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Mechanical Engineering - Loads and Dynamics Analysis



Other Engineering
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 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.
Join Zipline and help us to make good on our promise to build an equitable and more resilient global supply chain for billions of people.

About You and The Role

You enjoy solving complex structural problems using first principles analysis coupled with system level finite element models (FEM). You will be responsible for developing aircraft and ground system loads from conceptual architecture phase through qualification testing. In this role you will own all aspects of flight & ground loads development including setting and upholding analysis requirements, processes, and standards. This role works closely with structures and subsystem engineers to define stiffness and load requirements needed to meet system goals as well as jumping in to design and analyze hardware when needed. You will work closely with Reliability and Test Engineering to identify, investigate, and root cause failures discovered in testing and in the field.

How to know if it's you: You’ve built your own prototypes to get quick answers, pencil and paper calculations are always your first step, you prefer simple and fast over detailed and large, you are on the floor during system testing, you have never presented a FEM plot without adjusting the legend scale. On any given day you could be building test articles in our composites/ prototype labs, developing simple models to inform design trade studies, performing structural tests to validate analysis, working across disciplines to tackle complex system level challenges, root causing a test or field failure, or in the field supporting flight tests.

Zipline was founded by engineers dedicated to making the world a better place. We are building a new global industry and are looking for a talented engineer who takes a hands-on approach and will use analysis to drive design. The ideal candidate will be someone who excels in a fast paced, dynamic environment and is excited to own and drive simple, elegant solutions to complex problems that will help save lives every day.

What You'll Do

  • Loads and Dynamics Analysis
    • Perform analysis to develop loads to size flight and ground subsystems, structures, assemblies, and systems
    • Develop quasi-static, balanced load cases that will be applied to air-vehicle Global FEMs
    • Predict response to transient dynamic events such as impact, launch, recovery, parachute deployment, bird strike, and motor imbalance
    • Create multi-body simulations to quantify dynamic loads resulting from multi-body interactions
    • Work with Aero & GNC teams to compute aeroelastic loads for gust, maneuver, and failure load cases
    • Define program loads requirements and methodologies for developing flight, transient dynamic, and multibody loads, including developing and maintaining a loads database that envelopes all air vehicle load cases
    • Build and document standardized in-house tools and processes to develop flight, transient dynamic, and multibody air vehicle loads
  • Vehicle Structural Analysis
    • Evaluate and optimize systems (flight and ground) for structural loads, vibration modes, and deflections
    • Perform analysis and sizing of airframe primary and secondary structure including static, dynamic, and stability analysis for metallic and non-metallic structures
    • Classical stress analysis (Roark/Bruhn) to do initial sizing
    • Dynamic analysis, including structural modes, random vibration, and forced harmonic vibration
    • Drive design trades with data from lightweight FEMs (Beams/Shells) that can be rapidly updated (daily) to match evolving configurations
  • Experimental Correlation of Flight and Test Data
    • Identify and define when test correlation is required to validate simulation models, including static, dynamic, aerodynamic, and flight tests
    • Produce pre-test predictions, instrumentation locations, and post test data analysis to tune model stiffness and loads results within 5% of test
    • Rapidly resolve test issues (hours) and provide corrective action direction for issues found in qualification testing
    • Work closely with design and test engineers to determine test requirements and support vehicle level tests

What You'll Bring

  • Passion for and demonstrated history of solving complex engineering challenges
  • Minimum 5 years experience performing loads and dynamics analysis at both part and system levels
  • Familiarity with structural dynamics, aerodynamic loads, and control systems
  • Experience with industry standard analysis tools (Siemens NX, FEMAP/NX Nastran, Siemens Simcenter, ZAERO/ZONAIR, Adams, MATLAB)
  • History of working with cross functional teams to solve complex engineering problems

What Else You Need to Know

The starting cash range for this role is $130,000 - $210,000. 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!
Please Note

We have received reports stating that certain individuals are reaching out to people under false pretenses, claiming to be Zipline employees, affiliates, agents, or representatives. They may seek to gain access to your personal information or to acquire money from you by offering fictitious employment opportunities or by claiming that they are contacting you on Zipline’s behalf.

Genuine Zipline employees or representatives will never ask you for money or payment in exchange for employment opportunities or other related services. Any such offer of employment or any other service in exchange for fees that claims to be from us is deceitful and part of a fraud.

If you believe you have been targeted by a fraudulent party, we ask that you immediately get in touch with us via email at upon receiving a suspicious offer or claim.