Manufacturing Engineer - Composites

Job Ref: 4833715003 | 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!


Rocket Lab’s Manufacturing team are the builders and the doers who work with our advanced machinery across our global manufacturing sites to get our satellites, satellite components, and rockets out the door. They bring the designs of our engineers to life by using advanced manufacturing techniques like 3D printing to create our hardware, and are responsible for delivering our projects and missions on time and on budget to our customers.  


The Composite Manufacturing Engineer enables the production team to achieve the required production rates with the right quality.  

They are responsible for supporting all aspects of composite production at Rocket Lab. This is delivered by taking ownership of products released to production, removing production blockers, dispositioning non-conformance tickets, performing root-cause analysis, and implementing corrective actions. This role is also responsible for the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of manufacturing processes and procedures relating to composite materials, leveraging their strong working knowledge of both the product and best-practice manufacturing techniques.  

Manufacturing Engineers are also expected to work with the production team to develop manufacturing best practices, optimising processes for production, and implementing new processes through prototyping, test, and integration. The role will also work closely with other Engineers, Technicians, and subject matter experts across a range of departments. The primary purpose of the Manufacturing Engineer is to support production activities within a high-growth production environment, ensuring manufacturing principles are practised to a high standard and ensuring stringent launch times can be achieved. This position will support the Composites Production and Manufacturing Engineering teams with their deliverables. 

Regular activities of the manufacturing engineering team can be summed up as practical problem solving over a wide variety of systems and situations, so the ability to remain flexible while applying sound, risk-based engineering decision making is critical. 

Note: The role requires a background in composite design or manufacturing environments


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, or related 
  • Experience working as a Manufacturing / Production / Process / Quality Engineer or equivalent 
  • Hands-on technical experience debugging complex systems within a manufacturing environment 
  • Working experience with composite materials manufacturing and design techniques including prepreg and wet layup processes
  • Able to prioritize risk effectively and make risk/reward trade-off calls by leveraging engineering and production input to mitigate risk to both rocket and business 
  • Proven ability to deliver with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team
  • Can-do approach and flexibility to thrive around growing teams and processes
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal 


  • Experience with ERP/PLM Systems - Siemens Team Centre / Infor LN 
  • Computer Aided Design experience, preferably with Siemens NX 
  • Knowledge of production quality metrics 
  • Proven delivery of composite mould and tooling materials, design and implementation 
  • Can quickly analyse and resolve manufacturing discrepancies and non-conformances 
  • Ability to lead problem containment and root cause/corrective action investigations and preventative action implementation 
  • Identify and drive quality-related initiatives and improvements 
  • Execute product improvements, including qualification and implementation activities
  • Develop production procedures and processes and ensure they are accurately and clearly documented to allow repeatable and reliable manufacturing
  • Knowledge with composite related material properties including resin systems, ablative materials, and sandwich structures
  • Experience with composite structure repair techniques and processes 
  • Experience in manufacturing and assembly of composite structures into larger assemblies. 
  • Demonstrated experience with DFMEA, PFMEA methodologies, Fault Tree Analysis, Pareto analysis, root cause and corrective action 
  • Experience transitioning products from prototype to production 
  • SPC knowledge and experience applying statistical methods to track process capability and performance 
  • Computer Aided Design experience, preferably with Siemens NX 

If you meet 50% of the requirements in this job ad – we want to hear from you with a variety of openings currentl - 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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