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Mechanical Test Engineer | Structures

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Quality Assurance
Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Friday, November 25, 2022

About The Role

Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action oriented.

About Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is the global leader in small satellite launch. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. There are endless possibilities for what we can achieve with better access to space, and that access is now a reality thanks to Rocket Lab. Collaboration is at our core - every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action-oriented.

While other companies talk about it, we do it!

About the role

Development Engineers deliver across a broad set of vehicle domains including structural (i.e. Propellant tanks, interstages, fairings), mechanical (i.e. stage separation, landing, aerodynamic control), fluid (i.e. pressurant, propellant management, ignition, HVAC), and thermal (i.e. thermal protection) systems.

This role will work directly with analysis and manufacturing engineers to produce concepts, detailed designs, and drawing packages for metallic and composites components & assemblies and to perform development & qualification tests, refine designs, and ensure Neutron’s materials, components, and assemblies meet their functional and performance requirements.

Day to day, your key responsibilities will include:

  • Produce & rapidly iterate conceptual designs in CAD for primary and secondary metallic and composite structures and mechanisms across the Neutron launch vehicle;
  • Design elements including composite inserts, laminates, joint details, metallic interfaces, and secondary structural elements, working closely with analysts to ensure designs are appropriately sized and structural & thermal requirements are met;
  • Prepare drawing packages & laminate books, working directly with the production team to ensure design for manufacture is maintained throughout the process;
  • Lead the testing structures and mechanisms, including composites and metallic components, and integrated structural, mechanical and fluids assemblies;
  • Develop test plans, monitor test activities, and post-process and document test data to verify functional and performance requirements;
  • Develop and execute test activities to characterise structural materials, interfaces, and sub-components
  • Produce test jigs / fixtures to aid with fabrication, assembly, and development testing of components & assemblies;
  • Proactively identify and solve technical challenges to allow projects to proceed at pace;
  • Mentor, and technically assist junior engineers.

Ideal candidates will thrive in ambiguity, and are excited to work in a small, high performing team focused on continued learning and growth. Success in this position will be measured by the knowledge and experience you bring to the role, your ability to lead development projects without supervision, and your ability to successfully collaborate across teams to deliver results

Essential skills

  • Aerospace, mechanical or mechatronic engineering degree or equivalent qualification
  • 3-5 years designing high performance mechanical systems
  • Experience with CAD software such as NX (preferred), Fibersim (preferred), Solidworks, CATIA
  • The ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work well within a team environment
  • Sound analytical skills and the ability to see the big picture and making connections and appropriate decisions
  • Have tenacity, a can-do attitude, and the ability to think quickly and make accurate judgements

Desired Skills

  • Experience in one of the following domain areas: Composites structures, Large scale structural testing, Cryogenic systems, Pressurised systems, Mechanical moving assemblies
  • Experience with CAD software such as NX (preferred), Solidworks, CATIA
  • Experience using Product Lifecycle Management software such as Teamcenter (preferred), Windchill, or similar
  • Experience using National Instruments data acquisition systems
  • Programming in C+, matlab, labview or other
  • Experience writing / reviewing safety risk assessments

Rocket Lab Employee Benefits

  • Strong understanding of composites engineering fundamentals (mechanics of materials, classical lamination theory, material property characterization, design best practices, analysis methods, and manufacturing processes)
  • Experience in one of the following domain areas:
    • Cryogenic systems
    • Pressurised systems
    • Mechanical moving assemblies
    • Fluid Systems
  • Hands-on composites manufacturing experience

If the above sounds like you apply now!

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations fromthe U.S Department of State.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant. These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality. For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.

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