Bigelow Aerospace Employee Reviews about "designs"

Updated 12 Aug 2018

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1.7
16%
Recommend to a Friend
21%
Approve of CEO
Bigelow Aerospace Founder & President Robert Bigelow (no image)
Robert Bigelow
61 Ratings
Pros
  • "Free Cookies, Ice Cream & Coffee(in 12 reviews)

  • "It could be the free cookies and ice cream(in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • "Engineering designs change at the whim of owner not engineers(in 7 reviews)

  • "These people had moved their families to Las Vegas(in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "designs"

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  1. Helpful (28)

    "Bigelow is no Howard Hughes"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The NASA-legacy technology and principles are legitimate. There is true pride in having a module on the ISS. You will have the chance to rub elbows with dedicated engineers and scientists at various points in their careers before they quit or are fired.

    Cons

    If you survive long enough, this will be the most depressing leg of your aerospace career. Believe the negative reviews - they come from employees of all walks and stretch back many years. There is a core, sycophantic group of support staff that surround “Mr. B,” as Robert Bigelow is referred to, who are loyal to a fault. Then there are the rest of the “expendables” located “down below.” (Literally. The owner has an extremely well-furnished upper-floor mezzanine where only he and a select few are permitted - not only to work but even to visit - while the rest work in shoddy portables or OSHA-noncompliant warehouses on the ground floor.) Beyond that, Critical Problem #1: Robert Bigelow, the owner, micromanages systems, contracts, and requirements as though he were Howard Hughes of Hughes Aircraft... but Hughes he his not. He confuses his hotel-based business acumen for engineering competence and physics knowledge, which not only cripples good designs (as he does not understand them and is prone to rejecting ideas that are not his own), but when combined with the fact that Bigelow Aerospace is critically-understaffed, leads to company-wide deadlock on projects. This is why the B330 was supposed to launch in 2016. And then 2018. And then 2020. And then 2022.... Critical Problem #2: Bigelow Aerospace is now damaged goods in the aerospace industry. So many good employees and contractors have been burned by Mr. B, including many ex-NASA personnel, that the word is out. Having Bigelow on your resume is now more a liability than an asset. Take this from someone that has moved on and continued to network. Now, having Bigelow on your resume might give you “sympathy points,” but I’m not sure you’d want to bank on that. Large, competent, well-staffed contractors are now moving in on “inflatables” via NASA’s Deep Space Gateway, and so when this reality is combined with the bad blood he’s spread around the industry, Bigelow’s days “at the table” are seriously numbered.

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    Bigelow Aerospace2018-08-12
  2. Helpful (22)

    "Believe the cons, dismiss the casted reviews"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in North Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Can’t think of any worth mentioning.

    Cons

    Stress, you can and will be fired for no reason. Goals change daily. Engineering designs change at the whim of owner not engineers.

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    Bigelow Aerospace2018-05-30
  3. Helpful (37)

    "A Career Killer"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The technical staff is top notch.

    Cons

    This job is incredibly volatile and unstable. It is not a good place to work. We were forced to sign an unenforceable 5 yr long NonCompete with no compensation. The vacation policy was changed midyear and stole hundreds of hours of vacation from employees at the company. People are fired at the whim of management when they refuse to compromise their engineering values by producing unsafe designs. This is a deadend job that will waste your expertise.

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    Bigelow Aerospace2018-05-08
  4. Helpful (24)

    "Prepare for Futility"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Sharp personnel who all joined for the right reasons - to make a difference in commercial spaceflight. Goodies at the commissary are a nice touch. Week off for the winter holidays is generous (unless you add a day of your own time before or after the break). Good opportunity for advancement, as senior staff and managers regularly quit or are fired. You will unexpectedly find yourself as the expert at the table.

    Cons

    Don't get too attached to your managers, co-workers, or department. They are fired, reorganized, or disbanded seemingly at will. Your work will end up in a dusty filing cabinet, only to find several iterations of the same work languishing there from earlier cycles of "you" that were fired on a whim in years past. (The Bigelow Matrix reboots there about every 5 years or so after a massive staff layoff.) With so few resources (small company), and such an emphasis on appearances, most of your time will be spent supporting the construction of marketing models. Setting smart, forward-looking design priorities or reference mission parameters is seen as far less important; only the lucky few get to work on actual designs intended to support spaceflight hardware. "We'll figure it out as we go" seems to be the beat of the marching drum, and the aerospace wheel is rediscovered time and again after much pain. You can imagine how efficient that is. The owner, generously self-funding the entire enterprise, will contradict history, precedent, or physical reality without realizing it. Impossible to untangle afterwards. Managers with longevity in the organization have learned to keep quiet and spread out "bad news" realities. Thus, exceedingly bizarre directives, concepts and requirements are allowed to exist for far too long, sucking precious time, resources, and effort. Not to mention morale. The crazy leave policy means that paid holidays are forfeited if you augment them with your own PTO means no sensible flights out for holiday weekends, and don't let your kid get sick before a holiday weekend requiring a doctor visit, or else you'll have to pay for the holiday. Healthcare options are just unpleasant if you're single, a nightmare if you're supporting a family.

