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Job Description

Rocket Lab is seeking an experienced technical leader for the role of Launch Engineering Manager. This role will report directly to the VP of Launch. This position will lead the team that is responsible for engineering systems that are critical to a successful launch. This includes design, built, test, operations and maintenance of vehicle to range interfaces, fluid systems, structures and mechanisms, power, electrical and instrumentation and control systems.

You and your team will be supporting both NZ and US launch sites, and this will entail you travelling to Rocket Lab’s launch facilities at times.

In this role, you will be focused on delivering new technologies to automate and optimize launch operations alongside continually improving launch reliability. You will be responsible for growing your team to deliver new developments while sustaining existing capability.

A vital part of this role is to create and maintain an environment where your team continually achieves the unthinkable. Great interpersonal skills are essential to succeeding in this fast-paced and dynamic role. This is a unique role with immense responsibility where you will be engineering the way to achieving the highest successful launch rate.


Technical Management

  • Directly manage a team of up to 10 engineers responsible for design, build, test, operations & maintenance of launch engineering systems
  • Develop and deliver new technologies for launch automation and optimisation
  • Develop technology roadmaps, schedules, workflows, staffing plans and budgets to support on-going and new projects
  • Establish processes to enhance quality, efficiency and collaboration within the team and across the company
  • Accountable for safety and reliability of launch engineering systems
  • Lead inter-disciplinary working groups and gated reviews
  • Prioritise engineering projects and identify the critical path in line with department objectives
  • Serve as technical review and approval authority for engineering
  • Administer configuration management of engineering systems across Rocket Lab launch facilities
  • Work closely with vehicle engineering teams for requirements and verification
  • Work closely with local launch site teams for pad build, maintenance and operations
  • Deliver and support regulatory compliance with Federal / DOD agencies such as FAA and USAF

Team Development & Management

  • Promote and maintain a positive environment
  • Recruit the best talent
  • Staff performance management and development
  • Project delegation and planning
  • Health & Safety
  • Follow health and safety policies and standard operating procedures
  • Employ correct PPE in designated areas
  • Report near-misses and incidents promptly

If the above interests you, please ensure that you have the following qualifications:


  • Aerospace, mechanical, electrical, mechatronic engineering degree or equivalent
  • 3+ years in engineering management
  • 5+ years’ experience in engineering design, test and/or operations
  • Ability to motivate and enable a team to deliver projects on-schedule and on-budget
  • Strong technical background in disciplines including but not limited to fluid mechanics, structural design and analysis, electrical and power systems design, automation, instrumentation and control, software development
  • Self-driven, motivated and contagiously positive
  • Strong communications skills
  • Careful work ethic with an eye for detail
  • Effective organisational skills


  • Experience working at launch vehicle test or launch facilities
  • 5+ years in engineering management
  • 10+ years experience in engineering design, test and/or operations
  • Demonstrated launch site development experience
  • Exposure to FAA, NASA, RCC, USAF compliance programs

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.

Auckland, New Zealand
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