Senior Embedded Engineer

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Software Engineering /
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. 

As a member of Kittyhawk’s Heaviside team, you will design, implement, and verify embedded software for our flight computers and avionics subsystems. You will work closely with hardware engineers, controls engineers, and systems engineers, to deliver high quality, flight critical designs. You will contribute to embedded development, architecture, the real-time operating system, IPC, peripheral interfaces, redundancy, and verification infrastructure. The ideal candidate will be a motivated, detailed oriented engineer, passionate about embedded software development and verification in a fast-paced, startup environment.

You should be be familiar with all, proficient with most and expert at some of the following:

    • C / C++ programming in a real-time, safety critical, embedded environment
    • Writing applications and device drivers for RTOS, embedded Linux, or bare metal
    • Unit testing, integration testing, and verification
    • Scripting and automation in Python
    • IPC and digital communication protocols (TCP/IP, UDP, CAN, I2C, SPI)
    • Board bring-up, testing, debugging, and system integration
    • 5+ years of relevant experience


    • Real-time control theory and implementation
    • Architecture design for redundancy and fault tolerance
    • Experience developing to standards such as DO-178C, in a regulated environment
    • Experience with VxWorks, QNX, or another RTOS
    • Experience with Yocto Linux or Petalinux
    • Experience with Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+
    • Experience with ARM A53, R5, or STM32 microcontrollers
    • RTL design in Verilog or VHDL for FPGAs
    • 8+ years of relevant experience

Within 3 Months You Will:

    • Become familiar with our codebase and avionics
    • Write C / C++ applications and drivers for our flight computer and embedded peripherals
    • Perform verification using our hardware-in-the-loop test equipment

Within 6 Months You Will:

    • Take ownership of a major component in our embedded codebase
    • Contribute to architectural discussions and development planning
    • Provide input for future revisions of the hardware
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.

Please note that as of August 15, 2021, all persons working on Kittyhawk company premises must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Applicants may seek an exception through the reasonable accommodation process.

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.