Avionics Hardware Manager

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Hardware Engineering /
Here at Kitty Hawk in Palo Alto, we are leading the race to market with our all-electric  Vertical Take off 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. 

In this role you will lead the Heaviside avionics team to develop, qualify, and integrate flight critical electronics and systems onto the Heaviside vehicle.  We design many of our subsystems in-house down to the PCBA level, so you will be experienced with not only avionics architecture, but also designing and packaging fault tolerant electronics for harsh operating environments. 

You will work across functional groups to build consensus and arrive at vehicle-optimal solutions to avionics challenges. This role will give you the opportunity to join a team of very talented electrical and mechanical engineers that are solving some of eVTOL’s most challenging problems.

You should be familiar with all, proficient with most and expert at some of the following, in no particular order:

    • Building, mentoring, and leading highly technical teams
    • Setting priorities, defining deliverables, and tracking progress for large technical efforts
    • Delivering fault tolerant designs in a regulated environment - preferably aerospace
    • Digital and analog circuit design, PCB layout, and packaging for harsh environments
    • Designing and testing to DO-160, MIL-STD-810, or similar standards
    • Performing FMEA / safety analyses at the system and PCBA level
    • Design For Manufacture (DFM) on PCBAs and top level assemblies

Desired Experience:

    • Experience with HIRF or indirect lightning exposure operating environments
    • Experience with a requirements driven development process (e.g. ARP4754)
    • Experience with vehicle-level harnessing and integration
    • Familiarity with microcontrollers and firmware development
    • Scripting and data analysis (e.g. Python) on Linux command line

Within 3 months you will:

    • Become familiar with our aircraft’s avionics, sensors, and redundancy approach
    • Take responsibility for the avionics team’s technical roadmap and deliverables
    • Mentor junior engineers on best practices, robust design, and DFM

Within 6 months you will:

    • Help guide architectural discussions for our current and future aircraft
    • Lead the next generation design of the Heaviside vehicle’s core flight computer
    • Shepherd existing designs through crewed flight qualification

    • You should be able to describe your contributions to previous personal, academic, open source and/or professional projects that you are most proud of.
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.