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Senior Applied Aerodynamicist



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 24, 2023

About Zipline

Do you want to change the world? 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, manufacturing and operating the first instant delivery and logistics system that serves all humans equally, wherever they are. From powering Rwanda’s national blood delivery network and Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, to providing on-demand home delivery for Walmart, to enabling healthcare providers to bring care directly to U.S. homes, we are transforming the way things move for businesses, governments and consumers. The technology is complex but the idea is simple: a teleportation service that delivers what you need, when you need it. Through our technology that includes robotics and autonomy, we are decarbonizing delivery, decreasing road congestion, and reducing fossil fuel consumption and air pollution, while providing equitable access to billions of people and building a more resilient global supply chain.

About You and The Role

You’ll be joining a team of aerodynamicists who are responsible for the aerodynamic design and performance of our aircraft. We don’t just analyze existing designs: we take ownership of every relevant detail from concept through to production and operations. You will be building and leveraging a combination of analytical, simulation and experimental tools to drive the design forward, working closely with cross-functional teams including mechanical designers, controls engineers, systems engineers, test engineers, quality control engineers, weather analysts and others. If you are passionate about aerodynamic design, well-organized and highly motivated by solving difficult challenges this role will be a great fit for you.

What You'll Do

  • Clean sheet and existing vehicle design analysis including aerodynamic, propulsion, and power system performance
  • Low and high fidelity analytical modeling of vehicle subsystems
  • Aerodynamic database generation and analysis
  • Multivariate trade studies regarding system design, and presentation of results
  • Flight test planning, execution and data analysis
  • Support multidisciplinary team including controls, mechanical, production, software, and electrical engineers to tackle design challenges and resolve time sensitive issues

What You'll Bring

  • Expertise in one or more of the following areas:
    • Vehicle configuration design and analysis
    • Propeller design
    • Aerodynamic database generation
    • Complex geometry aerodynamic design and analysis
    • Aeroacoustics
  • Strong understanding and experience with one or more of the following toolsets:
    • 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, and/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
  • Familiarity with unmanned aircraft systems and operations
  • Familiarity with autopilot and flight control design is desirable

What Else You Need To Know

The starting cash range for this role is $135,000 - $175,000. 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, working location, and projected impact. The total compensation package for this role may also include: equity compensation; 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, ancestry, national origin, religion or religious creed, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, military or veteran status, citizenship, or other characteristics protected by state, federal or local law or our other policies.
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!