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Senior Development Engineer

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Other Engineering
Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Friday, August 18, 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

Development Engineers deliver across a broad set of vehicle domains including structural (i.e. Propellant tanks, interstage, 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 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 structures and mechanisms across the Neutron launch vehicle.  
  • Lead the testing structures and mechanisms, including 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 subcomponents 
  • 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 safely and at pace; 
  • Feed testing outcomes back into the design and manufacture process to promote continuous improvement; 
  • Mentor, and technically assist junior engineers.


  • Aerospace, mechanical or mechatronic engineering degree or equivalent qualification 
  • 5+ years developing and testing high performance mechanical systems, with a focus on structures and/or mechanisms 
  • Experience with instrumentation selection, setup, post-processing, and interpretation of static & dynamic test data (load cells, accelerometers, strain gauges, pressure transducers etc.) 
  • 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 
  • Heavy emphasis on achievement and details – getting things done efficiently, effectively and to the highest quality standards. 
  • Have tenacity, a can-do attitude, and the ability to think quickly and make accurate judgements. 


  • 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 

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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