropriate materials for thermal protection under various operating conditions.
  • Thermal Control Strategies: Develop and implement thermal control strategies to manage heat distribution within the vehicle and ensure optimal thermal conditions for critical components.
  • Testing and Validation: Plan and oversee thermal testing and validation activities, both in laboratory environments and during flight tests. Analyze and interpret test data to refine thermal models and improve thermal system performance.
  • Research and Innovation: Stay abreast of the latest advancements in thermal engineering, aerospace materials, and heat transfer technologies. Drive research initiatives to improve thermal efficiency and reduce thermal-related risks.
  • Safety and Compliance: Ensure that all thermal systems comply with relevant safety regulations, industry standards, and best practices for hypersonic flight.
  • Project Management: Collaborate with project managers to establish thermal engineering milestones, budgets, and timelines. Monitor progress, identify potential risks, and propose mitigation strategies.
  • Mentorship and Development: Foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning within the thermal engineering team. Mentor and develop junior engineers to enhance their technical skills and knowledge.


  • Bachelor's degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering (or related field). A Master's or Ph.D. is preferred.
  • 10+ years' experience in thermal engineering, with a focus on aerospace applications, hypersonic systems, or high-temperature environments.
  • Proven track record of leading and delivering complex thermal projects from concept to implementation.
  • Strong expertise in thermal analysis tools (e.g., ANSYS, CFD software) and proficiency in programming languages commonly used in thermal simulations.
  • In-depth knowledge of thermal protection materials, ablative materials, and insulation techniques for hypersonic applications.
  • Familiarity with relevant industry standards, safety regulations, and best practices in thermal engineering and aerospace.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills, analytical thinking, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal, to convey complex technical concepts to diverse audiences.
We encourage you to apply even if you have skillsets and experience outside of our current needs as we're always open to connect and discuss future opportunities.