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Test Engineering Manager

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Software Engineering, Quality Assurance
Silver Spring, MD, USA
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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.


This is a rare opportunity to play a key role in Rocket Lab’s evolution into an end-to-end space company that delivers launch, spacecraft, and on-orbit operations. The Space Systems Division is shaping Rocket Lab’s future with Photon, our brand of high-performance satellites, enabling innovative missions in low Earth orbit and beyond including missions for NASA to LEO, the Moon, and Mars and commercial customers, including leading the design and manufacture of 17 high-power telecommunication spacecraft buses for Globalstar.

Rocket Lab is also growing our spacecraft components business, anchored on the acquisition of Sinclair Interplanetary manufacturing reaction wheels and star trackers in Toronto, SolAero Technologies manufacturing solar power and primary structure solutions in Albuquerque, Planetary Systems Corporation manufacturing launch separation systems in Silver Spring, and Advanced Solutions, Inc., provider of flight and ground software as a service in Denver. Our components business is key to vertically integrating our spacecraft solutions and enabling constellations for customers.


Based out of Rocket Lab's new site in Silver Spring, MD as part of the Planetary Systems Corporation (PSC) acquisition, the Engineering Manager (Environment Testing) is responsible for overseeing the environmental test department to support production and development hardware needs. Tests include vibration, thermal vacuum, shock, static loads, and reliability.

PSC is a manufacturer of satellite mechanisms, and their products include separation systems, on-orbit devices, and other electro-mechanical deployables.

What You'll Get to Do:

  • Oversee environmental test department to support production and development hardware needs. Tests include vibration, thermal vacuum, shock, static loads, and reliability.
  • Mange a team of up to 10 test engineers and technicians
  • Manage test schedules and coordination to ensure on-time completion of all testing
  • Develop and drive implementation of continuous test improvement processes
  • Collaborate with manufacturing, production and development teams for test needs and improvements
  • Oversee setup and implementation of new test fixtures
  • Assist with determination of internal test requirements
  • Ensure proper maintenance and calibration of all test equipment
  • Collaborate with development engineering team to design new test hardware
  • Occasional travel to other Rocket Lab facilities, suppliers, and trade conferences.

You'll Bring These Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Industrial Engineering; or other engineering degree
  • 2+ years of personnel management experience
  • 2+ years experience in aerospace environmental testing (thermal vacuum, random vibration, static load testing, or similar)
  • Capacity to comply with the federally mandated requirements of U.S. export control laws

These Qualifications Would be Nice to Have:

  • 5+ years experience in aerospace environmental testing
  • 2+ years experience managing a team of 4+ people
  • Familiarity with aerospace test standards such as NASA GEVS and SMC-S-016
  • Basic understanding of electrical circuitry
  • CAD experience (SolidWorks, Solid Edge , NX, etc)
  • Shock, fatigue, sine-burst, acoustic and electromagnetic testing experience
  • Design and implementation of innovative test fixtures for aerospace components and mechanisms
  • Programming familiarity (LabView, Python, C, C#, C++, and/or MATLAB, etc.)
  • Test automation and data acquisition experience
  • Siemens Team Centre / Infor LN experience
  • Strong analytical mindset
  • Self-motivated
  • Effective verbal and written communication abilities
  • Attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to schedule and work on multiple projects concurrently
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with other engineers

Additional Position Details:

  • Position Type: Full-time, in-person
  • Location: Silver Spring, MD
  • Compensation: Competitive salary and benefit package commensurate with experience
  • Benefits: Paid vacation and holidays, medical, life, and disability insurance, 401k plan with company match, flex-time work schedule, new parent leave, and more.
  • Travel: Typically ≤ 3 weeks per year

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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