Senior Composite Structures Design Engineer

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

We are seeking an experienced Composite Structures Design Engineer to join our growing aerostructures team. This position is a unique opportunity to be involved early in the conceptual phase of the aircraft and shape design directions. The engineer will own large composite, flight critical components. Positive attitude, passion, and self-learner mentality are a must have.

Responsibilities:

    • Own design for key flight critical composite assemblies
    • Follow projects through from inception to completion
    • Perform layout studies and preliminary sizing
    • Create and maintain detailed CAD model of aircraft components
    • Analyze structure, optimize load path and tailor ply stacks to reduce mass
    • Create detailed drawings and Interface Control Documents (ICD)
    • Collaborate with other teams to mount hardware on primary structures
    • Work hand in hand with manufacturing to build prototypes and create work instructions
    • Support testing and substantiation

Requirements:

    • BS in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or relevant discipline
    • A background in high performance aircraft composite structures
    • Good understanding of FAR regulations and certified aerospace design practices
    • Mechanical CAD skills (including composite toolboxes), specifically in NX or Catia
    • Basic mass estimation and BOM management skills
    • Basic understanding of PLM systems and engineering workflows
    • Stress analysis experience with composite materials and cored structures
    • Experience with design and analysis of bonded and bolted joints
    • Ability to create and interpret engineering drawings
    • Good mechanical intuition and hands on skills

Desired:

    • MS/PhD in aerospace engineering
    • 5-10 years of experience working in small aircraft design and certification
    • Background designing optimal structures for certified aircraft
    • Hands on experience with production of aircraft composite parts
    • Strong understanding of engineering processes required for aircraft substantiation
    • Quality control and testing experience
    • Flight related hobbies or pursuits, including as a pilot, hang glider, paraglider, windsurfer, RC aircraft builder, or other
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 (company pays 100% of employee premium), unlimited PTO days, 10 company holidays, a 401(k) plan with 50% 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.