Senior Battery Test Engineer

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Propulsion /
Full-time
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. 

In this role, you will be a key member of the Heaviside propulsion team, responsible for leading battery system test planning and execution from cell level to multi-pack level. Responsibilities include developing strategy and executing test-plans, implementation of process and battery lab equipment improvements and post-processing test data, analysis and reporting the test results  

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

Requirements:

    • 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.
    • Familiar with operation of battery testing equipment and platforms
    • Familiarity with python or similar test scripting software
    • Familiarity with battery hardware development testing including but not limited to cell to pack integration prototyping, thermal runaway testing, vibration testing, drop testing, etc.  
    • Working knowledge of cell and pack environmental test methods, including vibration, mechanical shock, thermal cycling, humidity, dust, electrical overstress, lifecycle testing, etc.
    • Experienced in battery cell, module, and pack functional, performance, and characterization testing (pack electrical, fuse, contactors, etc.)
    • Highly experienced in battery system prototype and lab settings, bringing a can-do attitude with a willingness to take ownership and drive results
    • 5 years minimum experience in a battery system test and development environment
    • Bachelor's degree (or equivalent experience) required

Desired:

    • Have a previous track record of success conducting tests, processing data, and summarizing results
    • Hands on experience with development of cell, pack, and BMS hardware
    • Background in Battery Management Systems hardware is a plus but not required
    • Familiarity with aerospace battery systems including 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 plan and date test for both cells, module, and system level
    • Perform battery development tests for existing test plan 
    • 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 system, including detailed test procedures, timing plans
    • Execute creation of Li-ion battery test procedure, 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; troubleshoot and resolve test and equipment issues as needed
    • Create and maintain battery test database and report log capturing org wide battery test knowledge.
    • Develop digital testing infrastructure and workflows to manage test plans and results
    • Collaborate with cross-functional team 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, 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.