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Structural Analyst - Composites

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

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

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 is seeking a Composite Structural Analyst to help 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, 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 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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