Senior Operations Engineer | Space Institute – 33-month fixed term

Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau | The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s leading university, with a turnover of $1.1bn, including research revenue of over $200m generated across eight diverse faculties and two research institutes. We employ more than 5400 academic and professional staff to support over 41,000 students, making us one of NZ’s largest employers.

Our mission and values place strong emphasis on both our student body and our scholarly community, and we work with both community and enterprise to advance the well-being of the peoples of Auckland and New Zealand, with a clear commitment to pursuing sustainability.

The Space Institute | Te Pūnaha Ātea, is a multidisciplinary centre of expertise in space science and engineering, including a capability to execute space missions and develop applications. Our institutional mission is to create, disseminate and exploit knowledge to support and enhance the development of the New Zealand Space Sector.

Te Whiwhinga mahi | The opportunity

We are looking for a Senior Spacecraft Operations Engineer to participate in the development of spacecraft operations concepts and procedures, and to manage and operate the in-orbit operations for educational, national and international customers. You will be keen to work in an dynamic spacecraft operations environment and will have a good understanding of spacecraft subsystems and the space environment. This is an initial 33-month fixed-term contract.

For more detailed information, please refer to the Position Description.

Mō tō mātou rōpū | About the team

The Spacecraft Operations Team forms part of the Space Institute – Te Pūnaha Ātea, and is responsible for supporting spacecraft operations development and test prior to launch, and in-orbit operations post launch. The team forms an integral part of the Institute core team and operations staff will have the opportunity to get directly involved with spacecraft development as well as in-orbit operations.

We work with national and international establishments, industrial partners, and academic institutions, operating in an ecosystem that thrives thanks to the complementary nature of our activities. Working from original ideas, to modelling, to proof of concept (Manufacture, Assembly, Integration and Test), to in-orbit demonstrations, we apply research findings to develop engineering solutions that support the growth of new and existing enterprises.

He kōrero mōu | About you

You will need to have qualifications or experience equivalent to an engineering degree such as Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or Software Engineering and Ideally 3+ years relevant experience in spacecraft operations, and/or spacecraft systems engineering including operations development.

Essential skills and qualifications

  • Demonstrable working understanding of spacecraft systems, communications, orbital dynamics and the space environment.
  • Excellent communications skills are essential to coordinate operations across a diverse range of international stakeholders this also includes a solid foundation of technical writing skills.
  • Fluent in MS Office software tools.
  • Must be system minded, and a team player able to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Must hold one of the following nationalities: New Zealand, Australia, United States, European Union, or a NATO member country.

Preferred skills and qualifications

  • Experience with the development of spacecraft flight hardware or software.
  • Comfortable and experienced giving presentations at conferences or seminars, teaching undergraduate and/or postgraduate students and project supervision.
  • Software development using Java, Python, or similar languages.

Ngā āhuatanga kei a mātou | What we offer

The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s leading university and maintains significant computational, laboratory and analytic facilities. Auckland itself is frequently rated as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

The University is committed to providing an excellent working environment through:

  • Flexible employment practices (including working from home, flexible hours)
  • Up to 6.75% company superannuation scheme
  • A competitive salary with five weeks’ annual leave

In addition, we also offer career development programmes, discounted car parking, a generous parental leave allowance, childcare and a number of other discounts on internal and external services.

For more information please visit Staff Benefits.

Me pēhea te tuku tono | How to apply

Please reach out to Neil Constable via for a confidential conversation. Please note we are happy to answer your questions but we do not accept applications by email.

Applications must be submitted online, by the closing date of 02 August 2021 to be considered. Please include your cover letter and your CV highlighting how you can meet the skills and experiences detailed above.

Additional Information
In accordance with our commitment to equitable recruitment, the University welcomes applications from all suitably qualified and experienced candidates. In response to COVID-19 the New Zealand Government has imposed a travel ban and are currently only allowing New Zealand Residents, Citizens and visa holders meeting a strict exception policy to enter the country, all of whom must currently enter Government approved quarantine for two weeks on arrival. 

It is uncertain when these border restrictions will change, and this may impact the degree to which an off-shore candidate can engage in the interview process; or be available to commence in a new position. For more information and updates on the border restrictions visit the Immigration New Zealand website or the New Zealand Government’s official Covid-19 website.

The University is committed to meeting its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and achieving equity outcomes for staff and students in a safe, inclusive and equitable environment. For further information on services for Māori, Pacific, women, LGBTQITakatāpui+, people with disabilities, parenting support, flexible work and other equity issues go to

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