HITL Engineer

Auckland, New Zealand, Rocket Lab [3104668CBC]

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

About this job

Rocket Lab is the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch. Launching from right here in New Zealand, we design and build innovative technology to give small satellites a premium ride to orbit.

Small satellites play a crucial role in our day-to-day lives – they connect us, keep us safe, help us understand our planet and manage our impact on it, and they enable us to innovate and explore. 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 relentlessly innovative team is behind Electron, the world’s only truly commercial small satellite launch vehicle in operation today. With multiple orbital launches under our belt and a record of 100% mission success, we’re opening access to space to improve life on Earth. We’ve built a world class team with a reputation for doing the impossible. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard and everyone makes a difference.  Every day, we pursue ideas that challenge, excite and demand more of us, and we make them real. Be a part of it.


Rocket Lab is seeking a talented engineer to work on it’s Hardware In The Loop (HITL) system for the Electron launch vehicle and Photon satellite bus. The Rocket Lab HITL system forms an integral part of the verification and validation of the avionics, thrust vector controllers, embedded software, flight software and on-orbit operations of each mission.

The successful candidate will work within the GNC Team in Auckland, and will work collaboratively with avionics, systems, software, and engineers from across the company to:

  • Run Rocket Lab’s HITL test rig to ensure the all hardware and software components are correctly configured and performing within bounds.
  • Organize and carry out the maintenance and upgrades of HITL hardware.
  • Specify, design and install harnesses, interface equipment and adaptors between vehicle avionics and data acquisition and control hardware.
  • Assist with the design and implementation of full-stack test programs to qualify new software and hardware revisions.
  • Assist other Rocket Lab engineers in designing and implementing the full flight envelope HITL test program for the Electron Vehicle.
  • Design and implement test data post-processing algorithms/scripts.

The successful candidate will have a strong set of technical skills, will have experience in related projects, and will thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.


Essential Skills:

  • Bachelor or Masters in Electronics or Mechatronics Engineering.
  • A good theoretical and practical understanding of electronic systems.
  • Exposure to designing and implementing test systems for electronics.
  • An understanding of sensors, signal conditioning, and data acquisition electronics.
  • The ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to build strong working relationships.

Desired Skills

  • Previous HIL/PIL experience
  • Development and debugging experience with Python and C++
  • Comfortable using Linux
  • Experience with Embedded Systems
  • Previous Git version control use
  • A good understanding of networking and IT systems
  • Experience working within an Agile/Scrum based workflow

As well as a being a career-defining role, working at Rocket Lab means being part of meaningful projects with world-leading experts. 

Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference.

We get things done. Our team is nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action oriented. While other companies talk about it, we do it. This means projects get the green light faster and ideas are put into practice rapidly.

Everyone works on the big stuff. This isn’t a huge aerospace company where you get lost in bureaucracy and end up a tiny cog in a giant machine. At Rocket Lab, your work directly impacts the success of each mission. Everyone’s voice is heard, and everyone can contribute major projects. This is your chance to play a pivotal role in developing space systems that change the way we access space.

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