Principal Engineer, Avionics Systems

Job Ref: 2810476RL | Type: Permanent / Full Time

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About The Role

Rocket Lab is expanding rapidly to develop launch capabilities across the globe, and with it is an exciting opportunity to get in at the ground floor in this exciting development.  

As a Principal Engineer in the Avionics Systems team, you will drive the high-level strategy and coordination of avionics system design, production integrations, and launch operations, including expansions to U.S. launch sites.  You will develop an in-depth knowledge of the launch vehicle electronic systems, allowing you to diagnose and resolve anomalies and provide technical direction for vehicle testing.

You will also drive critical strategic capabilities in the expansion to multiple launch site and a rapidly increasing build rate. This role is on the front line of launch vehicle operations in a high-growth area. The Senior Engineer in the Avionics System team will be a big-picture thinker able to develop high-level strategy as well as compulsive about chasing down details to ensure the vehicle is “go for launch.”

Core Responsibilities
  • High-level leadership for electronic system design, integration, and operations; interfacing with internal and external customers to deliver integration and launch capability.
  • Deliver complex engineering projects with high strategic importance, often spanning multiple departments or disciplines.
  • Develop and execute strategies for growth based on high-level targets.
  • Provide a leadership role in system-level anomalies, taking in information from multiple sources and providing direction on lines of investigation.
  • Identify gaps in technology, skill, and resource; generating business cases for growth.
  • Evaluate and manage technical risk relating to the avionics system, including determination of probability and consequence. Analyze new vehicle changes for electrical, RF, and EMI/EMC impacts.
  • Hands-on troubleshooting during integration, providing technical direction to resolve anomalies in the factory and in the field.
  • Hands-on operations of the launch vehicle during system testing and launch.
  • Lead working groups, milestone reviews, and technical interchange meetings for complex engineering projects.
  • Establish quality processes in design, manufacture, and testing. Drive quality across all team functions. Verify processes for configuration and parts tracking.
  • Manage issues related to reliability, performance, and cost of the avionics system.
Minimum Requirements
  • Degree in electrical, electronics, aerospace engineering, or equivalent.
  • 10+ years professional industry experience.
  • Broad technical knowledge across multiple disciplines, including electronics, mechanical, and RF systems.
  • Knowledge and experience in electronics, signal integrity, layout, and grounding principles.
  • Highly detail oriented, with excellent written and verbal communication skills including the ability to build relationships with vendors and external parties.
  • Demonstrated experience in the delivery of R&D programs for complex systems.
  • Ability to mentor and provide guidance for a team of engineers.
Preferred Skills and Experience
  • Experience with the development of launch vehicle electrical systems.

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.

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