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Senior Manufacturing Engineer

Rocket Lab USA
Silver Spring, MD
  • Expired: February 28, 2023. Applications are no longer accepted.
Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,300 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.


This is a rare opportunity to play a key role in Rocket Lab's evolution into an end-to-end space company that delivers launch, spacecraft, and on-orbit operations. The Space Systems Division is shaping Rocket Lab's future with Photon, our brand of high-performance satellites, enabling innovative missions in low Earth orbit and beyond including missions for NASA to LEO, the Moon, and Mars and commercial customers, including leading the design and manufacture of 17 high-power telecommunication spacecraft buses for Globalstar.

Rocket Lab is also growing our spacecraft components business, anchored on the acquisition of Sinclair Interplanetary manufacturing reaction wheels and star trackers in Toronto, SolAero Technologies manufacturing solar power and primary structure solutions in Albuquerque, Planetary Systems Corporation manufacturing launch separation systems in Silver Spring, and Advanced Solutions, Inc., provider of flight and ground software as a service in Denver. Our components business is key to vertically integrating our spacecraft solutions and enabling constellations for customers.


Based out of Rocket Lab's new site in Silver Spring, MD as part of the Planetary Systems Corporation (PSC) acquisition, the Senior Manufacturing Engineer is responsible for developing, implementing and continuously improving manufacturing processes. PSC is a manufacturer of satellite mechanisms and their products include separation systems, on-orbit devices, and other electro-mechanical deployables.

What you'll get to do:
  • Optimize production of spacecraft mechanisms
  • Quickly analyze and resolve manufacturing discrepancies and non-conformances
  • Assist with problem containment and root cause/corrective action investigations
  • Identify and drive quality-related initiatives and improvements
  • Coordinate between production, quality, supply chain, and design engineering staff for complex problem solving, process changes and design reviews
  • Develop and maintain continuous manufacturing improvement processes
  • Apply DFM principles to existing designs
  • Refine and develop production procedures (work instructions) that facilitate efficient, repeatable and reliable manufacturing
  • Design, develop and implement tooling and production equipment to improve quality and efficiency
  • Travel to other Rocket Lab facilities, suppliers, conferences, and customers

You will bring these qualifications:
  • 5+ years experience as a manufacturing engineer
  • Bachelor's degree in Manufacturing, Industrial, Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering
  • Familiarity with common aerospace manufacturing processes (CNC machining, EDM, 3D printing, etc.)
  • Demonstrated experience with DFMEA, PFMEA methodologies, Fault Tree Analysis, Pareto analysis, root cause and corrective action
  • CAD familiarity
  • Basic understanding of electrical circuitry
  • Capacity to comply with the federally mandated requirements of U.S. export control laws

These qualifications would be nice to have:
  • Master's degree or 8+ years experience as a manufacturing engineer
  • Experience directly managing a team of 3 or more in a technical discipline
  • SolidWorks, Solid Edge or NX CAD software familiarity
  • Programming familiarity (LabView, Python, C, C#, C++, and/or MATLAB, etc.)
  • Experience transitioning products from design to production as part of a cross-functional team in a fast-paced, iterative design environment
  • Experience with production automation or robotic assembly
  • Working experience with aerospace environmental testing such as quasi-static loads, random vibration, shock and thermal vacuum
  • Working experience with capacity modeling, process mapping, Lean/Six Sigma, and value stream mapping
  • Black belt or similar Six Sigma training
  • SPC knowledge and experience applying statistical methods to track process capability and performance
  • Familiarity with common aerospace materials and surface treatments (hard anodize, electroless plating, chem-film, passivation, etc.)
  • Experience with Siemens Team Centre / Infor LN
  • Demonstrated ability to schedule and work on multiple projects concurrently
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with other engineers

Additional Position Details:
  • Position Type: Full-time, in-person
  • Location: Silver Spring, MD
  • Compensation: Competitive salary and benefit package commensurate with experience
  • Benefits: Paid vacation and holidays, medical, life, and disability insurance, 401k plan with company match, flex-time work schedule, new parent leave, and more.
  • Travel: Typically ≤3 weeks per year

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S Department of State.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant. These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality. For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.

Rocket Lab USA


Silver Spring, MD
20997 USA



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