Systems Safety Engineer, Propulsion

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Propulsion /
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. 

In this role, you will be responsible for executing all system safety activities including identification of hazards, recommending appropriate mitigation controls, and defining and managing safety-derived requirements. This activity requires a high level of collaboration across various functional groups and organizational levels.


    • Perform aircraft electric propulsion system safety analysis in accordance with SAE ARP4761/4754A 
    • Conduct and document Functional Hazard Assessment (FHA), Fault Tree Analyses (FTA), Failure Modes and Effects Analyses (FMEA), Preliminary System Safety Assessment (PSSA), System Safety Assessment (SSA), and Common Cause Analysis (CCA)
    • Capture and manage propulsion system requirements at the system and component level

Within 1 months you will:

    • Become familiar with product definition, high level requirements, current architecture/assumptions, and key risks/open issues
    • Understand Heaviside’s internal teams and stakeholders in order to effectively drive system engineering activities forward

Within 3 months you will:

    • Own propulsion system safety analyses and requirements
    • Define system safety processes, including software tools used to capture and establish traceability for system safety analyses
    • Document early drafts/outlines for FHA and PSSA

Within 6 months you will:

    • Have made significant headway towards Kittyhawk propulsion system safety with internal and external stakeholders (aviation regulatory authorities)


    • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical, or related discipline
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
    • Experience in system safety analyses and requirements definition


    • Experience with uncrewed aircraft systems
    • Experience with Model Based Systems Engineering techniques and tools
    • Experience creating, validating, and verifying system and component level requirements, preferably for propulsion or electrical systems
    • Knowledge of civil aviation safety standards and regulations
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.