16. August 2007 · Comments Off on XCOR needs an aerodynamicist – orphans preferred · Categories: General

XCOR needs an aerodynamicist with trans-sonic and supersonic experience. This person must be a US Citizen or Green Card holder due to ITAR restrictions. Aleta writes

One would like to think that such exists in America, but so far I have no evidence to support the assumption. We do have resumes from people who are qualified, but none is a U.S. citizen, or holds a “Green Card.” We can’t hire foreigners. The U.S. State Department says what we do comes under ITAR, so we cannot hire qualified non-citizen engineers, neither can we sell our products to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or entity. I just this morning had to turn down a job from a Brit who wants to set a world record with one of our engines. That is several million dollars in revenue that will now not come to the U.S.

But that’s beside the point at this moment. XCOR needs to find someone who has some experience with trans-sonic and supersonic design. I have written to and called many schools, colleges and universities. Crickets chirping. With a single exception, the University of Maryland, not one professor or teacher or college or university has returned a query. I understand that they graduate students, but apparently helping them find jobs is beyond the academic ken.

For the past year I have placed ads everywhere: Av Week, ASME, SAE, all the alphabet organizations and associations remotely connected with aerodynamics. The result: resumes for everything _but_ an aerodynamicist. I have engaged three head hunters, several job shops and other professional recruiting organizations. The score so far: 0.

Not that I think that any qualified person is reading this humble blog – but how nice if they were! No – I find it alarming that XCOR – a place just chock full of smart people doing really cutting edge stuff – can’t find such a person.

What the hey?

Cross posted to Space For Commerce.


I dashed off a quick note to Aleta Jackson commentating that by looking or a ‘new or recent college graduate’ they might be restricting themselves a bit. I’m assumed that the a) the lady wants to hear from me and b) I know their business better than they.  I was, essentially, being a nosy parker.

Aleta Jackson – she really is a nice lady – wrote back

Thanks, I think Jerry noted that we are also seeking gray haired people too. 🙂 Over forty, over fifty, over sixty all welcome here! We have been actively looking for someone with considerable experience. The results: “I don’t want to move again.” “I have family and they are happy where we are.” “I’ve taken up another vocation.” “I haven’t done anything except theoretical stuff for 20 years.” “Hmmm, I guess I shouldn’t have switched to (name a different discipline).” Tjose are quotes, and I am not making this stuff up. I don’t have time to play mind games with folks.

My frustration level is beyond my ability to articulate. I’m not mad at anyone, but throughly sad that pioneers are so difficult to locate, and that most of those who are, aren’t allowed to work here. One poor Russian rocket engineer is driving a cab in Canada because he can’t be hired by a U.S. company. That’s a criminal waste of talent.

Sorry, didn’t mean to rant. Thanks for the thoughts. We really do want someone with experience and ability, and they can be 20 or 80 and we won’t care.

She also adds that they have great benefits.

ITAR isn’t only to blame and I am by no means an expert. But I’ve had to live with that law at the worker-bee level for a few years now. Without reflecting on it’s utility I have to say that as implemented it hampers small organizations and inconveniences large ones. The latter charge it to the cost of doing business and move on. The former … well it hurts, plenty.

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