People Matter

Senior Mechanical Engineer

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2023

About The Role


Rocket Lab is a global leader in launch and space systems. The rockets and satellites we build and launch enable some of the most ambitious and vital space missions globally, supporting scientific exploration, Earth observation and missions to combat climate change, national security, and exciting new technology demonstrations. Our Electron rocket has provided reliable access to orbit since 2018, becoming one of the most frequently launched rockets in the world. Neutron will be our next rocket on the launch pad, an advanced 13-tonne payload class, reusable rocket to launch the mega constellations of the future. Our space systems business includes our extensive line of satellites and components that have enabled more than 1,700 missions including the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA Psyche Mission, Artemis I, Mars Ingenuity helicopter, and more.

Join our pioneering team and launch your career to new heights!

While other companies talk about it, we do it!

About the team

The In-Space Propulsion (ISP) team is one of three teams responsible for developing and delivering qualified, flight-ready space vehicle propulsion systems. The other two teams are responsible for spacecraft fluids systems and propulsion system testing, though there is significant overlap and strong collaboration between the three. The ISP team takes on system-level and component-level ownership, mostly developed in-house from mission requirement through to integration and beyond, including pre-launch, launch, and on orbit operations support. Examples of past work include the Curie and HyperCurie engines, and currently the team is working on the whole propulsion system for ESCAPADE, a NASA science mission to Mars.

The team consists of development engineers with a range of experience level and skill sets. Generally, each engineer owns a component or system through its development lifecycle and production implementation. This means that the skillset of the team spans systems engineering, design, build, and test, though individuals may have their specializations. The team works hands-on, often alongside technicians, with development, qualification, and flight hardware. Team members interface regularly with stakeholders across the company, including GNC, Manufacturing Engineering, Production, Flight Software, Analysis, and others.

Key responsibilities

  • Owning development of new or existing products or systems, acting as technical lead to guide team through end-to-end development process
  • Conceptual and detailed designs in CAD for propulsion system components as well as calculations, analysis, and system designs
  • Communicating with project stakeholders internal and external to the team
  • Defining and maintaining standard of excellence for their team through documentation, training, coaching, and review of others’ work
  • Technical risk-based decision making to the right/best solution when faced with an engineering challenge
  • Project management including schedule building and maintenance, identifying top priority items, tasking of other engineers and technicians, and communication of status to leadership and other teams
  • Mentorship and coaching of people within the team on technical and professional development
  • Contributing to engineering process development and documentation at Rocket Lab related to areas of experience
Essential skills
  • 5+ years of industry experience
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work well within a team environment
  • Sound analytical skills and the capability to think at a systems level i.e. seeing the big picture and making connections
  • Heavy emphasis on achievement and details – getting things done efficiently, effectively and to the highest quality standards.
  • Strong understanding of development process from requirements to detailed design, through build, qualification, and acceptance testing
  • The ability to take a flexible approach and to adapt to change quickly
  • Aerospace, mechanical, or mechatronic engineering degree or equivalent qualification
  • Experience with CAD software such as NX (preferred), Solidworks, CATIA
  • Good hands-on engineering skills

Desired skills

  • Experience using Product Lifecycle Management software such as Teamcenter (preferred), Windchill, or similar
  • Experience developing requirement and verification sets, as well as writing test plans, performing testing, and writing test reports
  • Experience using National Instruments data acquisition systems

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 the above sounds like you apply now!


We’re on a mission to unlock the potential of space to improve life on Earth, but that’s not an easy task. It takes hard work, determination, relentless innovation, teamwork, grit, and an unwavering commitment to achieving what others often deem impossible. Our people out-think, out-work and out-pace. We pride ourselves on having each other’s backs, checking our egos at the door, and rolling up our sleeves on all tasks big and small. We thrive under pressure, work to tight deadlines, and our focus is always on how we can deliver, rather than dwelling on the challenges that stand in the way.

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.


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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