Senior Space Systems Structural Analyst

Auckland, New Zealand

Full Time

2 months ago

Job description


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!

Position Purpose

The Structural & Mechanical Systems team supports the hardware design and development of spacecraft structures, Photon platforms and related payload and mission objectives. The Structural & Mechanical Systems team works closely with other engineering teams and Production to bring new concepts to life. This includes the development of spacecraft systems, related data structures, and documentation to support the associated manufacturing and performance improvements.

As a Senior Structural Analyst in Rocket Lab’s Structural & Mechanical Systems team, you will contribute to the analysis, design validation, and future improvements of spacecraft structures, Photon platforms and related payload and mission objectives.

Day to day you will be expected to process flight/test data to determine component environments, demonstrate positive structural margin against these environments through detailed analysis, set the requirements to validate this analysis through hands-on testing and qualification campaigns, specify/review instrumentation (accelerometers, strain gauges, thermocouples, etc..), assess and action risks, and mentor other engineers through the same. The scope of work may extend to perform detailed simulations, physics-based analysis and establishing technical methodology.

Success in this position will be measured by the value of the knowledge and experience in analysis that you bring to this role, your ability to lead analysis projects without supervision, successful collaboration with other teams across Rocket Lab, and the skilful prioritisation of competing engineering development projects across the group.

In more detail:

  • Lead the analysis of primary and secondary structures, including composites and metallic components, and integrated structural assemblies.
  • Build, run, and post-process finite element 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.
  • Contribute to the definition of test plans, support test activities, and carry out the post-processing of data.
  • Define suitable sensors (type and location) to monitor the in-flight environments and post-process data to verify correlation with numerical predictions.
  • 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 who is keen to support a complex project from conceptual design through to integration and launch.


  • A degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering or similar field
  • 5+ years industry experience, ideally from the Aerospace, Automotive, Mechatronics or Marine industries.
  • A keen physics-based approach to problem solving.
  • Demonstrated expertise with one or more industry standard structural FEA packages: NASTRAN, ANSYS, Abaqus, Optistruct/Hyperworks
  • Experience with vibration and shock testing.
  • Experience with sensor selection and data post-processing/interpretation (load cells, accelerometers, strain gauges, thermocouples etc.).
  • Experience with static and dynamic structural test methods, including:
    • Modal Characterisation.
    • Random vibration.
    • Sine burst.
    • Force notching.
    • Shock.
    • Fixture evaluation.
  • Comfort executing to changing deadlines within a high-pressure environment.
  • Comfort working independently and in a team.
  • Effective communication skills and the ability to build strong working relationships with colleagues and engineering professionals.
  • Strong understanding of composites engineering fundamentals (mechanics of materials, classical lamination theory, material property characterization, design best practices, analysis methods, and manufacturing processes).


  • Familiarity with manufacturing processes, including conventional machining, and additive manufacturing.
  • Expertise with engineering programming and data analysis, especially in Python.
  • Expertise in vibroacoustic modelling.
  • 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 structural testing of composite components or assemblies.
  • Experience supporting composite manufacture and prototyping.
  • 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.

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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