Vehicle Design Engineer

Company Details

Dawn Aerospace was founded to redefine near-space transportation. Redefine how we deliver assets to space, position satellites on orbit and return things down to Earth to enable the vibrant and circular space economy of the future. To do this, we build scalable, accessible and sustainable spaceflight technologies – technologies that are sustainable for not just the foreseeable future, but the unforeseeable future.

Every week we see new companies coming to market, using space-based technology in new and exciting ways we had never imagined before. Our industry is at the same inflexion point the internet was back when we went from dial-up to broadband, but there are some significant hurdles to overcome first.

The Role

As a Vehicle Designer, you will part of an elite team that designs and builds the industry’s next generation of suborbital and orbital reusable spaceplanes.

You will be a talented, creative thinker with unique hands-on experience using high strength composites and innovative design methods. You will apply these skills across core engineering and design tasks for our suborbital (Mk-II) and orbital (Mk-III) launch vehicles.

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.

System integration and flight testing are performed in Christchurch, New Zealand, so ideally, this is where you are located. For exceptional candidates, we will consider location in Delft, the Netherlands. The role may require travel between both offices.


  • Design and analysis of our reusable launch vehicle system and associated componentry.
  • Development of vehicle concepts from high-level requirements.
  • Support subsystem teams in design and integration into the vehicle design.
  • Interface management of vehicle subsystems.
  • Develop and execute test procedures for verification and validation of systems and components, including qualification and acceptance testing.
  • System sizing, component selection and vendor management.
  • Support the commercial and management team in project planning, scheduling and budgeting.

Required qualifications

  • 5+ years of practical experience.
  • A degree in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering or similar.
  • Prior experience in the design of aircraft or space systems.
  • Extensive experience with computer-aided design, preferably SolidWorks.
  • Extensive experience with project and program management.
  • Demonstrated experience in effectively and appropriately balancing performance, resource use, risk, cost, and schedule.

Desired experience

  • Master’s degree with an engineering focus
  • Familiar with aircraft design standards and quality management systems.
  • FEM and optimisation skills using ANSYS or Abaqus.
  • Manufacturing and production experience.
  • Experience with systems engineering design methods.
  • Experience with MATLab, Python or similar.
  • Working in a geographically wide-spread team.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Multilingual.

Dawn Aerospace is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits any form of workplace harassment. Employment with Dawn is decided based on merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any other manner. We celebrate humanity.


Tagged as: Matlab, python, mechanical engineering, space systems, solidworks, ansys, Aerospace Engineering, abaqus, vehicle design, vehicle concepts, vehicle subsystems, design of aircraft

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