Ground Systems Engineer II, Mechanical / Structural

Ground Systems Engineer II, Mechanical / Structural

companyRocket Lab
locationWallops Island, Virginia, USA
PublishedPublished: 3/9/2024
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!


Neutron is a medium lift launch vehicle capable of delivering the mega constellations of tomorrow, high assurance payloads, and human spaceflight. As a highly reusable launch platform, Neutron will deliver a highly cost-effective and reliable launch solution leveraging Rocket Lab’s proven execution history with the Electron program. If you’re interested in joining a high performing team, pushing the boundaries with a clean sheet development of re-usable liquid launch vehicle, this is your opportunity!


Based out of Rocket Lab's Launch Complex in Wallops, VA, the Ground Systems Engineer II, Mechanical/Structural, is responsible for the design, build, testing and commissioning of mechanical launch pad and test sites for Neutron including focusing on structures and mechanisms. This role may support other programs on occasion such as the Electron team at Wallops Island, VA and the Archimedes engine test site at Stennis Space Center, MS.


  • With minimal supervision, design, draft, and analyze launch range systems including but not limited to:
    • Fixed launch pad asset design: test stands, launch mounts, gantries, and others.
    • Vehicle support equipment: transportation fixtures, lifting apparatuses, breakover fixtures, and others.
    • Mechanisms: umbilicals, hold downs, strongback, and others.
    • High energy fluids systems: cryogenics, pneumatics, hydraulics, and others.
    • Component and material selection: Building materials including concrete, structural steel, and others. Mechanisms including pumps, winches, hydraulic actuators, and others. Instrumentation including load cells, pressure sensors, temperatures sensors, and others.
    • P&IDs, CAD design, Fabrication drawings, and others.
  • System sizing and analysis by hand calculation and numerical methods
  • Develop and maintain BOMs
  • Interact with vendors, suppliers, and internal production teams to optimize designs for manufacturability and/or confirm components are fit for purpose
  • Produce risk assessments, system hazard analyses and FMEA’s
  • Perform failure investigations and root cause analysis
  • Produce documentation including operator manuals, maintenance procedures, test procedures, and work instructions


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or other technical degree
  • 2+ years’ relevant engineering and/or hands on fabrication experience with large structures and mechanisms 
  • Experience in the design of large structures and mechanisms
  • Ability to read, understand, and produce fabrication drawings


  • Experience with launch pad systems OR oil and gas, process, mining, or other similar industry. This role is not limited to those with prior launch system experience.
  • Experience with NX, Teamcenter, Draftsight, or equivalent
  • Experience with Structural design and analysis.
  • Experience with software based analysis tools such as RISA, ANSYS, GFSSP, AFT, Thermal Desktop, or equivalent
  • Experience with design of fluid systems to PEPCR, ASME, ASTM and/or NASA Ground system standards would be an asset


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.