Mechanical Test Engineer | Structures

Job Ref: 4715084003 | Type: Full-time

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About The Role

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,300 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.

About 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. 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!


About the role

Rocket Lab seeks a Mechanical Test Engineer to build Neutron: Rocket Lab’s medium lift, reusable launch vehicle capable of human spaceflight. 

Mechanical Test Engineers deliver across a broad set of vehicle domains including structural (i.e. Propellant tanks, interstage, fairings), mechanical (i.e. stage separation, landing, aerodynamic control), fluid (i.e. pressurant, propellant management, ignition, HVAC), and thermal (i.e. thermal protection) systems. 

This role will focus on Neutron Structures working directly with design, analysis, and manufacturing engineers to perform development & qualification tests, refine designs, and ensure Neutron’s structural materials, components, and assemblies meet their functional and performance requirements.   

Day to day, your key responsibilities will include:  

  • Lead the testing of primary and secondary structures, including composites and metallic components, and integrated structural assemblies; 
  • Develop test plans, monitor test activities, and post-process and document test data to verify functional and performance requirements; 
  • Develop and execute test activities to characterise structural materials, interfaces, and subcomponents 
  • Collaborate with design engineers to produce concepts, test jigs / fixtures, and manufacturing engineers to coordinate the manufacture of development & qualification hardware;  
  • Proactively identify and solve technical challenges to allow projects to proceed safely and at pace; 
  • Feed testing outcomes back into the design and manufacture process to promote continuous improvement; 
  • Mentor, and technically assist junior engineers. 

Ideal candidates will thrive in ambiguity, and are excited to work in a small, high performing team focused on continued learning and growth. Success in this position will be measured by the knowledge and experience you bring to the role, your ability to lead development projects without supervision, and your ability to successfully collaborate across teams to deliver results

Essential skills

  • Aerospace, mechanical or mechatronic engineering degree or equivalent qualification 
  • 5+ years developing and testing high performance mechanical systems, with a focus on structures and/or mechanisms 
  • Experience with instrumentation selection, setup, post-processing, and interpretation of static & dynamic test data (load cells, accelerometers, strain gauges, pressure transducers etc.) 
  • The ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines 
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work well within a team environment 
  • Sound analytical skills and the ability to see the big picture and making connections and appropriate decisions 
  • Heavy emphasis on achievement and details – getting things done efficiently, effectively and to the highest quality standards. 
  • Have tenacity, a can-do attitude, and the ability to think quickly and make accurate judgements. 

Desired Skills

  • Experience in one of the following domain areas: Composites structures, Large scale structural testing, Cryogenic systems, Pressurised systems, Mechanical moving assemblies  
  • Experience with CAD software such as NX (preferred), Solidworks, CATIA 
  • Experience using Product Lifecycle Management software such as Teamcenter (preferred), Windchill, or similar 
  • Experience using National Instruments data acquisition systems  
  • Programming in C+, matlab, labview or other 
  • Experience writing / reviewing safety risk assessments 

Rocket Lab Employee Benefits

  • The opportunity to work on innovative and ground breaking technology
  • An employee stock purchase program
  • Access to world leading experts to develop your career
  • Unlimited barista coffee, fruit, and snacks
  • Rocket Lab merchandise – T-shirts, mission patches etc.
  • Discounted health insurance with Southern Cross
  • Additional parental leave entitlements
  • A vibrant team culture with social activities throughout the year


If the above sounds like you apply now!

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S Department of State.

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.


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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