Lead Systems Engineer

Huntington Beach, California, United States (USA), Rocket Lab [3007761]

Field(s) of expertise
Space Systems Engineering
Job type

About this job

The global leader in small satellite launch, Rocket Lab’s mission is to open access to Space to improve life on Earth. Our teams are nimble, action-oriented, and everyone makes a difference. While other companies talk about it, we do it!

Reporting to the Photon Program Chief Engineer, the Lead Systems Engineer will work collaboratively with team members across all subsystems. The systems engineering group is responsible for the overall technical architecture of the vehicle and for overall development of the vehicle, from initial concept definition through on-orbit operations.

Specific areas of work include, but are not limited to, development and maintenance of technical budgets, requirements definition, test planning and execution, various analysis and simulations, management of the overall systems engineering process and application, and managing subcontractors and vendors.


  • Develop and manage key program documentation, such as requirements and verification artifacts, vehicle-level ICDs, and ConOps documents.
  • Various analyses using Matlab/Python and STK
  • Execute trade studies and make design decisions across the program
  • Triage anomalies and track/mitigate risks, as applicable
  • Develop on-orbit operations plans and participate in on-orbit operations
  • Assist in program management tasks such as schedule development and tracking


Required Skills

  • Understanding of key spacecraft subsystems and their associated components, including attitude determination and control, spacecraft electrical power systems, space-ground communications, on-orbit command and data handling, and thermal control.
  • Thorough understanding of the space environment, orbital mechanics, and rigid body dynamics.
  • Expertise in Matlab/Python/equivalent.
  • Proficiency with STK.
  • Demonstrated success working in a dynamic environment with multiple priorities.
  • Experience with requirements management tools such as JAMA or DOORS

Required Education & Experience

  • A Bachelor of Science degree (or greater) in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or equivalent.
  • 4+ years of experience specifically on small satellite development programs, which can be anywhere from initial design through on-orbit operations

Preferred Skills

  • Previous experience in design through operations of another satellite program
  • Experience testing electrical subsystems and assemblies
  • Experience with environmental testing, such as thermal vacuum or random vibration testing
  • Experience with satellite operations
  • Experience with hardware-in-the-loop testing

Additional Information

  • Able to travel to New Zealand, if necessary.

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