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Senior Thermofluids Analyst - Neutron

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Monday, June 26, 2023

About The Role

Rocket Lab

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.

Life at Rocket Lab

While other companies talk about it, we do it!


About the role

Rocket Lab seeks a Senior Thermofluids Analysis Engineer to help build the Neutron platform: Rocket Lab’s medium lift, reusable launch vehicle capable of human spaceflight. 

As a Thermofluids Analyst in Rocket Lab’s Analysis team you will contribute to the analysis, design, validation, and improvements of subsystems on the Neutron launch vehicle. Day to day, you will be expected to process flight data to determine the environments experienced by vehicle components, demonstrate positive margins against these environments through detailed analysis, and set the requirements to validate this analysis through test. 

Key Duties  

  • Perform, validate, and document multiphysics analyses of launch vehicle systems and provide support for development projects, including:
    • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of internal and external flows
    • Thermodynamic analysis of internal and external components
    • Aerothermal analysis for external heat loads
    • Multiphysics interaction, such as conjugated heat transfer (CHT), multiphase flow simulations, cryogenic propellant conditioning, ice build-up
    • Perform trade-off studies
    • System design and optimization, e.g. propellant management 
  • Perform risk and failure analysis on a component and system level 
  • Post-process and interpret ground and flight test data 
  • Conduct reviews of analyses. 
  • Work closely with design and test engineers to iterate through design concepts, determine test requirements, and demonstrate overall system performance. 
  • Provide vision, technical leadership, and coordinate analysis resources 

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

  • A degree in Mechanical Engineering or similar field 
  • 3+ year’s industry experience, ideally from the Aerospace, Automotive or Marine industries 
  • Demonstrated expertise with one or more industry standard CFD packages: Fluent, CFX, STAR-CCM+ 
  • Experience in aerodynamics: predicting forces, moments and generating aerotables and aerodynamic control 

Desired Skills

  • Demonstrated experience with dynamic thermofluid systems:  
  • Buffeting 
  • Aerotable evaluation & characterisation 
  • Aerodynamic stability & control 
  • Propellant Dynamics (slosh, flow instabilities, Pogo) 
  • Experience with mechanical systems in a relevant field (e.g. aerospace, automotive, marine) 
  • Experience in python for mathematical modelling, analysis tool development and data handling (numpy, scipy, pandas, git, package deployment, continuous integration) 
  • Experience with experimental test methods, sensor selection and data post-processing/ interpretation 
  • The ability to work to deadlines within a high pressureenvironment 
  • Communication skills and the ability to build strong working relationships with colleagues and engineering professionals 
  • Demonstrated experience with one or more industry standard thermal modelling packages: Thermal Desktop, THERMICA, NX SST 
  • Familiarity with manufacturing processes, including conventional machining, and additive manufacturing 
  • Familiarity with industry standards (e.g. MIL-STD-1540, GSFC-STD-7000, ECSS-E-HB-32, NASA-STD-5001) 
  • Familiarity with Transient flow modelling/analysis. 

Rocket Lab Employee Benefits

  • The opportunity to work on innovative and ground breaking 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 the above sounds like you apply now!

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Rocket Lab Employees must be a U.S. citizen, lawful U.S. permanent resident (i.e., current Green Card holder), or lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or granted asylum, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce, as applicable. Learn more about ITAR here.

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.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for the application/interview process for a job in the United States should contact Giulia Biow at [email protected].This dedicated resource is intended solely to assist job seekers with disabilities whose disability prevents them from being able to apply/interview. Only messages left for this purpose will be considered. A response to your request may take up to two business days.



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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