Senior Mechanical Engineer: Propulsion
Palo Alto, CA
Heaviside – Engineering
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.
Here at Kitty Hawk, where a century of aviation practices meets technology breakthroughs and a world-class engineering team, things are looking up. In 1903, the Wright brothers took flight for the first time from the beaches of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Our journey started by designing, testing and building all-electric vertical take-off and landing products for work and play. Today, in California, we are building on the Wright Brothers’ legacy to create the next generation of vehicles for everyday flight.
As a member of Heaviside’s small team, you will work on many components of the vehicle’s propulsion system from the electric motor and inverter to the high voltage battery pack. We design/build/test in rapid iteration, so you’ll be an energetic, adaptable engineer who can make sound judgements with limited information. You will work on all levels of the design, from high-level system architecture to transition to manufacture. Your time will be split between design, functional, and reliability testing as we accelerate the future of aviation.
You should be familiar with all, proficient with most and expert at some of the following, in no particular order:
- Strong CAD skills in any halfway decent CAD program
- Strong drafting and tolerancing skills
- Design of electromechanical systems (inverters, batteries, etc)
- Design For Manufacture (DFM) for volume production
- Structural analysis of metals and/or composites
- Thermal management in electrical systems such as inverters, battery systems, high power servers, etc
- Experience designing and testing hardware to DO-160 or similar standards
- Experience with mechanical design of high voltage electronics / batteries
- Experience with design for challenging environmental conditions in terms of vibration, water intrusion, corrosion, and thermal
Within 3 months you will:
- Become familiar with the current iteration of propulsion hardware
- Help develop ground test campaign to validate hardware
- Roll ground test learnings into hardware design revisions
Within 6 months you will:
- Take ownership of a large subsystem. Leading support for current hardware while planning and executing substantial revisions for added functionality or optimized operation
- Design manufacturing processes to increase build rate and reduce variability and build time
- Help guide architectural discussions for our current and future aircraft
- Mentor junior engineers on best practices, robust design, and DFM.
You should be able to work independently and determine the most fruitful direction to move in, while being an efficient communicator, avid documenter, and integrated team member.
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 are located in Palo Alto and Hollister, with great access to nice outdoor spaces as well as to airports at both locations. We offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision and life insurance (company pays 100% of employee premium), unlimited PTO days, 10 company holidays, a 401(k) plan with 50% company matching (no vesting period), commuter assistance, and education assistance. And on top of all that, we also offer a variety of perks such as free catered lunches and snacks, flight lessons, happy hours and many more.
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.