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Manufacturing Engineer - Composites

Manufacturing Engineer - Composites

companyRocket Lab
locationAuckland, New Zealand
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023
Full Time

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 1,500 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!

About the role

The Composite Manufacturing Engineer enables the production team to achieve the required production rates with the right quality.  

They are responsible for supporting all aspects of composite production at Rocket Lab. This is delivered by taking ownership of products released to production, removing production blockers, dispositioning non-conformance tickets, performing root-cause analysis, and implementing corrective actions.  

This role is also responsible for the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of manufacturing processes and procedures relating to composite materials, leveraging their strong working knowledge of both the product and best-practice manufacturing techniques.  

Manufacturing Engineers are also expected to work with the production team to develop manufacturing best practices, optimising processes for production, and implementing new processes through prototyping, test, and integration. 

The role will also work closely with other Engineers, Technicians, and subject matter experts across a range of departments. The primary purpose of the Manufacturing Engineer is to support production activities within a high-growth production environment, ensuring manufacturing principles are practised to a high standard and ensuring stringent launch times can be achieved. This position will support the Composites Production and Manufacturing Engineering teams with their deliverables. 

Regular activities of the manufacturing engineering team can be summed up as practical problem solving over a wide variety of systems and situations, so the ability to remain flexible while applying sound, risk-based engineering decision making is critical. 

Note: The role requires a background in composite design or manufacturing environments

Essential skills

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering, or related 
  • Experience working as a Manufacturing / Production / Process / Quality Engineer or equivalent 
  • Hands-on technical experience debugging complex systems within a manufacturing environment 
  • Working experience with composite materials manufacturing and design techniques including prepreg and wet layup processes
  • Able to prioritize risk effectively and make risk/reward trade-off calls by leveraging engineering and production input to mitigate risk to both rocket and business 
  • Proven ability to deliver with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team
  • Can-do approach and flexibility to thrive around growing teams and processes
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal 

Desired Skills

  • Experience with ERP/PLM Systems - Siemens Team Centre / Infor LN 
  • Computer Aided Design experience, preferably with Siemens NX 
  • Knowledge of production quality metrics 
  • Proven delivery of composite mould and tooling materials, design and implementation 
  • Can quickly analyse and resolve manufacturing discrepancies and non-conformances 
  • Ability to lead problem containment and root cause/corrective action investigations and preventative action implementation 
  • Identify and drive quality-related initiatives and improvements 
  • Execute product improvements, including qualification and implementation activities
  • Develop production procedures and processes and ensure they are accurately and clearly documented to allow repeatable and reliable manufacturing
  • Knowledge with composite related material properties including resin systems, ablative materials, and sandwich structures
  • Experience with composite structure repair techniques and processes 
  • Experience in manufacturing and assembly of composite structures into larger assemblies. 
  • Demonstrated experience with DFMEA, PFMEA methodologies, Fault Tree Analysis, Pareto analysis, root cause and corrective action 
  • Experience transitioning products from prototype to production 
  • SPC knowledge and experience applying statistical methods to track process capability and performance 
  • Computer Aided Design experience, preferably with Siemens NX 

Rocket Lab Employee Benefits

  • The opportunity to work on innovative technology
  • An employee stock purchase program
  • Access to world leading experts to develop your career
  • Rocket Lab merchandise – T-shirts, mission patches etc.
  • Discounted health insurance with Southern Cross
  • Additional parental leave entitlements
  • A vibrant team culture with social activities throughout the year

If the above is aligned and you would like to know more apply now, all applications are considered and reviewed.

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Rocket Lab Employees must be a U.S. citizen, lawful U.S. permanent resident (i.e., current Green Card holder), or lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or granted asylum, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce, as applicable. Learn more about ITAR here.

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.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for the application/interview process for a job in the United States should contact Giulia Biow at dedicated resource is intended solely to assist job seekers with disabilities whose disability prevents them from being able to apply/interview. Only messages left for this purpose will be considered. A response to your request may take up to two business days.


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.