People Matter

Principal Neutron Safety & Reliability Engineer

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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

Neutron is a medium lift launch vehicle capable of delivering the mega constellations of tomorrow, high assurance payloads, and human spaceflight. As a highly reusable launch platform, Neutron will deliver a highly cost-effective and reliable launch solution leveraging Rocket Lab’s proven execution history with the Electron program. If you’re interested in joining a high performing team, pushing the boundaries with a clean sheet development of re-usable liquid launch vehicle, this is your opportunity!

As the Principal Neutron Safety & Reliability Engineer you will be responsible for working with both internal and external stakeholders in order to deliver an approved launch vehicle with supporting launch and landing systems.

You should be organized, a good communicator, and excellent at identifying and solving problems related to the safe operation of complex systems. You should be familiar with all engineering disciplines, engineering development process, and collaborating with government entities for safety approval. You should have a sound judgement to guide stakeholders to come to practical solutions that provide an appropriate balance between safety, reliability, time to market, cost, and any other operational constraints.

Your responsibilities including driving the implementation of the Neutron Safety & Mission Assurance Plan:

  • Work with design and operational teams to derive appropriate safety requirements from safety standards and hazard analysis.
  • Perform appropriate hazard analysis on the vehicle and its supporting launch and landing systems.
  • Produce range and launch licensee ground safety compliance evidence.
  • Mentoring and co-ordinating other system safety engineers to produce the required safety deliverables.
  • Guiding teams to perform failure analysis that supports both the safety case and the verification of mission reliability targets.
  • Ensure design safety requirements are implemented and fully verified.
  • Ensure operational constraints of the system are appropriately implemented.
  • Manage external regulators and stakeholders to gain ground safety approval of Neutron launch vehicle and its supporting launch and landing systems.
  • Integrate the outputs of the safety case into product life cycle:
    • Work with internal stakeholders to ensure development tests involving Neutron hazardous subsystems can be performed safely.
    • Work with internal stakeholders to ensure the vehicle safety case feeds into Neutron production and test GSE safety cases and their associated facility safety cases.

Essential skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline.
  • 10+ years of experience in systems safety engineering.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively liaise and collaborate with external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated success with highly detail-oriented projects.
  • Can do attitude driven by finding solutions rather than box ticking.
  • Demonstrated ability in managing large and complex safety case.

Desirable skills

  • Experience with Range Safety Manuals, e.g., AFSPCMAN 91-710.
  • Experience with requirements management tools such as DOORS or Jama for compliance management.
  • Understanding of product safety under Quality Management System for Aviation, Space and Defense Industry AS9100.

What you'll get

We believe that your career should be rewarding, not just financially. We provide:

  • Supportive development environment where there is always something new to learn from a team who are technically excellent and enthusiastic to help.
  • Fast-paced and stimulating environment – there is never a dull moment or repetitive nature to your role.
  • Environment where self-initiative is valued – we believe in solving problems and making work efficient.

If you are thrilled by seeing something you’ve been a part of the design process for, in action and making a difference in the world, then Rocket Lab is the place for you.

Rocket Lab Employee Benefits

  • The opportunity to work on innovative and groundbreaking 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.

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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