Ground Systems Mechanical Engineer II

Job Ref: 4840864003 | Type: Full-time

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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!


Neutron is a medium lift launch vehicle capable of delivering the mega constellations of tomorrow, high assurance payloads, and human spaceflight. As a highly reusable launch platform, Neutron will deliver a highly cost-effective and reliable launch solution leveraging Rocket Lab’s proven execution history with the Electron program. 


Based out of Rocket Lab's Test Facility at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the Ground System Mechanical Engineer is responsible for critical test facilities to support the Archimedes rocket engine and the Neutron launch vehicle.  You will work from conceptual design through build-out and activation of a brand new, from the ground up test facility. You will support the Fluid Systems and Propulsion organizations through delivery of functional ground systems required to perform necessary hot fire tests and checkout functions to ensure successful development of engines and vehicle systems. You will become skilled in Test Operations roles and be expected to work independently in support of the overall test facility design, build and activation efforts.


  • Design critical test infrastructure including development of process diagrams, fluid systems, structural systems and various subsystems using cryogenics, flammables and high-pressure gases
  • Perform analysis of fluid and structural systems using various tools and processes
  • Specify and procure valves, piping, and structural components
  • Coordinate with vendors and facilities groups to design, purchase, and fabricate key subsystems
  • Work onsite at our test facility for build-out & activation including preparation of test procedures, interfacing with data acquisition and control systems, and collecting and interpreting critical data to support test facility readiness.
  • Collaborate with Archimedes engine and Neutron vehicle design teams to prepare and perform tests on key engine and stage hardware


  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering or related fields
  • 2+ years’ experience designing, and operating test stands and launch infrastructure for liquid bipropellant launch vehicles.
  • Demonstrated experience designing, building and operating aerospace test or launch facilities either in internships, college activities or prior employment.
  • Ability to travel to various facilities for extended periods during key fabrication and activation project phases
  • A passion for test operations facilities with evidence of personal and substantial contributions to similar projects


  • Experience operating facilities for liquid oxygen and liquid methane
  • Ability to predict complex fluid system behavior through application of engineering fundamentals
  • Experience with developing and maintaining integrated schedules for projects of small to medium scope
  • Demonstrated experience working with various disciplines, fabricators and suppliers to achieve on-time project execution
  • Ability to remain unfazed by ambiguity or changes in strategic direction while maintaining a positive attitude and being self-actualized and self-guided


  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to focus.   
  • Regularly required to sit, use hands and fingers, operate computer keyboard and controls, and communicate verbally and in writing.  
  • Must be physically able to commute to buildings 
  • Occasional exposure to dust, fumes and moderate levels of noise. 



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.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for the application/interview process for a job in the United States should contact Giulia Biow at dedicated resource is intended solely to assist job seekers with disabilities whose disability prevents them from being able to apply/interview. Only messages left for this purpose will be considered. A response to your request may take up to two business days.



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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