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Senior Spacecraft Sub-Systems Panel Engineer

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posted on Friday, November 3, 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.


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.


The Senior Spacecraft Sub-Systems Panel Engineer provides technical leadership and coordination to meet Solar Panel and Solar Array program objectives, ensure requirements, and realize system concepts throughout execution of the project plan. This position serves as the main liaison between program management and technical experts both internally and externally (customer facing) to define an executable project to satisfy program needs. Review current design and manufacturing processes to determine limitations to meeting program requirements, assess alternative approaches where needed, and determines the most accurate, feasible, and economical solutions with stakeholders. Examine engineering project execution needs across all engineering departments and ensure the technical scope is appropriately defined for program needs.  Prepare presentations and diagrams in relationship to technical requests or problem analysis and coordinate recommended solutions with end users, program management, and other stakeholders.


  • In partnership with the Program Manager, serve as the primary technical interface with the customer:
    • Provide engineering documents to/from the customer. 
    • Provide program related manufacturing/testing/schedule requirements and information from the customer to the panel engineering support group. 
    • Be responsible for program compliance to customer specifications. 
    • Prepare (with assistance from the panel engineering support group) all technical input for customer meetings. 
    • Prepare (with assistance from the panel engineering support group) program deliverable technical reports. \
    • Manage to close all customer-related action items. 
  • In partnership with Program Manager, oversee and coordinate all program-related engineering work:
    • Host the engineering kick-off meeting. 
    • Oversee design of program deliverables and support hardware. 
    • Own the engineering portion of program huddles. 
    • Ensure all program-related engineering tasks are on-schedule. 
    • Support product configuration management tasks such as review and/or release of program specifications, travelers and test procedures. 
    • Interface with production team and manufacturing engineering as required to resolve program-related manufacturing issues, 
    • Manager to close all engineering-related action items. 
    • Review all program-related engineering documents. 
    • Provide instruction for special operations. 
    • Review all program-related Engineering Change Requests. 
  • Consult on proposal technical input.


  • BS degree in engineering, material science, or applied physics.
  • 5+ years of experience in space product-related engineering.
  • 5+ years of experience using NX, AutoCAD (DWG viewer) or SolidWorks 2012 (e-drawings) or newer
  • Experience in cost justification for new processes and procedures required


  • Spacecraft Systems Engineering related degree is desired.
  • Experience with structural and mechanical component design for spacecraft and spacecraft environments.
  • Leadership experience in a project engineering role.
  • Proficient in all MS Office applications.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal to create clear and succinct technical documentation using technical writing fundamentals.
  • Able to quickly absorb, process, and apply information outside of one’s core competencies.


  • Relocation eligible to local area – Albuquerque, NM – depending on position
  • 9/80 schedule
  • Healthcare (medical, dental, vision)
  • 401k match up to 3%
  • 10 paid company holidays and 16 days of PTO
  • Employee stock purchase plan (ESPP)

SolAero by Rocket Lab is based in Albuquerque (ABQ), in the heart of New Mexico. ABQ offers both affordability and easy access to the outdoors and rich cultural centers such as museums and art galleries. With almost 300 days of sunshine a year, but also proximity to secluded ski slopes, there’s something for everyone who loves the outdoors. You’ll also find plenty of opportunities to try authentic New Mexican cuisine – a delicious blend of traditional Native American foods mixed with roasted green chiles. Fun fact: ABQ is the hot air ballooning capital of the world! It’s for all these reasons and more that New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment.

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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