Manufacturing Engineer

Company Details

Delivering hardware to space. Positioning satellites on orbit.

Dawn Aerospace, based in both New Zealand and the Netherlands, is a space transportation company providing in-space satellite propulsion to its customers globally and developing a same-day reusable spaceplane.

The company has achieved a series of significant milestones in the past 12 months, including launching 21 propulsion units to space from Europe and the USA and completing the successful first flights of the suborbital spaceplane, the Dawn Mk-II Aurora. Dawn was named Hi-Tech Startup Company of the Year (2020), Emerging Business of the Year at the NZ International Business Awards (2021) and won the Supreme Award for medium/large business at the Westpac Champion Business Awards (2021, Canterbury).

As a Manufacturing Engineer, you will part of an elite team that designs and builds the industry’s next generation of satellite propulsion systems and suborbital and orbital spaceplanes.

In this role, you will help take designs from the drawing board to reality with our in-house manufacturing capability. This predominantly revolves around CNC techniques however we are regularly adding new capability to our manufacturing process.

You will be given ownership of goals from start-to-finish and will operate with a great deal of autonomy. We believe in giving you the tools you need, then getting out of your way. You must have the desire and ability to work in a young company – if you want a smooth and routine role; this role is not for you. You must be resilient and agile. But you will have the opportunity to demonstrate extreme ownership and be part of an instrumental team.

Initially, this role will mainly involve working with the design engineers to produce both one-off and production components using CAD & CAM software and CNC equipment. Over time, this will likely expand to include other responsibilities, including mentoring and training other staff, and improving and developing our manufacturing systems.

Your day-to-day responsibilities will include:

  • Production work (manufacturing components for products we sell):
    • Work with design engineers to review designs from a “design for manufacture” perspective.
    • For new products: Develop internal and external manufacturing processes, and associated instructions and production record systems.
    • Execute existing processes to produce existing parts
    • Complete and maintain production records
  • One-off work (manufacturing components for the R&D team):
      • Work with and coach design engineers to ensure R&D components are designed for ease of manufacture.
        Program, prove and make one-off R&D components – and/or help engineers with items they are making.
  • Staff training and upskilling:
    • Run our inhouse training of new staff on using equipment in the workshop (CNC, lathe, welder etc.)
    • Guide/support other workshop users with their tasks.
  • Maintenance and administration: equipment and systems need to be online and efficient to make good parts.
    • Upkeep of the CNC machines and other workshop equipment
    • Upkeep of tooling and other manufacturing resources/stock.
    • Developing new systems to help make things quick and easy for yourself and other user


  • CAD experience (ideally Solidworks).
  • CAM experience – ideally HSMWorks CAM (or Fusion 360, or Inventor HSM).
  • CNC and manual metalworking equipment operation experience.
  • Good communication skills: be comfortable providing an internal service to multiple stakeholders in multiple teams simultaneously. Be proactive and good at identifying and raising concerns early. Work collaboratively to solve problems where design and manufacturing intersect.
  • Organisation: you will need to manage multiple concurrent schedules for one-off and production work.
  • Experience working within a quality management system ISO9001 and AS9100 and/or Lean manufacturing or six sigma.

Bonus experience

  • CNC and manual metalworking equipment fault finding and maintenance.
  • Welding experience: Ideally, TIG welding stainless (DC), Aluminium (AC) and MIG welding.
  • PDM Experience: Ideally, you have worked with PDM and understand the importance of change control and good CAD file housekeeping.
  • Process development: experience in developing manufacturing processes is highly desirable.
  • Training experience: ideally, you would have taught people how to use CAM software, CNC equipment, and manual metalworking equipment in the past.

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Tagged as: iso9001, fusion 360, hsmworks cam, inventor hsm, solidworks, six sigma

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