Principal Additive Manufacturing Engineer

Long Beach, United States (USA), Rocket Lab [4036024003 ]

Field(s) of expertise
Aerospace Engineering Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Job type

About this job

Rocket Lab is the global leader in small satellite launch. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. There are endless possibilities for what we can achieve with better access to space, and that access is now a reality thanks to Rocket Lab. Our team is 500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly and we are action-oriented. While other companies talk about it, we do it!


The Principal Additive Manufacturing Engineer is responsible for the development and sustainability of all facets of the additive process with a focus on machines, software, part design and analysis, and additive techniques. This individual will be a subject matter expert for Rocket Lab and will set the direction for the company in regards to additive design and manufacturing.


  • Work with new machines from installation through production optimization via troubleshooting, calibration, and maintenance, while developing standard operating procedures and production baseline parameters
  • Implement and refine a robust additive platform that ensures machine uptime, part and process reliability, consistent quality, and efficient operations .
  • Generate optimized build files to produce high quality parts in minimum time with maximum consistency.
  • Provide engineering support for day-to-day production and quality processes.
  • Perform training of production personnel and leadership on new and existing processes and procedures.

Design for Manufacturability

  • Steer design reviews (additive mfg), acting as an expert in design for manufacture and test.
  • Facilitate introduction and implementation of new products and product revisions.


  • Lead problem containment and root cause/corrective action investigations.
  • Analyze and resolve manufacturing discrepancies and non-conformances.
  • Collaborate with the quality team to identify and drive quality-related initiatives and improvements.
  • Perform structured root cause analysis of in-process failures.
  • Liaise between production, quality, supply chain and design engineering staff for complex problem solving and process changes.

Continuous Improvement

  • Identify, plan and execute capital equipment, machine, and layout upgrades to meet production requirements, including preparation of business cases.
  • Lead the continuous improvement process via Lean/Six Sigma tools and techniques.
  • Develop, introduce, and maintain new planning, production, quality, ERP, data collection and analysis, and other processes where none exist.


  • Domestic and international travel may be required
  • Additional duties as reasonably required
  • Be a role model for a safety-conscious culture
  • Ensure health and safety policies, PPE, standard operating procedures are followed
  • Ensure near misses and incidents are reported promptly and accurately


  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical, aerospace, or manufacturing engineering, or equivalent.
  • Proven track record of success in additive manufacturing.
  • Specific experience with Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) additive systems.
  • Experience modeling with 3D CAD software (SolidWorks, Siemens NX) and creating Materialize Magics additive build files.
  • Capable of solving complex problems with little to no supervision in a timely manner.
  • Ability to create and deliver accurate and concise presentations for design, manufacturing, and quality.
  • Adaptable and comfortable in an exciting, dynamic, and evolving environment
  • Hands-on with a passion for continuous improvement and building the best hardware
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal

Preferred Skills & Experience

  • Industry experience with EOS and/or Renishaw Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) platforms, specifically with Inconel and stainless steel materials
  • Working proficiency with DFMEA, PFMEA methodologies and Fault Tree Analysis
  • SPC knowledge and experience applying statistical methods to track process capability and performance
  • Competency with SQL databases and SQL programming
  • Experience designing tooling in an aerospace manufacturing environment
  • Pareto analysis, root cause and corrective action experience
  • Working experience with capacity modeling, process mapping, Lean/Six Sigma, and value stream mapping
  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) experience
  • Familiarity with common engineering materials properties (strength, life, thermal, fluid compatibility etc.) and processing attributes particularly for
  • Inconel and stainless steels
  • Knowledge of various additive and subtractive manufacturing, joining techniques for metals, optics and lasers

Important Information:

To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.

Rocket Lab USA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, employment with Rocket Lab USA is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

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