Integrated Operations Engineer - Ground Systems Operations

Job Ref: 4901759003 | 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!


Engineering is at the heart of Rocket Lab. Our engineering team has a proven track record of designing and developing world-class rockets and spacecraft that are changing the way we access and use space. You’ll work alongside driven, talented engineers from varied backgrounds and experience levels, all committed to the same mission. Our engineering team members span design, analysis, prototyping, testing, manufacturing, assembly and integration, quality control, engineering documentation, and more.  


Integrated Operations is the Rocket Lab organisation responsible for flight article Test and Launch operations, which includes:

  • Electron launch operations
    • Integrated Stage hot fire acceptance testing
    • Payload Processing
    • Launch Pad/Test facility configuration and readiness
    • On-console launch operations
    • Mission closeout

Integrated operations are also responsible for integrated system development test campaigns, for upcoming projects in development. This includes:

  • Neutron integrated hardware development test campaigns
  • Space Systems’ Flight article acceptance hot fires
  • Operational Tools development

Testing and Launch Operations may be conducted remotely or on-site at propulsion test facilities, at Mission Control based in Auckland, or Range Control at one of our two Launch Pad locations, Mahia, NZ, or Wallops Island, VA.

Team Z (Ground/Pad Systems team) are specialists in Ground Systems Operations, responsible for the operation of Launch Pads and propellant loading systems for the launch of Electron. The team are specialists in:

  • Pressurised systems
  • Hazardous/cryogenic fluid systems
  • HVAC
  • Hydraulics
  • Industrial instrumentation and control systems

Team Z own operational roles that manipulate the Electron vehicle on the pad, fill the vehicle with propellant and condition/configure it for flight. They operate the ‘Stage zero’ of the Electron Launch system and are additionally responsible for the operation of other development test campaigns for both Neutron and Space Systems products. Team Z operators are highly trained console operators, part of the overall team responsible for launching the Electron rocket.

The Engineer II is an intermediate role in Integrated Operations. The Engineer II will be serving on-console in Launch and Test Operations, primarily in support of Ground Systems roles, but additionally with the opportunity to be skilled in vehicle-side and command roles. The Engineer II will routinely mentor and train other operators in the safe and effective operation of systems, and take leadership roles in improvements to procedures, processes and operational tools that improve the quality, reliability, and launch rate of Electron and other products.


  • Operate on-console as a Test/Launch Operator during Rocket Test and Launch Operations
  • Lead the testing of vehicle and ground hardware in accordance with established processes/procedures, in line with quality and reliability expectations
  • Be responsible for real-time troubleshooting and decision making in Test and Launch Operations, to ensure that test and launch standards are met
  • Ensure all operations are conducted safely and to preserve the quality and integrity of critical flight hardware
  • Define Concept of Operations (CONOPs) flow for testing and operations
  • Develop, coordinate, and execute plans and procedures to conduct testing, operations, and flight effectively and safely
  • Perform extensive data and process review of vehicle and ground systems, as well as operational processes, to identify system improvements
  • Lead and/or participate in gated readiness reviews conducted prior to integration, testing, and operations
  • Lead/Perform checkout/commissioning of test stands, launch pads, and control centers prior to testing and operations
  • Lead/Perform integration and checkout of test articles and flight vehicles prior to testing, operations, or flight
  • Direct installation (e.g., mounting on test stands, launch pads, etc.) and configuration of test/flight articles and associated instrumentation for testing and operations
  • Travel to Test/Launch sites as necessary to perform operations


  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace, mechanical, electrical, mechatronic engineering degree or equivalent
  • 2+ years of experience in high performance and/or industrial engineering design, test and/or operations
  • Self-driven, motivated, and contagiously positive
  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure and to strict deadlines
  • Careful work ethic with an eye for detail


  • 3+ years of hands-on experience in high performance/industrial engineering test or operations
  • Demonstrated experience working in safety/mission-critical, high-stress environments
  • Experience working with hazardous (high pressure, cryogenic, toxic, flammable etc.) systems
  • Experience working on-console in a real-time operations environment, including plant/vehicle operations
  • Experience working with launch vehicles or spacecraft
    • Specific experience in Test Engineering is desirable
  • Experience with Java, Python, or other programming language
  • Experience with LabVIEW and PLC development
  • Ability to read, understand and follow detailed schematics, drawings, and instructions
  • Careful work ethic with an eye for detail
  • Ability to work at heights and in confined spaces

If the above sounds like you, apply now!


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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