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Applied Aerodynamics Intern [Fall 2023]



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, May 6, 2023

About Zipline

Our internships are full-time positions, in-person at our South San Francisco office. We will host our Fall 2023 interns from September to December.

Zipline is on a mission to transform the way goods move. Our aim is to solve the world’s most urgent and complex access challenges by building the first instant logistics system that serves all humans equally. Leveraging expertise in robotics and autonomy, Zipline designs, builds, and operates a fleet of cutting edge, autonomous delivery drones. We serve tens of millions of people around the world.

Joining Zipline’s Emerging Talent program as an intern is an opportunity to contribute to our promise of building a system that provides equitable access to critical healthcare supplies for millions of people. We believe that internships are more than just opportunities to learn by watching or doing low level tasks. We expect our interns to take on meaningful work that actively contributes to moving Zipline’s mission forward, while learning real-world skills that will serve them in their careers for the long term.

Join us, and build the future of logistics with the best humans around!

About the Applied Aerodynamics Team

Without the Aerodynamics team, the Zipline drones would not fly! This team is responsible for the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft, from high-level aeronautical considerations down to the detailed surface design. We work on everything from the body and propellers to vehicle dynamics and aeroacoustics, and in order to ensure our product is successful we collaborate strongly with almost every other engineering team, including GNC, structures, mechanical integration, avionics, perception, systems, weather and others.

The Role

As an intern in the Aerodynamics Team you can expect to work on any one of our current open projects alongside our world-class aerodynamicists and aeronautical engineers, both learning from their experience and bringing your own perspective to the tasks. This is an opportunity to test the skills and knowledge you’ve learned at school in a practical and fast-paced environment, where we leverage our understanding of physics to solve real problems. You will learn to use a variety of tools - from low fidelity calculations, through CFD simulation to experimental analysis - to help drive the design of our current and future products forward.

What You'll Do

  • Vehicle design analysis including aerodynamics, propulsion, and power system performance.
  • Low- and high-fidelity analytical modeling of vehicle subsystems and behaviors
  • Aerodynamic database generation and building analysis of flight behaviors
  • Experiment planning, execution and data analysis, from wind tunnels to flight tests
  • Support multidisciplinary team including controls, mechanical, production, software, and electrical engineers to tackle design challenges and resolve time-sensitive issues

What You'll Bring

  • You will be studying one or more of the following areas: fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, flight physics, aeronautical engineering, acoustics. A strong understanding of the technical content of these courses is the most valuable asset you will bring, and will help you exercise good engineering judgment.
  • Understanding and experience with any of the following toolsets is advantageous. If you have not used the tool before, we’ll teach you to use it where needed.
    • Low and high fidelity aerodynamic modeling codes, such as XFOIL, MSES, AVL, ASWING, XROTOR, BEMT, XFLR5, RCAS, and/or OpenVSP
    • Continuum- or Lattice Boltzmann-based computational fluid dynamics, such as STAR-CCM+, Fluent, OpenFOAM, or PowerFLOW
    • Wind tunnel test identification, planning, execution, troubleshooting, and data analysis using a variety of electro-mechanical and optical diagnostic techniques
    • Flight test planning for system identification and simulation validation, cross functional planning, test execution, and data analysis
    • MATLAB, Python, Julia, C/C++
    • CAD advanced surfacing tools, such as CATIA or NX
  • To be maximally effective we will need you to work in our head office in South San Francisco. For certain testing programs, limited travel (within California) may be required.

What Else You Need to Know

Zipline is unable to sponsor work visas for applicants to this position.

The starting cash range for this role is $34.00 - 38.00 / hour. Please note that this is a target, starting cash range for a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications for this role. The final cash pay for this role will depend on a variety of factors, including a specific candidate's experience, qualifications, skills, and working location. The total compensation package for this role may also include: equity compensation; overtime pay; discretionary annual or performance bonuses; sales incentives; benefits such as medical, dental and vision insurance; paid time off; and more.

Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws or our own sensibilities.

We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!

Zipline is also committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. Please let your point of contact at Zipline know if you require any accommodations throughout your interview process.