Battery Systems Lead

Palo Alto, CA
Heaviside – Engineering
Full-time
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.

In this role you will be responsible for leading the high voltage battery validation campaign (and associated changes) of Heaviside’s current battery design as well as developing the next generation battery architecture (cell selection, submodule / pack design, and electronics integration). This role spans the entire development process: concept, design, testing, and transition to manufacture.

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

    • Lithium ion cell chemistries, failure modes, and use
    • Cell, submodule, and pack level testing
    • Submodule and pack mechanical design
    • Cell interconnect manufacturing techniques
    • Pack thermal design and modeling
    • BMS electronics packaging and wiring interconnect design
    • Strong CAD skills in Solidworks or an equivalent system
    • Design For Manufacture (DFM) for volume production
    • Structural analysis of metals and/or composites
    • Experience planning and leading large technical efforts

Our ideal candidate would have:

    • Experience with cylindrical as well as pouch cell formats
    • Experience with SOC and SOH algorithm development and testing
    • Experience with high voltage batteries (>400V)
    • Experience designing and testing hardware to DO-160, SAE, or similar standards
    • Experience with design for challenging environmental conditions in terms of vibration, water intrusion, corrosion, and thermal
    • Experience building, mentoring, and leading effective teams

Within 3 months, you will...

    • Become familiar with the current cell, submodule, and pack design
    • Setup manufacturing and incoming inspection & QA process
    • Generate a FMEA for the energy storage system

Within 6 months, you will...

    • Perform cell selection and associated testing for next generation packs
    • See current pack through test campaign, designing and implementing fixes as necessary
    • Lead conceptual design of next generation packs
    • Mentor junior engineers on best practices, robust design, and DFM


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.