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.

Director of GNC

At Rocket Lab, our family of Electron launch vehicles and Photon spacecraft are supporting a growing number of ground-breaking missions in low Earth orbit, to the Moon, and far beyond. Right now, Rocket Lab is deep in the development of Neutron, our upcoming reusable launcher, designing missions and spacecraft to Mars and Venus, and catching Electron using a helicopter!

We are looking for an experienced technical leader to lead our growing Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) department. This department encompasses GNC, Flight Software, and Hardware In The Loop (HITL) testing teams, across our launch vehicles (Electron, Neutron) and space systems mission design (Photon). In this position, you will lead a team of highly capable engineers from across a range of disciplines, including aerospace, mechanical, electronic, and physics, and across all missions; from Low Earth Orbit to Mars and beyond! You will be people focused and know how to grow and mentor high-performance individuals and teams, confident making analysis-informed risk decisions at the heart of a GNC algorithm on the day of launch, as well as able to schedule and deliver large software projects across multi-national teams.

This role is for someone who wants to see their technical leadership make a big impact on the way we explore space and use it as a platform for discovery and innovation. You will be collaborating with the vibrant, dedicated, and talented people who have made Rocket Lab into the global leader it is today.

Leadership Responsibilities

  • Manage, mentor, and support the staff within the department to be motivated, effective and efficient in their roles, and provide opportunities for growth and development.
  • Maintain an understanding of broad team-resourcing requirements based on planned projects and maintenance of existing systems; ensure appropriate recruitment of personnel to meet the demands of the company.
  • Maintain staff by recruiting, training, coaching, and discipline.
  • Collaborate with other directors, managers and team members to ensure clarity and accountability of responsibilities.
  • Ensure deliverables are met to maintain overall project deadlines.
  • Accomplish financial objectives by forecasting requirements.
  • Define and implement project plans.

Technical Responsibilities

  • Overall responsibility for all launch vehicle guidance, navigation and control systems and software including GNC flight software, 6DOF and vehicle simulation/emulation tools, simulation and vehicle configuration tools and analysis tools.
  • Overall responsibility for all launch vehicle embedded software, including primary flight computer code and software running on all embedded devices.
  • Overall responsibility for all launch vehicle mission design, trajectory optimization and mission delivery including launch operations and post-flight reporting for GNC systems.
  • Overall responsibility for the verification and release of launch vehicle flight software via HITL testing facilities.
  • Overall responsibility of space vehicle mission design, trajectory optimization and flight dynamics design, including supporting on-orbit flight dynamics.
  • Primary responsibility of the ground segment software including ground station monitoring and control, RF modem interface software and specialized telemetry and telecommand processing.

Required Skills & Experience

  • 10+ years’ experience leading teams working on complex engineering problems.
  • 10+ years’ experience developing and managing development of embedded software.
  • 10+ years’ experience developing simulation and data analysis tools.
  • 10+ years’ experience developing guidance, navigation or control algorithms within an aerospace or related field.
  • 10+ years’ launch vehicle or spacecraft dynamics and modelling experience.
  • 10+ years’ launch vehicle mission design, including trajectory optimization and vehicle optimization.
  • 10+ years’ experience developing in C/C++ including some embedded or high reliability development.
  • 10+ years’ experience in software/processor/hardware in the loop testing.
  • Proven experience with agile development techniques, Git, and working with issue trackers.
  • Proven experience with document management & software systems engineering experience.

Required Education

  • Masters’ or Ph.D. Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering, or demonstrated equivalent level of knowledge.

Preferred Skills

  • Experience with formal software standards like DO-178C, MISRA or AUTOSAR.
  • Experience with Gitlab, TeamCity, Docker and other DevOps tools.
  • Experience with Redmine, Jira or other issue tracker.
  • Experience with Linux and other embedded operating systems.

 

Important Information for New Zealand Applicants:

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 http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/regulations_laws/itar.html.

Important information:

FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN US OFFICES ONLY:

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.

FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN NEW ZEALAND OFFICES ONLY:

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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