Development Engineer II - Space Systems

Development Engineer II - Space Systems

companyRocket Lab
locationAuckland, New Zealand
PublishedPublished: 6/18/2024
Full Time


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!


The Spacecraft Fluid Systems team is one of three teams responsible for developing and delivering qualified, flight-ready space vehicle propulsion systems. The Spacecraft Fluid Systems team takes on system and component-level ownership of propellant and pressurant delivery systems, mostly developed in-house from mission requirements through to integration and beyond, including launch and mission operations support. 

The team consists of development engineers with a range of experience level and skill sets. Generally, each engineer is expected to be capable of owning a component or system through its development lifecycle and production implementation. This means that the skillset of the team spans systems engineering, design, build, testing, analysis, though individuals may have their specializations. The team works hands-on, often alongside technicians, with development, qualification, and flight hardware. Team members interface regularly with stakeholders across the company, including Mission Design, Operations, GNC, Thermal, Manufacturing Engineering, Production, Flight Software, Analysis, Structures & Mechanisms, Design Engineering, and others. 


The Development Engineer II at Rocket Lab is a dynamic and fundamental role within the Spacecraft Fluid Systems team, responsible for development and qualification of various propulsion systems and components.  The key areas of responsibility include chemical propulsion systems, Reaction Control Systems (RCS), and all associated components required to deliver propellants and gases to the thrusters with a high degree of accuracy to meet stringent performance requirements. 

This individual will bridge the gap between conceptual design and production, ensuring that components and systems meet applicable performance and safety requirements. They will collaborate closely with various cross-functional teams to innovate and advance Rocket Lab’s high performance propulsion systems. 

Success in this role requires planning and executing testing on sensitive flight hardware, strong technical and analytical skills, meticulous attention to detail, a hands-on approach to problem solving, and an aptitude for research and documentation. A Development Engineer II will display an enthusiastic and approachable attitude, be motivated by complex technical problems, complete required work according to schedules, and provide transparency and regular feedback to the team. 

This role offers the opportunity to be at the forefront of space exploration technology, directly contributing to the success of complex missions. If you are passionate about pushing the boundaries of aerospace engineering and thrive in a fast-paced and innovative environment, we recommend that you apply for this exciting opportunity as a Development Engineer II within the spacecraft propulsion team.  


  • Excellent grasp of mechanical engineering fundamentals and good understanding of more advanced rocket or spacecraft propulsion topics. 
  • Effective communication skills for interfacing with diverse teams. 
  • Curiosity and an eagerness to learn. 
  • Experience in test planning, execution, data analysis, and reporting. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field. 
  • Minimum 3 years experience performing one or more of the work types below: 
    • Requirement gathering, interface control, or other Systems Engineering activities 
    • Detailed mechanical design using CAD 
    • Flight hardware testing and integration 
    • Test infrastructure specification, installation, and commissioning 
    • Thermofluids analysis and verification 


  • Proven track record of delivering complete and successful engineering projects from conception through to operation.
  • System-level design, modelling, and analysis of complex fluids systems.
  • Hands-on experience developing and testing mechanical or electromechanical components or systems.
  • Experience with rocket engines, spacecraft propulsion systems, or fluid components such as regulators or valves.
  • Proficiency using Python for data processing and analysis.
  • Experience using National Instruments data acquisition systems.
  • Masters or PHD.


  • The opportunity to work on innovative and ground-breaking technology 
  • Relocation support and visa sponsorship  
  • An employee stock purchase program 
  • Access to world leading experts to develop your career 
  • Unlimited barista coffee, fruit, and snacks 
  • Rocket Lab merchandise - T-shirts, mission patches etc. 
  • Discounted health insurance with Southern Cross 
  • Additional parental leave entitlements 
  • A vibrant team culture with social activities throughout the year 
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 g.biow@rocketlabusa.com.This 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.