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 1,300 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.

Space Systems Deputy Chief Engineer

As the Space Systems Deputy Chief Engineer for Rocket Lab’s Photon satellite program, you’ll play a pivotal role in technology development and platform development for high performance missions in Defence and Intelligence Space.  In addition, you will participate in the development of technologies and platforms that will see the Space Systems team deliver a NASA mission to the Moon, Venus, and Mars.

Your days will be spent leading the technical design, development, testing, and production of Rocket Lab’s space systems for a range of low Earth orbit and deep space missions. You will be instrumental in using the wealth of on-orbit data from Rocket Lab’s many successful missions to ensure the reliability, robustness, and performance of Photon. The ideal candidate will be familiar with both mission systems engineering and satellite software and hardware and have a proven record of leading space systems engineering teams in fast-paced environments.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Work directly with the Space Systems Chief Engineer in the technical decision-making processes and guide technical development across all space systems disciplines
  • Co-chair along with the Space Systems Chief Engineer in technical reviews, engineering change, and configuration management process adherence
  • Guide systems engineering processes and facilitate technical trades across the system
  • Identify technical issues and proactively implements resolutions to mitigate schedule and cost impacts
  • Lead mission definition including mission design, operational concepts, orbit selection
  • Guide development of systems engineering products, spacecraft architecture, trade studies, requirements development, verification and validation plans
  • Identify vendors and oversee spacecraft component selection
  • Provide technical mentorship to team members and monitor technical integrity of all team member contributions
  • Contribute to the vision and strategy for growing the space systems program in collaboration with executive and business development teams
  • Contribute to proposal development
  • Develop, monitor and adhere to efficient program budgets, schedules, and resource plans

Essential Skills & Experience Required

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, math, or related discipline.
  • 10+ years of experience in satellite design, development, test, and operations across multiple flight projects/programs.
  • Active TS/SCI clearance.
  • Experience taking a product from concept phase through prototyping, launch and operation.
  • Demonstrated leadership of space systems engineering teams
  • Demonstrated breadth and depth across multiple spacecraft engineering disciplines
  • Broad understanding of the spacecraft component supply chain and broad network of vendor relationships across the supply chain
  • Proficient in key mission design, detailed analysis, and engineering management tools: 3D CAD software, STK, Matlab, NX, SPICE, JAMA, Teamcenter, etc.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to travel regularly, including international travel

What makes you stand out

  • 15+ years of experience in satellite design, development, test, and operations
  • Masters, PhD, or other advanced degree in engineering, physics, math, or related discipline
  • Experience with both low and high budget space system development
  • Experience with deep space missions
  • Experience with spacecraft and spacecraft subsystem design
  • Experience with spacecraft and subsystem environment definition (radiation, structural loads, thermal, EMI/EMC, orbital debris, etc.) and design approaches
  • Experience with spacecraft link budgets, ground segments, and data processing
  • Experience with spacecraft power and energy budgets
  • Experience with spacecraft pointing and geolocation budgets
  • Experience with spacecraft rate, attitude, and momentum closed loop control systems
  • Experience with cabling/harness design
  • Experience with electronic board and avionics design
  • Experience with spacecraft and spacecraft subsystem fabrication, assembly, and test; understanding of qualification, acceptance, and protoflight verification approaches
  • Experience with flight software development, test, and verification
  • Experience with ground software development, test, and verification
  • Experience with ground instrument and payload interfacing interface
  • Experience with electrical, electronic, electromechanical (EEE) part performance, application, failure modes, test methods, reliability, and supply chain quality
  • Strong understanding of computers, programming languages, scripting tools, and automation

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 from the 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.


Apply for this Job

* Required

resume chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)
cover_letter chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)
When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review
+ Add Another Education

Voluntary Self-Identification

For government reporting purposes, we ask candidates to respond to the below self-identification survey. Completion of the form is entirely voluntary. Whatever your decision, it will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

As set forth in Rocket Lab USA’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy, we do not discriminate on the basis of any protected group status under any applicable law.

Race & Ethnicity Definitions

If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:

A "disabled veteran" is one of the following: a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

A "recently separated veteran" means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.

An "active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

An "Armed forces service medal veteran" means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.

Form CC-305

OMB Control Number 1250-0005

Expires 05/31/2023

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We are also required to measure our progress toward having at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had a disability. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we ask all of our employees to update their information at least every five years.

Identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer will be maintained confidentially and not be seen by selecting officials or anyone else involved in making personnel decisions. Completing the form will not negatively impact you in any way, regardless of whether you have self-identified in the past. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of federal contractors under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at

How do you know if you have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.