Principal Vehicle Test Engineer

Auckland, New Zealand, Rocket Lab [2821165546]

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

About this job

This is an excellent opportunity for an experienced mechanical engineer to join the Vehicle Testing Team for Rocket Lab.

The vehicle testing team works closely with the design and analysis teams to perform qualification tests, refine designs and ensure the structure of the Electron vehicle, mechanical components and fluid systems meet functional and performance requirements.

On a day to day basis the team will be planning, performing and analysing tests to verify the suitability of new designs against their requirements. In addition, we focus heavily on the continuous improvement of existing designs, lateral thinking is strongly encouraged.

The Vehicle Testing team is critical to preserving and improving the integrity of the vehicle and its various systems, while at the same time providing sufficient resources to support ongoing development and production schedules.


  • Team Mentoring – Effectively mentoring the current team of test engineers.
  • Test Planning – Formulating and reviewing comprehensive test plans to ensure compliance with common aerospace standards.
  • Test Execution – Predominantly directing the execution of test, but some hands-on work is expected.
  • Test Analysis – Applying your expertise, particularly in the area of fluid systems to the analysis and understanding of test results.
  • Troubleshooting existing designs – Leveraging your experience to offer insights into off-nominal behaviour and performing failure modes and effects analysis.


  • Minimum Requirements:
    • Aerospace, mechanical or mechatronic engineering degree or equivalent qualification.
    • 10+ years developing and testing mechanical systems, with a focus on pneumatic systems.
    • Strong understanding of thermofluids and the ability to effectively convey your understanding to juniors.
    • The ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines.
    • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work well within a team environment.
    • Sound analytical skills and capable of seeing the big picture and making connections and appropriate decisions.
    • Heavy emphasis on achievement and details – getting things done efficiently, effectively and to the highest quality standards.
    • The ability to take a flexible approach and to adapt to change quickly.
    • Have tenacity, a can-do attitude and the ability to think quickly and make accurate judgements.
  • Bonus experience:
    • Experience with cryogenic systems including oxygen service systems.
    • Structural testing experience.

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