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    Bigelow Aerospace2017-03-25
  5. Helpful (24)

    "A Rudderless Ship Running Aground"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Scientist 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace

    Pros

    The company has attracted some of the most talented, engaged, and capable people I have had the pleasure of working with; the staff would achieve the impossible if given the chance. The technology is viable, and the projects are ambitious. Self-motivated employees have the opportunity to wear multiple hats, which can be great for broadening professional experience. The facilities are nice and well-maintained. There is no expectation of working beyond 8-hour days in all but the most extreme circumstances. Lucrative bonus programs or holiday raffles are occasionally implemented.

    Cons

    There is no semblance of internal communications; employees are (perhaps intentionally) kept in the dark. Management directives are sporadic and contradictory. Health benefits are far below par. There is no consistent long-term plan. Short-term objectives appear completely reactionary. Vacation policies are absurd (e.g., forfeiting holiday pay if paid holidays are augmented with personal vacation time). There is no cohesive leadership - e.g., staff are told one day to freely approach senior managers and are blasted the next for doing so, which is "above their pay grade." The owner refuses to defer to the subject matter experts hired by the company, and precious time and resources are wasted taking management to 'school' to educate on basic aerospace concepts (if given the opportunity at all). Good ideas are crushed under the weight of the apparent whims of the most dangerous kind of owner - a savvy, intelligent, and well-read amateur whose conduct implies that he generally believes himself to be the only expert in the room at any given time; while competent in some areas, he possesses extreme misunderstandings in others, which are all but impossible to de-program given the dynamic. This is infinitely frustrating to staff who believe in the product and vision, yet are blamed by management for the schedule delays and cost overruns caused by 'school time', 11th-hour changes in scope, scope creep, a systemic misunderstanding of the basic hierarchy of aerospace program priorities, and regular layoffs, firings, and resulting attrition. Important departments are dissolved and staff reorganized or let go at will, with no thought given to information hand-off, program interrupts, or potential schedule impacts. Management presentations are like chess matches with jobs on the line, while staff are forced to prepare "choose-your-own-adventure" presentations in an effort to anticipate and accommodate which inconsequential detail of the day becomes the source of a 45-minute detour driven by the owner. Staff are often tasked in parallel by the owner and are forbidden from collaborating, another waste of precious time and resources. Press releases are prioritized over (or at the expense of) messages to the company. Incentive programs lack follow-through and become an insult to staff. Requirements are seen as inconveniences, hindrances, or inhibitors, while the resulting project re-designs and overruns are blamed on a lack of staff or contractor competency and not on initially poorly-defined parameters. Erratic changes in message and recall from the owner on a daily to weekly basis imply the presence of cognitive issues. Recent layoffs involving new staff on their first day represent the most extreme demonstration of a lack of business ethics I have experienced in the workforce to date. One building originally not intended to house staff and that now contains many personnel fails OSHA compliance by not providing a bathroom - fear of reprisal prevents staff from alerting OSHA. Internal requests to correct the situation are ignored. Company morale is universally low at all levels, which has been consistent during my time at the facility.

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    Bigelow Aerospace2016-01-29
  6. Helpful (24)

    "Worst Company Hands Down"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Project Lead in Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace for less than a year

    Pros

    Okay salary and cost of living is cheap in LV

    Cons

    Worst company culture ever! It was a joke. In my 15 years in aerospace. I have never been in such a depressing environment. No communication is flowed down. Schedules and designs are set in place. Once they reach Mr. B everything changes. Then you are expected to perform miracles in such a short time. The company just cares about building mock ups and not actual flight hardware. They lack the resources and leadership to be a successful company. You never know when your last day is there. Please believe all these posting! Don't move from out of state and move your entire family. You will regret it!

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    Bigelow Aerospace2016-01-06
  7. Helpful (25)

    "Bigelow is not a place where you want to work"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Hard to think of any.

    Cons

    Management lacks basic aerospace engineering knowledge. People fired on owners whim. Designs produced by graphic artists with little engineering input.

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    Bigelow Aerospace2015-03-18

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