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Development Engineer - Space Systems Propulsion

Development Engineer - Space Systems Propulsion

companyRocket Lab
locationAuckland, New Zealand
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023
Engineering
Full Time

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.

While other companies talk about it, we do it!

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.

About the role

The In-Space Propulsion (ISP) team is one of three teams responsible for developing and delivering qualified, flight-ready space vehicle propulsion systems. The other two teams are responsible for spacecraft fluids systems and propulsion system testing, though there is significant overlap and strong collaboration between the three. The ISP team takes on system-level and component-level ownership, mostly developed in-house from mission requirement through to integration and beyond, including pre-launch, launch, and on orbit operations support. Examples of past work include the Curie and HyperCurie engines, and currently the team is working on the whole propulsion system for ESCAPADE, a NASA science mission to Mars.

The team consists of development engineers with a range of experience level and skill sets. Generally, each engineer is expected to be capable of owning a component or system through its development lifecycle and production implementation. This means that the skillset of the team spans systems engineering, design, build, and test, though individuals may have their specializations. The team works hands-on, often alongside technicians, with development, qualification, and flight hardware. Team members interface regularly with stakeholders across the company, including GNC, Manufacturing Engineering, Production, Flight Software, Analysis, and others.

A Development Engineer in the Space Systems Propulsion team at Rocket Lab is responsible for contributing to product upkeep and development engineering work on spacecraft propulsion systems. The role requires close work with other development engineers, the production team, design engineers, analysts, and assembly technicians to achieve high quality products.

Success in this role requires a strong technical and analytical background, meticulous attention to detail, exceptional problem-solving skills, experience handling and testing sensitive hardware, and excellent reading and writing ability. The Development Engineer will display a positive and approachable attitude, be motivated by tough engineering challenges, complete required work according to schedules, and provide transparency and feedback to the team.

Essential skills
  • 4+ years industry experience
  • Engineering degree
  • Strong sense of ownership, rigorous thinking, and a desire to do
  • Curiosity and an eagerness to learn
  • Excellent grasp of mechanical engineering fundamentals and good understanding of more advanced rocket or spacecraft propulsion topics
  • Proven track record of individually delivering a complete and successful engineering project from conception to operation
  • Experience performing one or more of the work types below
    • Requirement gathering, interface control, or other Systems Engineering activities
    • Test planning, execution, data analysis, and reporting
    • Detailed mechanical design using CAD
    • Hardware integration

Desired Skills

  • System-level design, modelling, and analysis
  • Hands-on experience building or testing mechanical or electromechanical components or systems
  • Experience with rocket engines, fluid components such as regulators or valves, or spacecraft propulsion systems
  • Masters or PhD

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:

FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN US OFFICES ONLY:

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 g.biow@rocketlabusa.com.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 CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN NEW ZEALAND OFFICES ONLY:

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.