Lead Quality Engineer

Job Ref: 4011211003 | Type: Full-time

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About The Role

Why Rocket Lab?

Rocket Lab is the global leader in small satellite launch. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. There are endless possibilities for what we can achieve with better access to space, and that access is now a reality thanks to Rocket Lab. 

Our team is 500 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. While other companies talk about it, we do it! 


Lead Quality Engineer

Build a world-class quality team with processes and systems that eliminate mission risks, increase productivity, and unite Engineering, Production, and Quality organizations under a common purpose.


Duties & Responsibilities

Build and Develop Team

  • Identify strengths of quality team members and delegate projects that will capitalize their skill sets.
  • Pinpoint areas for improvement and define customized development plans for team members to help them achieve their top potential.
  • Define skills and capacity gaps that exist within the team using strong data. Justify headcount and hire excellent talent to elevate the team.

Eliminate Mission Risks

  • Identify and prioritize risks to mission success.
  • Create action plans and lead execution of tasks to resolve problems.
  • Steer cross-functional teams to focus on top-impact actions and hold people accountable for achieving expected milestones

Increase Productivity

  • Identify and categorize problems that are impacting the company’s ability to deliver conforming hardware on schedule.
  • Lead team to deep dive the top problems and properly identify and resolve the root cause of the issues.
  • Quantify the results of these efforts to show whether the intended results were achieved. Learn from this data and adapt.

Unite the Organization Under a Common Purpose

  • Develop sustainable processes that encourage all organizations to play an active role in these quality improvements, with or without the involvement of the Quality team.
  • Provide strong data and guidance to steer and enable other groups to solve their own problems.

Quality System Development

  • Architect the development of an innovative Quality Management System (QMS) that creates sustainable processes without bureaucracy.
  • Collaborate with leadership in the US and New Zealand to ensure that processes are robust and consistently followed across all facilities.


  • Domestic and international travel may be required.
  • Additional duties as reasonably required.


Required Skills

  • Adaptable and comfortable in an exciting, dynamic, and evolving environment
  • Hands-on with a passion for continuous improvement and building the best hardware
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal


Required Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical, aerospace, or industrial engineering, or equivalent
  • 5 years of experience in a manufacturing environment
  • 3 years of experience in a quality role
  • Previous experience in a leadership position


Preferred Experience & Skills

  • Experience developing new systems and processes
  • Strong data analytics and visualization skills
  • Competency with SQL databases and SQL programming
  • Pareto analysis, root cause and corrective action experience
  • Experience in the aerospace industry or other quality-critical industries


Important Information:

To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.

Rocket Lab USA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, employment with Rocket Lab USA is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

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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