People Matter

Structural Analyst | Composites

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2022

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.

About Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is the global leader in small satellite launch. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. There are endless possibilities for what we can achieve with better access to space, and that access is now a reality thanks to Rocket Lab. 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!

About the role

Rocket Lab seeks a Composite Structural Analyst to build Neutron: Rocket Lab’s medium lift, reusable launch vehicle capable of human spaceflight.

As a Composite Structural Analyst you will work directly with design, manufacturing, and test engineers to develop and validate primary and secondary composite structures for the Neutron launch vehicle: owning your designs from concept to completion.

Day to day, your key responsibilities will include:

  • Lead the analysis of primary and secondary structures, including composites and metallic components, and integrated structural assemblies;
  • Build, run, and post-process FE models to calculate design responses and margins to static, dynamic, and thermal loads;
  • Collaborate with design engineers to develop concepts, and manufacturing engineers to identify suitable materials, and define pragmatic build processes;
  • Work alongside test engineers to define test plans, monitor test activities, and post-process test data against analytical predictions;
  • Develop and document structural analysis methods for composite materials;
  • Proactively identify and solve technical challenges to allow projects to proceed at pace;
  • Mentor, and technically assist junior engineers.

Successful candidates in this role will thrive in ambiguity, and are excited to work in a small, high performing team focused on continued learning and growth. This position is ideal for an experienced engineer keen to support a complex project from conceptual design through to integration and launch.

Essential skills

  • A degree in Mechanical Engineering or similar field
  • 5+ years’ experience performing structural analysis of composite components for high performance applications
  • Strong understanding of composites engineering fundamentals (mechanics of materials, classical lamination theory, material property characterization, design best practices, analysis methods, and manufacturing processes)
  • Demonstrated expertise with one or more industry standard structural FEA packages: NASTRAN (FEMAP), ANSYS, Abaqus, Optistruct/Hyperworks etc.
  • Experience with structural testing of composite components or assemblies
  • Experience supporting composite manufacture and prototyping
  • The ability to work to deadlines within a high-pressure environment
  • Proven communication skills and the ability to build strong working relationships with colleagues

Desired Skills

  • Experience with defect and damage tolerance assessment of composite structures including the disposition of hardware non-conformances
  • Experience in linear and non-linear buckling
  • Experience in composite joint design
  • Experience with sensor selection and data post-processing/ interpretation of static & dynamic structural test (load cells, accelerometers, strain gauges, LVDT’s etc.)
  • Experience with CAD software such as NX (preferred), Fibersim (preferred), Solidworks, CATIA, or similar with a focus on model defeaturing for subsequent analysis
  • Experience using Product Lifecycle Management software such as Teamcenter (preferred), Windchill, or similar
  • Hands-on composites manufacturing experience

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, 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.

Share this