Systems Engineering Intern [Fall 2023]
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 Systems Engineering Team
In simplest terms, the goal of Zipline’s System Engineering team is to make sure everyone at Zipline knows the answer to “why?” Why does the aircraft have the performance specs it has today? Why is the Distribution Center arranged the way it is? Why do we need to have a particular number of aircraft in the fleet? Why did we choose the environmental operating conditions we did? And why are we even doing the engineering work we’re doing today?
One of our core values at Zipline is customer obsession. Correctly answering the “why?” question requires getting close to our customers, understanding their challenges, and finding out the best solutions for them. We expect our System Engineers to amplify the customer’s voice in product development discussions, raise a red flag when we’re drifting away from what’s best for the customer, and steer us back onto the right track--using data to back up all decisions along the way.
Systems Engineering is a cross-disciplinary function that works closely with all engineering teams at Zipline as well as non-technical teams, like sales and marketing, and our external customers.
System Engineers are able to understand the customer needs and translate them into actionable and testable requirements for the other engineering teams. We use a structured approach to decompose a high-level system function--like delivering a package to a customer--into low-level requirements for each subsystem: what does the flight controller, the aileron, or the user interface each need to do to make that delivery happen? Due to the complexity of the Zipline system, we must take a structured approach to not miss any design details. The other engineering teams rely on Systems Engineers to ensure we are building the right pieces, and that those pieces will work correctly the first time when put together. We’re constantly optimizing our systems engineering approach to make sure it achieves these goals while also allowing us to be agile and deliver new products quickly.
What You'll Do
- Identify who Zipline’s customers are and get as close to them as you can, to build customer empathy and determine what their needs are
- Gather data, assumptions, design constraints, and trade study inputs from key stakeholders
- Conduct data analysis to provide confidence in the completeness and correctness of design specifications
- Support requirements definition, flight log analysis, simulation frameworks, safety assessments, and testing for new engineering products
- Identify, define, and manage key interfaces between systems, to enable concurrent work on multiple projects
- Perform high-level system design trades -- for example, should we have two launchers for different wind directions, one launcher that rotates, or a more powerful launcher that can compensate for any tailwind?
- Review test plans, participate in test execution, and review test results
- Help maintain the source of truth for system design and capabilities, to be referenced by all other teams, such as business development, marketing, and regulatory
What You'll Bring
- A passion for getting close to customers and building products they will love
- A successful track record of completing projects in a cross-disciplinary environment where you worked with multiple technical and non-technical teams
- Tenacity to find an answer on how to move a project forward when no data or past references seem to exist
- Solid understanding of engineering fundamentals in the fields of mechanical, electrical, and computer science
- Ability to solve complex multidisciplinary problems using tools such as a modeling language/tool of your choice, statistical analysis, and first-principles physics
- You are a technical generalist, not mastering any particular discipline, but knowing enough to be dangerous in any discipline
What Else You Need to Know
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.
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.