Supplier Quality Engineer

Job Ref: 2843344 | Type: Permanent / Full Time

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About The Role

Founded in June 2006 as a center for advanced space systems, Rocket Lab’s goal is to remove the commercial barriers to space by providing frequent launch opportunities to low orbit Earth.
Rocket Lab is rapidly expanding to meet the global demand for our commercial launch service. The Huntington Beach facility is seeking passionate, highly-skilled individuals who are comfortable working in a dynamic, technically challenging environment where they will be given ownership of processes from start-to-finish. We believe that an empowered and motivated workforce has been the cornerstone of our success and will be essential to our long-term growth as we redefine how the world accesses space.

The Supplier Quality Engineer will ensure the reliability of the supply chain for flight components and assemblies. This individual will evaluate supplier product and process output data to drive improvements in manufacturing quality, and actively represent quality objectives in the wider supply chain team.
Design for Manufacture
  • Participate in Preliminary Design Review (PDR)/Critical Design Review (CDR) to ensure design for quality (DFQ), design for manufacturability (DFM), risk quantification and mitigation, and that appropriate test validation methods and inspection techniques, including nondestructive evaluation methods, have been considered.
  • Hands-on development of design for manufacturability through ensuring identification of key characteristics, prototype testing for manufacturability, First Article and Detailed Inspection planning, evaluation of previous non-conformances and lessons learned, and other manufacturing and quality tools as required.
Inspection and Test Process
  • Lead inspection planning for new products through identification of features and gages, and integration with planned operations.
  • Design or procures new measurement methods as required and integrates with existing processes.
  • Validate new and existing measurement and tests methods using process capability and measurement systems analysis (MSA) statistical tools. Proposes solutions to remove the need to verify product conformance through measurement, e.g. poka-yoke.
  • Work with Incoming quality inspectors to understand inspections with subjective criteria or those that need improvement.
First Build Reviews and Walk downs
  • Coordinate, schedule and facilitate objective supplier audit and qualification process to ensure transparency of design intent, design requirements, design and manufacturing risks, and manufacturability of design.
  • Identify photo closeout requirements for complete as-built documentation that can be used internally for acceptance testing and internally to work in with contractual frameworks.
Evaluate and analyze supplier quality landscape
  • Use data to make landscape transparent and drive project prioritization. Responsible for ensuring that issues related to supplier product reliability are primary focus.
  • Drive achievement of quality targets through a review hierarchy with appropriate levels of management.
  • Ensure controls in place to prevent reoccurrence.
Root Cause and Corrective Action Investigations
  • Lead, facilitate, and participate in root cause investigations in their respective area.
  • Deep dive using appropriate quality or analysis tools as required.
  • Ensures documentation of cause and corrective action is captured appropriately.
  • Ensures appropriate actions to prevent recurrence.
  • Lead activity to support containment of all suspect product.
  • Communicate status of evaluation and disposition to production leadership on a regular basis.
  • Guide quality inspectors, techs., and shop supervisors to assist in quarantining of all suspect product.
Problem Review/Audit/Closure
  • Support review of all quality issues in respective area.
  • Ensure rationale and documentation of design deviation is captured.
  • Lead and coordinate the management of non-conforming hardware.
Production Process Audit/Improvement
  • Assess new processes for safety and product risks.
  • Ensure adherence to Supplier Quality  policy and procedures in Supply Chain.
  • Develop criteria and builds audits to identify process weaknesses.
  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical, manufacturing, mechanical or material sciences engineering.
  • 10+ years in a quality, manufacturing, or design engineering role.
  • Developed and recruited an incoming / supplier quality department team.
  • Knowledge of quality tools such as Lean principles, Six-Sigma, Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Action, Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), Metrology, Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (P-FMEA), Control Plans, and various problem solving approaches.
  • Conducted complete system capacity analysis.  
  • Proven track record of year-on-year supplier process improvement activities.
  • Able to identify new technologies and ensure these are actively included in category management strategies
  • Has lead major improvement projects to reduce requirements for incoming quality inspections
  • Has lead projects to identify risks in the supply chain and aligned these to overall strategic goals of the business
  • Dedicated to adopting a Lean approach to quality without compromising safety, reliability or commercial outcomes
  • Developed and maintained strong supplier relationships
  • Conducted both process and design FMEAs resulting in substantial reduction of risk and design changes.
  • Implemented and rolled out supplier quality manuals
  • Successfully introduced new product to shop floor and was part of the pre-development design for manufacture process.
  • Able to work extended hours, weekends, and offsite as needed.
  • International and domestic travel will be required.
Important Information:
To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.
Rocket Lab USA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, employment with Rocket Lab USA is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

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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