Structural Analyst - Composites

Job Ref: 4715091003 | 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 Neutron team is responsible for bringing our new large rocket Neutron and its launch and test sites to life. From designing and testing Neutron’s structures and components, to firing up its new Archimedes engines, to setting up Neutron’s launch pads and test sites across the United States, joining the Neutron team is your opportunity to help launch a new large rocket for the very first time. 


As a Composite Structural Analyst you will work directly with design, manufacturing, and test engineers to develop and validate primary and secondary composite structures for the Neutron launch vehicle: owning your designs from concept to completion.  

Day to day, your key responsibilities will include:  

  • Lead the analysis of primary and secondary structures, including composites and metallic components, and integrated structural assemblies; 
  • Build, run, and post-process FE models to calculate design responses and margins to static, dynamic, and thermal loads; 
  • Collaborate with design engineers to develop concepts, and manufacturing engineers to identify suitable materials, and define pragmatic build processes;  
  • Work alongside test engineers to define test plans, monitor test activities, and post-process test data against analytical predictions; 
  • Develop and document structural analysis methods for composite materials; 
  • Proactively identify and solve technical challenges to allow projects to proceed at pace; 
  • Mentor, and technically assist junior engineers. 

Successful candidates in this role will thrive in ambiguity, and are excited to work in a small, high performing team focused on continued learning and growth. This position is ideal for an experienced engineer keen to support a complex project from conceptual design through to integration and launch.


  • A degree in Mechanical Engineering or similar field 
  • 5+ years’ experience performing structural analysis of composite components for high performance applications 
  • Strong understanding of composites engineering fundamentals (mechanics of materials, classical lamination theory, material property characterization, design best practices, analysis methods, and manufacturing processes) 
  • Demonstrated expertise with one or more industry standard structural FEA packages: NASTRAN (FEMAP), ANSYS, Abaqus, Optistruct/Hyperworks etc.  
  • Experience with structural testing of composite components or assemblies 
  • Experience supporting composite manufacture and prototyping  
  • The ability to work to deadlines within a high-pressure environment 
  • Proven communication skills and the ability to build strong working relationships with colleagues 


  • Experience with defect and damage tolerance assessment of composite structures including the disposition of hardware non-conformances 
  • Experience in linear and non-linear buckling  
  • Experience in composite joint design 
  • Experience with sensor selection and data post-processing/ interpretation of static & dynamic structural test (load cells, accelerometers, strain gauges, LVDT’s etc.) 
  • Experience with CAD software such as NX (preferred), Fibersim (preferred), Solidworks, CATIA, or similar with a focus on model defeaturing for subsequent analysis 
  • Experience using Product Lifecycle Management software such as Teamcenter (preferred), Windchill, or similar 
  • Hands-on composites manufacturing experience 


If the above sounds like you 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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