Motor Controls Engineer

Palo Alto, CA
Powertrain /
Full-time /
Pivotal is the leader in the emerging market of electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. We design, develop, and manufacture light eVTOL aircraft and are renowned for the BlackFly, the first light eVTOL to fly manned missions and enter the consumer market.

Efficient, compact, and simple, Pivotal vehicles are designed for a wide range of consumer, public service, and defense applications. Our distinctive tilt-aircraft architecture and scalable platform have been in development, preparing to enter the market for over 10 years. We recently announced our next-generation aircraft, the Helix, planned for general release and scalable production in January 2024.

Mobility is one of the most highly-valued areas of technology investment today. This is the right company, in the right space, the right strategy, at the right time. We invite you to join our amazing team and grow with us.

About the job

Pivotal is seeking a highly motivated and experienced Motor Control Engineer to play a pivotal role in the development of our eVTOL aircraft. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in motor control algorithm development and motor controller software architecture along with professional automotive, industrial robotics or aviation experience.


    • In-depth understanding of torque control techniques such as slip-based control, field oriented control, direct torque control.
    • Prior experience with flux estimation methods, 3-phase power control, analytical control system theory development and analysis.
    • Experience with various PWM schemes such as space vector, discontinuous, and sinusoidal modulation, including data-acquisition methods.
    • Capability of delivering high-quality C/C++ code in an embedded microcontroller environment.
    • System-oriented understanding of thermal, system-level torque and velocity control, voltage DC-link integration, efficiency optimization, and firmware integration for electric drives.
    • Model development and data analysis in Matlab/Simulink.


    • 3+ years of professional experience
    • Masters or PhD in related engineering discipline (Aerospace, Mechanical, etc)
    • Proven experience in designing and developing productized motor controls.
    • Proficiency in MATLAB, Simulink, C/C++, and other relevant software tools
    • Knowledge of relevant industry standards, regulations, and safety protocols
    • Hands-on experience through employment, student teams, co-op, and/or personal projects
    • Excellent problem-solving skills and a demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced, collaborative start-up environment

Bonus Qualifications

    • Experience with version control such as Git
    • Experience with TI Instaspin SW bbox
    • Experience with Propeller Characterization
    • Experience with Dynamometer testing
    • Experience with wind-tunnel testing and/or CFD for use in flight dynamics modeling
    • Proficiency with Python, C#, Java, or other high level languages
    • Experience with embedded systems, real-time systems, robotics, or sensors
    • Interest in RC planes, quadcopters, or aviation

Personal Attributes

    • Highly adaptable, humble, and willing to roll up their sleeves to tackle any task
    • Resourceful, curious, and never satisfied with the status quo
    • Always thinking about how to make things more efficient
    • Strong work ethic and detail-oriented
    • Love learning and being challenged

Salary Range

Applicants must be eligible for employment in the United States and willing to work onsite at our HQ office in Palo Alto, CA.

Pivotal offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, and 401k plans.

Pivotal is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Pivotal does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.