People Matter

Systems Safety Engineer

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Other Engineering
Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Monday, August 28, 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

Rocket Lab has a portfolio of ground systems across two continents that support the development, test, and launch of Electron and Neutron. The Safety & Reliability team is responsible for ensuring the safety risks arising from the ground systems designed and operated by Rocket Lab are acceptably low and managed. 

What you will do

One of the functions the Safety & Reliability Engineering Team is responsible for is ensuring the systems Rocket Lab design are acceptably safe. As part of this team, reporting to the Safety & Reliability Manager you will assess anything from small spacecraft, large launch vehicles and even larger launch structures and fluid plants. You will support internal customers to come up with practical solutions that provide an appropriate balance between safety, reliability, time to market, cost, and any other operational constraints.

Activities will include:

  • Performing appropriate safety assessments (functional failure analysis, HAZOPs, fault tree analysis, risk assessment, event tree analysis etc.).
  • Eliciting safety requirements from standards and analysis.
  • Identification of safety critical subsystems / parts.
  • Guiding design teams to ensure design FMEAs satisfy both safety and reliability requirements.
  • Specifying verification requirements for safety requirements.
  • Assessing evidence for their adequacy for verifying safety requirements.
  • Writing safety case reports.
  • Producing compliance matrixes against range safety manuals e.g., AFSPCMAN 91-710.
  • Working with regulatory authorities to gain safety approval.
  • Working with downstream teams such as operations, manufacturing engineering and site management so that they understand the safety constraints of the delivered product.

This role would be suitable for someone who is:

  • Comfortable with working across mechanical, fluid, and electronic systems. You don’t need to be an expert in these areas, but you need to know enough to communicate with these disciplines and know how these systems fail.
  • Methodical – your contribution to the team is to provide analysis from which decisions are made.
  • Self-motivated and organized – the Safety & Reliability Engineering Team is a shared service across the company. You must be comfortable with having multiple tasks on the go across different parts of the company.

The successful candidate will have the following skills:

  • Understands what makes a good safety argument and the evidence needed to support it.
  • Sound judgement in translating safety standards and guides to the context of application and identifying equivalent levels of safety. Teams will look to you for guidance and advice so that a decision can be made.
  • Strong written communicator – a key part of the role is demonstrating safety compliance and providing evidence for regulator review.
  • Experience in systems safety engineering.
  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering or science discipline.

Nice to have skills:

  • 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 the Rocket Lab family 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 helping to move things forward.

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.

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.

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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