Embedded Software Lead Engineer

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.

We are looking for an experienced Software Embedded Lead engineer to lead the embedded software development and software design activities for the Heaviside project. Your primary responsibility is to lead design decisions for the embedded software architecture, communication protocols and interfaces, real time operating system and redundancy strategy for our flight computer software. If you have previous experience in safety critical real time embedded software development, you are passionate about writing software for complex embedded applications and electromechanical systems, and you are eager to make an impact in the eVTOL industry, we’d love to hear from you. You’ll have the opportunity to join a team of very talented software and control engineers that are solving some of the most complex problems for the future of transportation.


    • Lead architecture, design and implementation of embedded aircraft software
    • Lead a small group of embedded software engineers, set priorities, define deliverables, track progress
    • Prototype solution, implement proof of concept and implement production code
    • Drive requirements definition, safety analysis and FMEA activities
    • Work closely with the Hardware team to review hardware design decisions, selection of components and identify the dependencies with software

Required Experience:

    • BS or higher in CS/CE or equivalentAt least 8 years of relevant professional experience
    • Strong experience in a regulated environment, preferably aerospace
    • Proven experience with Safety Critical Embedded Systems
    • Experience with the design of redundant hardware and software systems
    • Strong knowledge of Embedded C/C++Experience with RTOS such as VxWorks, Integrity, uCOS or others
    • Experience with Ethernet based communication protocols and IPC mechanisms
    • Experience with communication protocols such as RS232, RS422, I2C, SPI, JTAG
    • Experience with Requirements based design
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills and very detail oriented

Desired experience:

    • Experience with DO-178C, DO-330 and DO-332
    • Familiar with FMEA process
    • Experience with FPGA and FPGA programming
    • Experience with the Xilinx Ultrascale+ or similar hardware applied to aerospace and safety
    • Comfortable within the Linux environment and with Linux tools
    • Experience with scripting languages such as Python
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.