Belmont, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, July 14, 2023
At Zenith Aerospace, we design, build, and fly large scale unmanned aircraft from the ground up. We recently closed a funding round led by Founders Fund — the first investor in SpaceX — and with the wind in our sails, we want to grow our team with driven, talented, bootstrapping engineers and technicians from diverse backgrounds and paths of life. If you are excited about aerospace, tackling world-class engineering problems, and making big things fly, you are in the right spot. Join us!
We are seeking an Airframe Engineer to join our core design engineering team. In this position, you will be responsible for evolving our aircraft structure architecture, evaluating trade-offs, running sizing and optimizations to meet customer requirements, leading the detailed design and analysis, planning and executing structural testing campaigns, and overseeing structural airworthiness documentation. You will work in a tight feedback loop with the greater Engineering team to promptly iterate through aircraft designs and configurations. Your work will drive the development of cutting-edge unmanned aircraft and take an airplane from its earliest stages of development through iterative process, testing, and, ultimately, manufacturing production in rapid succession. This positions reports to the Head of Aircraft Structures and is an on-site position from our HQ in Belmont, CA.
- Lay out aircraft structure architectures and evaluate trade-offs on weight, soundness, manufacturability, and cost
- Run preliminary sizing studies using hand calculations, design tools and optimization scripts
- Develop the manufacturing plan for parts and assembly of a large UAV airframe
- Run materials and process testing and data analysis in order to develop composite materials database and process standards
- Design and build structural test articles to validate airframe joints and critical structural features
- Take ownership of the airframe CAD model
- Plan, build, and manage FEA models and simulations
- Plan building block testing campaigns for model calibration and compliance
- Interpret certifications and regulations, then establish compliance strategies
- Generate, review, and approve certification-related documents
- Collaborate in a multidisciplinary environment in order to solve complex, open-ended problems with an emphasis on speed of execution and efficiency
- B.S. in Mechanical, Aerospace, or closely-related Engineering discipline
- 5+ years of experience in airframe design and sizing for fixed-wing aircraft or rotorcraft
- Solid mathematics and engineering physics background
- Excellent understanding of aircraft fundamentals (flight mechanics, aerostructures, loads,…)
- Expert knowledge and applied experience with composite mechanics, design, analysis, and manufacturing
- Extensive hands-on experience with composites manufacturing with varying processes (pre-preg, wet layup, infusion, etc.)
- Proficiency with 3DExperience or CATIA V5/V6
- Proficiency with SIMULIA / ABAQUS, NASTRAN, SAMCEF, or other FEA analysis tools
- M.S. or Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or a closely-related Engineering discipline
- Previous experience working on aircraft certification programs and knowledge of FAA Part 23
- Knowledge of aeroelastic instabilities (e.g. flutter), and with their corresponding alleviation methods
- Experience with aeroservoelastic analysis
- Extensive experience with building block testing approach (pyramid of test)
We welcome you to apply even if you don’t match every requirement asked for above. Data shows the most impactful business outcomes are from teams with individuals with a breadth of backgrounds, lived experiences, and skills. For accommodations in the hiring process, including submitting an application, please e-mail email@example.com.
We are headquartered in Belmont, California. We are predominantly an on-site work environment with regular expectation of working on-site with flexibility should the role allow. The base compensation is targeted between $120,000 - $170,000 annually, depending on experience level. Beyond base salary, we offer incentive stock options, comprehensive health insurance, and four  weeks of PTO annually, among other benefits.
This position will require access to information protected under the U.S. export controls laws and regulations, including Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Please note that any offer for employment will be conditioned on any required authorization to receive software or technology controlled under these U.S. export control laws and regulations necessary to perform the responsibilities of the position.