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.
This is a rare opportunity to play a key role in Rocket Lab’s evolution into an end-to-end space company that delivers launch, spacecraft, and on-orbit operations. The Space Systems Division is shaping Rocket Lab’s future with Photon, our brand of high-performance satellites, enabling innovative missions in low Earth orbit and beyond including missions for NASA to LEO, the Moon, and Mars and commercial customers, including leading the design and manufacture of 17 high-power telecommunication spacecraft buses for Globalstar.
Rocket Lab is also growing our spacecraft components business, anchored on the acquisition of Sinclair Interplanetary manufacturing reaction wheels and star trackers in Toronto, SolAero Technologies manufacturing solar power and primary structure solutions in Albuquerque, Planetary Systems Corporation manufacturing launch separation systems in Silver Spring, and Advanced Solutions, Inc., provider of flight and ground software as a service in Denver. Our components business is key to vertically integrating our spacecraft solutions and enabling constellations for customers.
SPACECRAFT STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
Based out of Rocket Lab's global headquarters in Long Beach, CA, the Spacecraft Structural Engineer contributes to the analysis, design validation, and future improvements of our suite of Space Systems and Space Components. You will be expected to define loads and environments, perform detailed simulations and physics-based analysis, guide design, and help validate analysis, design, and system performance through test. You will support the Vehicle Design Manager and Space Systems organization, with deliverables required for internal leadership, board of directors, and investors.
WHAT YOU’LL GET TO DO:
- Define, process, and interpret static and dynamic ground test & flight data, including: sensor selection, data acquisition and validation, and environmental determination (random vibration, shock, quasi-static, acoustic, pressure, and thermal)
- Perform, validate, and document structural analyses of primary and secondary vehicle structures, including: finite element model verification and validation, material selection, performance of trade-off studies, and mass optimization
- Perform structural and dynamic simulations, including: static, modal, random vibration, buckling, and thermoelastic
- Work closely with design and test engineers to iterate through design concepts, determine test requirements, and demonstrate positive structural margins
- Define test requirements and directly support testing of vehicle subsystems and components
- Lead technical projects and programs, as required, both within analysis and across disciplines and teams
- Help implement new theory and tools within the team and establish best practices in areas of technical expertise
YOU’LL BRING THESE QUALIFICATIONS (Note: you must meet every qualification in order to be considered):
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree in mechanical engineering; or equivalent engineering degree
- 2+ years of engineering experience in the aerospace industry
- Experience using NX Nastran, NX CAD, and Teamcenter packages
- Experience in spacecraft-level structural test campaign design, execution, data processing, and validation
THESE QUALIFICATIONS WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE:
- Experience with acoustic analysis and testing
- Experience in analyzing additive manufactured parts
- Experience with sensor selection and data post-processing/interpretation (accelerometers, strain gauges, thermocouples, etc.)
- Experience in structural analysis of composites (laminate design, joint design, materials characterization, environmental effects)
- Familiarity with nonlinear material simulation, including metal plasticity, elastomers, and adhesive joints
In addition to base salary, Rocket Lab offers a comprehensive total compensation offer package based on individual qualifications and experience, including company stock. Employees will also be eligible for medical, dental, vision coverage, 401(k) retirement plan options, and to purchase discounted stock through Rocket Lab's Employee Stock Purchase Program.
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.