Senior Spacecraft Sub-Systems Panel Engineer

Job Ref: 4869122003 | 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 Space Systems team is responsible for every satellite and satellite component made by Rocket Lab: from complete satellites destined for missions to the Moon and Mars, to the individual components and subsystems that make up a satellite like solar panels, flight software, reaction wheels and star trackers, separation systems, radios, and more. Our Space Systems team is made up of engineers, technicians, and designers who design, create, and put together our own satellites for missions across the commercial, government, and defense sectors, or who build and assemble satellite hardware and software that supports other satellite missions.


The Senior Spacecraft Sub-Systems Panel Engineer provides technical leadership and coordination to meet Solar Panel and Solar Array program objectives, ensure requirements, and realize system concepts throughout execution of the project plan. This position serves as the main liaison between program management and technical experts both internally and externally (customer facing) to define an executable project to satisfy program needs. Review current design and manufacturing processes to determine limitations to meeting program requirements, assess alternative approaches where needed, and determines the most accurate, feasible, and economical solutions with stakeholders. Examine engineering project execution needs across all engineering departments and ensure the technical scope is appropriately defined for program needs.  Prepare presentations and diagrams in relationship to technical requests or problem analysis and coordinate recommended solutions with end users, program management, and other stakeholders.


  • In partnership with the Program Manager, serve as the primary technical interface with the customer:
  • Provide engineering documents to/from the customer. 
  • Provide program related manufacturing/testing/schedule requirements and information from the customer to the panel engineering support group. 
  • Be responsible for program compliance to customer specifications. 
  • Prepare (with assistance from the panel engineering support group) all technical input for customer meetings. 
  • Prepare (with assistance from the panel engineering support group) program deliverable technical reports.
  • Manage to close all customer-related action items. 
  • In partnership with Program Manager, oversee and coordinate all program-related engineering work:
  • Host the engineering kick-off meeting. 
  • Oversee design of program deliverables and support hardware. 
  • Own the engineering portion of program huddles. 
  • Ensure all program-related engineering tasks are on-schedule. 
  • Support product configuration management tasks such as review and/or release of program specifications, travelers and test procedures. 
  • Interface with production team and manufacturing engineering as required to resolve program-related manufacturing issues, 
  • Manager to close all engineering-related action items. 
  • Review all program-related engineering documents. 
  • Provide instruction for special operations. 
  • Review all program-related Engineering Change Requests. 
  • Consult on proposal technical input.


  • BS degree in engineering, material science, or applied physics.
  • 5+ years of experience in space product-related engineering.
  • 5+ years of experience using NX, AutoCAD (DWG viewer) or SolidWorks 2012 (e-drawings) or newer.
  • Experience in cost justification for new processes and procedures required.


  • Spacecraft Systems Engineering related degree is desired.
  • Experience with structural and mechanical component design for spacecraft and spacecraft environments.
  • Leadership experience in a project engineering role.
  • Proficient in all MS Office applications.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal to create clear and succinct technical documentation using technical writing fundamentals.
  • Able to quickly absorb, process, and apply information outside of one’s core competencies.


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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