People Matter

Mechanical Development Engineer

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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.

While other companies talk about it, we do it!

Development Engineers deliver across a broad set of vehicle domains including structural (i.e. Propellant tanks, interstage, fairings), mechanical (i.e. stage separation, landing, aerodynamic control), fluid (i.e. pressurant, propellant management, ignition, HVAC), and thermal (i.e. thermal protection) systems.

This role will work directly with analysis and manufacturing engineers to produce concepts, detailed designs, and drawing packages for metallic and composites components & assemblies and to perform development & qualification tests, refine designs, and ensure Neutron’s materials, components, and assemblies meet their functional and performance requirements. This role requires close work with more experienced engineers to deliver project contribution to the expectations of the company.

Day to day, your key responsibilities will include:

  • Produce & rapidly iterate conceptual designs in CAD for structures and mechanisms across the Neutron launch vehicle.
  • Support the testing structures and mechanisms, including composites and metallic components, and integrated structural, mechanical and fluids assemblies;
  • Develop test plans, monitor test activities, and post-process and document test data to verify functional and performance requirements;
  • Develop and execute test activities to characterize structural materials, interfaces, and subcomponents
  • Produce test jigs / fixtures to aid with fabrication, assembly, and development testing of components & assemblies;
  • Proactively identify and solve technical challenges to allow projects to proceed safely and at pace;
  • Feed testing outcomes back into the design and manufacture process to promote continuous improvement;
  • Engage with more experienced engineers across the team for ongoing mentorship and coaching, for both technical and behavioural skills.

Essential skills

  • Aerospace, mechanical or mechatronic engineering degree or equivalent qualification
  • 3-5 years designing high performance mechanical systems
  • Experience with CAD software such as NX (preferred), Fibersim (preferred), Solidworks, CATIA
  • The ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work well within a team environment
  • Sound analytical skills and the ability to see the big picture and making connections and appropriate decisions
  • Have tenacity, a can-do attitude, and the ability to think quickly and make accurate judgements

Rocket Lab Employee Benefits

  • Strong understanding of composites engineering fundamentals (mechanics of materials, classical lamination theory, material property characterization, design best practices, analysis methods, and manufacturing processes)
  • Experience in one of the following domain areas:
    • Cryogenic systems
    • Pressurized systems
    • Mechanical moving assemblies
    • Fluid Systems
  • Hands-on composites manufacturing experience

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.

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