Senior Stress Engineer

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Aerostructures /
Here at Kitty Hawk in Palo Alto, we are developing ground breaking all-electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft.  Project Heaviside is Kitty Hawk’s latest high-performance electric VTOL vehicle. It is designed to be fast, small, and exceedingly quiet, taking advantage of new possibilities to free people from traffic. 

We are seeking an experienced Stress Engineer to join the Aerostructures Stress Department. This position will own the analysis and structural substantiation of the composite fuselage and will be uniquely positioned to provide input and shape fuselage layout, design and load paths.


    • Own structural analysis, sizing, and substantiation for all fuselage primary and secondary structure
    • Own all fuselage structural tests to support certification efforts
    • Contribute to internal analysis standards, methods, and analysis tools
    • Serve as a technical resource for junior analysts
    • Communicate with engineers of different disciplines (such as Design, Loads and Dynamics, and Material and Processes) to ensure stress analysis is representative of the vehicle, and not in conflict with other disciplines/requirements


    • BS in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or relevant discipline
    • 5-8 years industry experience conducting stress analysis on aircraft, spacecraft, or launch vehicles
    • Experience with an industry standard FEA solver (NASTRAN, Abaqus, etc.) and pre/post processor (FEMAP, PATRAN, etc.)
    • Experience using classic analytical methods (Niu, Bruhn, Roark)
    • Excellent understanding of composite stress analysis (e.g., CLT)
    • Excellent understanding of load paths, and how structural stiffness drives loads in indeterminate structures
    • Clear, concise communicator capable of distilling complex problems to key concepts and trade-offs
    • Experience with building block substantiation


    • MS in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or relevant discipline
    • Experience with composite or metallic fatigue
    • Knowledge of FAA Part 23, 25, or 27 certification requirements
    • Experience with Matlab or Python
    • Experience with bonded joints analysis, testing, and validation
    • Experience analyzing, running, and correlating structural tests
    • Interested in helping to cultivate a strong team of stress engineers
    • Experience writing stress reports for certified aircraft programs
We welcome you to apply even if you don’t match every requirement posted for this role.  No one candidate will be a 100% perfect match to our description, so if you are passionate about working on the next evolution in aviation and have similar experience to what we are looking for, we encourage you to apply.  Diverse backgrounds and experiences promote innovation and our goal is to build a team that encompasses a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skills.

All of our team whose roles allow them to work remotely are doing so, and will continue to do so until we’re able to be back in the office. For teams that are not able to work remotely we’re making every accommodation possible to provide a safe working environment, and ensuring we meet all state and county guidelines. 

Our headquarters is in Palo Alto and we offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, unlimited PTO days, 10 company holidays, a 401(k) plan with 40% company matching (no vesting period), flight lesson subsidy, education assistance, and company-sponsored social events. For those working onsite, Kitty Hawk also offers commuter assistance, and free drinks and snacks.

Kitty Hawk provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Kitty Hawk abides by applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Kitty Hawk is an E-Verify employer.