Senior/Principal Thermofluids Engineer

Job Ref: 2776855 | Type: Permanent / Full Time

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About The Role

We go to space to improve life on Earth. We are driven to broaden the horizons of what’s already possible in space and are inspired by the possibilities not yet imagined.  Rocket Lab is ushering a new era of unprecedented access to orbit for small satellites to make this future a reality. 

Our team designs, builds and launches the Electron rocket – the most advanced small launch vehicle, featuring carbon composite structures and 3D printed engines. Rocket Lab’s team is filled with the most driven, talented and passionate people you’ll ever work with.

Everyone’s ideas are heard, and each individual has the opportunity to shape the future of Rocket Lab, and in turn, the global small satellite launch industry. If you want to be challenged, solve problems with innovation and work on the advanced space systems that are changing an entire industry, Rocket Lab is the place to do it. 

About The Role

This is a key position within Rocket Lab which will see you Leading the multiphysics team and you will play an important role in developing and evaluating key rocket components and systems. Through your analysis you will support all other teams within Rocket Lab and will play an integral part in Rocket Lab’s success.

Key Duties
  • Perform, validate, and document multiphysics analyses of launch vehicle systems and provide support for development projects, including
    • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of internal and external flows
    • Thermodynamic analysis of internal and external components
    • Aerothermal analysis for external heat loads
    • Multiphysics interaction, such as conjugated heat transfer (CHT), multiphase flow simulations, cryogenic propellant conditioning, ice build-up
    • Perform trade-off studies
    • System design and optimization, e.g. propellant management
  • Perform risk and failure analysis on a component and system level
  • Post-process and interpret ground and flight test data
  • Conduct reviews of analyses
  • Work closely with design and test engineers to iterate through design concepts, determine test requirements, and demonstrate overall system performance
  • Provide vision, technical leadership, and coordinate analysis resources
Minimum Requirements
  • 5+ years relevant industry experience
  • Master or PhD in the field of Aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering or physics or equivalent qualification
  • The ability to show a strong multidisciplinary background and comprehensive understanding of physics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, structures, dynamics and electrical engineering
  • Demonstrated expertise with one or more industry standard CAE packages: ANSYS, Comsol, StarCCM+, Open Foam, CFD++
  • Demonstrated expertise in compressible and incompressible, internal and external, fluid dynamic analysis• Demonstrated expertise in thermodynamic analysis, accounting for structural and/or fluid dynamic coupling
  • Demonstrated expertise with numerical methods and analyses
  • Experience with code development using e.g. Python, Matlab, C, C++
  • Experience using Solidworks CAD and PDM packages (or comparable industry standard packages) with emphasis on model interrogation and defeaturing for subsequent analyses
  • Experience with component and system development, satisfying performance, reliability and operational requirements
  • Experience with experimental test methods, sensor selection and data post-processing/interpretation
  • Experience with mechanical systems in a relevant field (e.g. aerospace, automotive, marine).
Desirable Skills
  • Team Management experience
  • Experience in structural analysis
  • Familiarity with manufacturing processes, including conventional machining, additive manufacturing, and composites (prepreg autoclave and OOA)
  • Experience with vibroacoustic modelling/analysis
  • Familiarity with industry standards (e.g. MIL-STD-1540, GSFC-STD-7000, ECSS-E-HB-32, NASA-STD-5001)
  • Experience with static and dynamic structural test methods (strain gauges, accelerometers, experimental modal analysis, shaker table testing)

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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