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Senior Safety Engineer - Ground Systems

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Monday, May 15, 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.

Rocket Lab has a portfolio of ground systems across two continents that support the development, test, and launch of Electron and Neutron. The Safety & Reliability team is responsible for ensuring the safety risks arising from the ground systems designed and operated by Rocket Lab are acceptably low and managed. Our Senior Safety Engineer - Ground Systems reports to our Manager - Safety & Reliability and is the point of contact to the Ground Systems engineering team.

About the role

Our Senior Safety Engineer - Ground Systems is responsible for supporting internal customers to come up with practical solutions that provide an appropriate balance between safety, time to market, cost and any other operational constraints. Activities will include:

  • Performing HAZOPs of existing Electron Propulsion Test ground systems.
  • Participating in the development of new Neutron test and launch infrastructure at Wallops Island, Stennis Space Center and Auckland Propulsion Test Complex by:
  • Influencing design by performing appropriate safety analysis to elicit safety requirements.
  • Creation of safety case reports for new test and launch infrastructure.
  • Supporting the Safety & Reliability Manager in gaining NASA and FAA safety approval of new ground systems.
  • Working with the Safety & Reliability Manager to ensure sufficient resourcing is applied to the ground systems safety effort.

Essential skills

Our Senior Safety Engineer - Ground Systems must have:

  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline.
  • 5+ years of experience in the design of complex and hazardous systems.
  • Practitioner in conducting HAZOPs on fluid systems.
  • Ability to perform explosive and pneumatic blast distance calculations.
  • Working knowledge of systems safety standards such as MIL-STD 882E or equivalent.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Strong documentation skills such as safety case authoring.
  • Can do attitude who is driven by finding solutions rather than box ticking.
  • Ability to work in a high paced environment.

Desirable skills

  • Experience with compliance verification process and / or requirements management tools such as DOORS or Jama.
  • Functional safety standards such as IEC 61508 or IEC 615011.
  • Experience with design of electrical systems for explosive atmosphere environments (AS/NZS/IEC 60079 or equivalent).
  • General understanding of Safety Management Systems and the role systems safety plays in it.
  • Product safety under Quality Management System for Aviation, Space and Defense Industry AS9100.

Rocket Lab Employee Benefits

  • The opportunity to work on innovative and groundbreaking technology.
  • An employee stock purchase program.
  • Access to world leading experts to develop your career.
  • Unlimited barista coffee, fruit, and snacks.
  • Rocket Lab merchandise – T-shirts, mission patches etc.
  • Discounted health insurance with Southern Cross.
  • Additional parental leave entitlements.
  • A vibrant team culture with social activities throughout the year.

If you are thrilled by seeing something you’ve been a part of the design process for, in action and making a difference in the world, then Rocket Lab is the place for you.

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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