Senior Battery Engineer - Cell Characterization

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Propulsion /
Full-time
Here at Kittyhawk in Palo Alto, we are developing ground breaking all-electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft.  Project Heaviside is Kittyhawk’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 be a key member of Heaviside’s propulsion team, responsible for leading battery cell characterization test planning and execution. In this role you will develop strategy, execute test-plans, implement processes, improve battery lab equipment, process test data, and analyze and report the test results. You will work on cell electrochemistry and battery cell mechanical design in order to develop understanding of cell degradation and failure modes.  

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

    • Fluent in Li-ion battery cell electrical and electrochemical evaluation techniques, such as performance testing (HPPC, RPT), cycling methods, conductivity measurement (ACIR, DCIR, etc.), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
    • Familiarity with the operation of battery testing equipment and platforms
    • Familiarity with python or similar scripting software
    • Working knowledge of cell and pack environmental test methods, including vibration, mechanical shock, thermal cycling, humidity, dust, electrical overstress, lifecycle testing, etc.
    • Familiarity with cell specification and technology roadmaps 
    • Experience with battery failure modes and degradation analysis
    • Experienced in battery system prototyping and lab settings, bringing a can-do attitude with a willingness to take ownership and drive results
    • 5 years experience in a battery system test and development environments
    • Bachelor's degree (or equivalent experience)

Desired:

    • A track record of success conducting tests, processing data, and summarizing results
    • Experienced in battery cell, module, and pack functional, performance, and characterization testing (pack electrical, fuse, contactors, etc.) 
    • Hands on experience with development of cell, pack, and BMS hardware
    • A background in Battery Management Systems
    • Familiarity with aerospace battery system requirements such as DO-311A and DO-160

Within 1 month you will:

    • Become familiar with the battery system architecture and battery test lab setup
    • Become familiar with existing test plans and date tests for cells, modules, and system level performance
    • Perform battery development tests for existing test plans 
    • Operate test equipment, interpret and validate results, summarize data, and prepare reports

Within 3 months you will:

    • Prepare Design Validation Plans & Reports (DVP&Rs) for battery cells, modules, and systems, including detailed test procedures, timing plans, etc. 
    • Execute creation of Li-ion battery test procedures and characterization of battery performance under various test conditions
    • Work closely with the battery engineering team to prototype battery systems, conduct thermal runaway testing, conduct environmental testing, and iterate battery designs quickly. Collaborate with design engineering to translate test outcomes into design changes. 
    • Develop, write, and maintain operating and safety procedures for testing batteries
    • Perform hazard assessments

Within 6 months you will:

    • Contribute Bill of Design assessments (CTS, DFMEA, PFMEA, DVP&R, CTR, etc.) at the propulsion system, subsystem, and vehicle level
    • Create and write test scripts and procedures for automated control of tests using equipment user interfaces, troubleshooting and resolving test and equipment issues as needed
    • Create and maintain battery test database and report logs, capturing organization wide battery test knowledge
    • Develop digital testing infrastructure and workflows to manage test plans and results
    • Collaborate with cross-functional teams and contribute to architectural discussions regarding our current and future aircraft, including the design recommendations based on test outcomes
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, Kittyhawk also offers commuter assistance, and free drinks and snacks.

Kittyhawk 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, Kittyhawk 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.

Kittyhawk is an E-Verify employer.