Composite Structures 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 a Composite Structures Engineer to join the Heaviside project. The ideal candidate for this role would be comfortable with both composite design and stress analysis. The role presents the opportunity to own significant portions of a composite airframe, from the high level trades of aero / structural / access, through detailed design and analysis, design for manufacture, and structural testing and validation.

A background in aviation is not a requirement, but a background in high performance composite structures is essential.

Within 3 months you will:

    • Get up to speed on the current state of the project
    • Provide feedback into the existing designs

Within 6 months you will:

    • Take ownership of design projects
    • Follow projects through the full design phase
    • Take ownership of key components of a significant redesign effort to improve the existing design

Within 9 months you will:

    • Own significant parts of the Airframe as a design / analysis engineer
    • Support Manufacture / Testing / QI of those components

You must have a majority of, but not all, of the following experience and skills:

    • Organizational ability to manage your own workflow and external suppliers
    • A background in high performance composite structures
    • Quality control and testing
    • Basic cost estimation and BOM management
    • Mechanical CAD skills, specifically in Solidworks and Autocad
    • FEM experience with orthotropic materials and cored structures
    • Experience with the design and analysis of bonded joints
    • Ability to create and interpret engineering drawings
    • Must be hands on with a good mechanical intuition

Ideally you would also have the following:

    • Experience in hands on production of composites
    • Flight related hobbies or pursuits, including as a pilot, hang glider, paraglider, windsurfer, RC aircraft builder, or other
    • Other engineering related hobbies or job experience that add to the breadth of your engineering perspective
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.