Peter Beck (engineer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Peter Beck
Peter Beck NZ portrait.jpg
Peter Beck in 2013
NationalityNew Zealand
EmployerRocket Lab

Peter Beck is a New Zealand engineer, and founder and Chief Executive of Rocket Lab.

Early life[edit]

Beck grew up in Invercargill. His father is a former museum and art gallery director and gemologist.[1] His mother is a teacher.[2]

His family loved machines.[1] He developed an interest in powerful engines as a teenager, and he spent time working on an old Mini and 'supercharging' it.[1]

As a child he wanted to build rockets when he grew up.[3] His high school careers counsellor requested a meeting with his parents because they were concerned that his dream job didn't fit any "pre-defined boxes" and was "absurdly unachievable".[3]


He describes the course of his career as "enabling me to learn more, or provide resources to ultimately build bigger and better rockets".[3]

Beck left home at 17 to become a toolmaking apprentice at Fisher & Paykel.[1][4] While working there he used the company workshop to experiment with rockets.[4]

He later worked at Industrial Research (now Callaghan Innovation).[1][3] He worked on smart materials, composites and superconductors.[4] While working there he met Stephen Tindall, who later invested in Rocket Lab.[1]

Rocket Lab[edit]

Beck established Rocket Lab in 2006.[1]


Beck has been awarded the Meritorious Medal from the Royal Aeronautical Society for service of an exceptional nature to New Zealand aviation.[5]

He was also awarded the Royal Society's Cooper Medal.[5]

In 2014, he won the Innovation in Design and Engineering Award at the NZ Innovators Awards.[2]

In 2016, he was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Beck is married to an engineer,[4] and has two children.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Bradley, Grant (2016-10-13). "Peter Beck: The man with the one million-horsepower rocket". NZ Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  2. ^ a b "Innovation Heroes: Peter Beck". Idealog. 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  3. ^ a b c d "National Portrait: Peter Beck - NZ space pioneer once mocked for his vision". Stuff. Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  4. ^ a b c d Noted. "Rocket Lab's Peter Beck and Mark Rocket talk to Metro Magazine about their space plans - Metro". Noted. Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  5. ^ a b "Peter Beck: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". Retrieved 2018-07-02.
  6. ^ "Rocket Lab's Peter Beck name EY Entrepreneur of the Year". NZ Herald. 2016-10-13. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2018-07-02.

External links[edit]