Principal Mechanical Engineer
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.
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.
Principal Mechanical Engineer
The Principal Mechanical Engineer role will be responsible for developing high performance, lightweight satellite deployment systems and mechanisms. This development will cover the conceptual design, prototyping, testing, optimization and initial production phases. We are looking for someone with a high level of experience in CAD, GD&T, mechanical systems, carbon composite manufacture and spaceflight testing/integration.
WHAT YOU’LL GET TO DO:
- Design solar array mechanisms alongside the structural and electrical engineering team.
- This position develops high performance, lightweight satellite deployment systems and mechanisms.
- Review the conceptual design, prototyping, testing, optimization and initial production phases.
- Work hands on with CAD, GD&T, mechanical systems, carbon composite manufacturing.
- Provide technical guidance on proposals.
- Develop qualification and testing acceptance plans as well as overseeing the testing and providing feedback on this.
YOU’LL BRING THESE QUALIFICATIONS:
- Bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline
- 3+ years of direct experience as a mechanical engineer
- Experience working in the aerospace industry
THESE QUALIFICATIONS WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE:
- 7+ years of experience as a mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry
- Direct experience in designing, developing, and testing spacecraft mechanisms
- Advanced knowledge/skills in CAD modeling/drawing (Siemens NX, TeamCenter)
- Rapid conceptual design iteration
- Exceptional mechanical mechanism problem-solving skills
- High level of hands-on development and testing experience
- Experience with analysis and interpretation of test data (Thermal, Vibe)
- The ability to take a product from concept through to production with little supervision
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 from the U.S. Department of State.
Rocket Lab USA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment with Rocket Lab USA is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.
FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN US OFFICES ONLY:
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 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.
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