Disability Connect
Senior Reaction Wheel Engineer

Senior Reaction Wheel Engineer

companyRocket Lab
locationLong Beach, CA, USA
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.

Senior Reaction Wheel Engineer 

As a Senior Reaction Wheel Engineer at Rocket Lab, you will be required to work on projects to develop new space components that support the company evolution from a launch provider to an end-to-end space solutions company.

Rocket Lab is currently combining manufacturing capabilities and innovative technologies to make world-leading satellite hardware accessible to more customers, in a high growth industry.

We are looking for someone with expertise in satellite reaction wheels, momentum wheels, or control-moment gyros.

This position will work closely and develop strong relationships with a variety of different Engineers, Technicians, and subject matter experts across a range of departments to enable the manufacturing and testing of new reaction wheels designs.


Technical Knowledge • Uses technical expertise to define standard of excellence for his/her team
• Consistently identifies the right/best solution when faced with an engineering challenge
• Can navigate and complete tasks within their technical system as well as related technical systems
• Coaches others in best practice for pertinent technical system

Documentation • Can create a technical document pertinent to their role/expertise
• Can approve and provide feedback and improvements on technical documents pertinent to their role/expertise
• Steers development or improves the standard of their pertinent technical documents

Project Management • Identifies additional projects and distributes to team members
• Sets group/business priority
• Continuously delivers on-time
• Over-achieves initial goals through technical expertise
• Adjusts and refines scope of projects to align with company priorities and objectives

Risk Based Decision Making • Correctly assesses risk before it happens and puts measures in place to mitigate
• Verifies long-term mitigations are effective so that future product is not impacted

Ownership • Will take the lead to any problem which can't be resolved by peers, regardless of process, without being asked, and deliver results
• Can coach others in problem solution effectiveness

Applied Business Solutions • Able to identify engineering challenges, provide feedback, and
• implement a solution to improve cost, quality, reliability, and/or delivery before it happens
• Verifies that solutions are successful and communicates learning about effectiveness

Strategic Planning • Can create a personal strategic plan/AOP without supervision or steering
• Can create or steer technical department and business goals/objectives
• Adjusts and refines as business evolves

Attitude • Positive attitude
• Approachable
• Consistently demonstrates "How can I help?" mentality
• No task is beneath them
• Sees challenges as motivation; does not get discouraged or demotivated by tough situations and problems
• Continually raises the ceiling/moves the standard of excellence up to continually keep the team developing

Communication • Able to communicate with peers, subordinates, and superiors
• Ensures meetings stay on track and constantly steer meetings to increase value add
• Concisely and accurately conveys technical information to steer actions
• Educates other engineers in technical areas to improve
• competency
• Can create presentations, metrics, and emails that concisely highlight information and steer team on biggest areas of impact

Flexibility • Capable of developing criteria for acceptable level of cross-training and improving training processes and procedures
• Capable of being deputy for lead or manager with minimal supervision for a given timeframe

Professionalism • Punctual
• Adheres to company policies and standards
• Able to coach on appropriate professional behaviour

Debate and Logical Skills • Can listen and internalize all sides of the discussion
• Offers additional information, viewpoints, and insight during discussions
• Use logical reasoning to progress debates
• Willing to listen and change beliefs when challenged
• Capable of "tie-breaking" through technical expertise or background

Health and Safety • Ensure health and safety policies and standard operating procedures are followed
• Correct PPE is worn in designated areas
• Report near-misses and incidents promptly

Other • Domestic and international travel may be required
• Additional duties as reasonably required
• Adheres to company policies and procedures

Role Specific Deliverables/Outcomes
Role Specific Task 1 • Lead design of new RWA products for satellite constellations

Skills and Experience

Essential • Proven experience in the design and manufacture of satellite reaction wheels, momentum wheels, or control-moment gyros

Desirable • Vacuum tribology
• Microvibration measurement and mitigation
• Rotor balancing
• Rolling bearing analysis
• Magnetics design
• Brushless motor drive circuits
• Electronics for space environment
• Control systems and estimators
• Failure investigation and root cause analysis

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 g.biow@rocketlabusa.com.This 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.