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Head of Operations Engineering



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 4, 2024

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

Any high performing organization is defined by its connective tissue: The people who bind larger teams together and provide clarity of purpose and direction. While those functions are not easy, they are the most important - those who thrive in these roles are well suited to be our next generation of leaders. If being the hard nucleus around which other teams coalesce appeals to you, then this could be the perfect role for you. We’re looking for an extraordinary candidate to lead our Operations Engineering team.

Located in South San Francisco, the Operations Engineering Team is responsible for providing time-sensitive, mission-critical technical support to Zipline’s operators around the world; creating, publishing, and maintaining world-class original equipment manufacturer (OEM) technical documentation, including maintenance and flight manuals; providing full-life-cycle maintenance, supportability, and sustaining engineering for our uncrewed aircraft and ground systems; developing technical training; and analyzing operational data to identify opportunities to improve our designs, documentation, and processes. As the Leader of Zipline’s Operations Operations Engineering Team, you will be the connection point between our worldwide network of distribution centers, Flight & Fulfillment Operations, and our Engineering, Logistics, Manufacturing, Material Planning, Quality and Supply Chain teams.

This is an in-person role, based out of our HQ in South San Francisco.

What You'll Do

  • Lead and mentor the Operations Engineering Team, which comprises the OEM Documentation, Field Systems Engineering, OEM Technical Training, and Aviation Sustainment sub-teams.
  • Lead the timely resolution of in-service failures and other field issues (hardware, software, supplier and human errors) impacting Zipline’s aircraft and ground systems.
  • Develop and lead strategies to provide timely 24/7 technical support to Zipline operators around the world for all Zipline-designed aircraft and ground systems.
  • Lead investigations into product issues, utilizing analytical skills to identify the root cause(s) of problems affecting hardware and software components. Devise and implement corrective action plans to address identified root causes, ensuring sustainable solutions to prevent reoccurrence.
  • Collaborate with engineering, manufacturing, and quality teams to validate and implement corrective measures.
  • Conduct thorough failure analysis on components and systems to understand the nature of failures and guide improvements in design and manufacturing processes.
  • Manage the processes and documentation for installation of Zipline-designed ground systems at operational sites.
  • Partner with Engineering, Flight Test and Fight Operations on software updates to ensure the highest quality and rigor have gone into all new software releases.
  • Oversee and refine data collection and trend analysis for field quality issues. Interface with Internal Quality, Manufacturing Engineering, External Quality, Reliability Engineering, and Design Engineering to perform Root Cause / Corrective Action (RCCA) analyses on aircraft and ground equipment failures reported from the field.
  • Oversee data collection and trend analysis for reliability, consumption, and operational availability data for Zipline systems and key components.
  • Participate in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) activities for aircraft and ground equipment, identifying and mitigating impacts to operators associated with hardware and software changes.
  • During the Product Development Process (PDP), ensure new systems and subsystem level designs are designed with supportability in mind; update field-facing maintenance and flight manuals to account for new systems / subsystems; work with Material Planning, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Logistics teams to develop and oversee retrofit strategies; work with Field Operations and Logistics to develop and publish deployment schedule(s) for new systems / subsystems.

What You'll Bring

  • You have a strong background in aerospace, mechanical, or electrical engineering (or a similar field); can quickly and fully comprehend novel processes and systems quickly with high attention to detail; and can translate between operational needs and technical solutions in a variety of disciplines.
  • You bring 12+ years of engineering experience, with at least 4 years of people management experience; hiring, developing and growing teams
  • You have substantial experience in fleet management (aviation experience a plus) activities including maintenance, upgrades, new process introduction, product lifecycle management, RCCA analysis and implementation, sustaining engineering, training, and documentation.
  • You have substantial experience building, leading, and mentoring technical teams.
  • You work well cross-functionally with multiple internal teams.
  • You are flexible and adaptable in response to rapidly changing priorities.
  • You can communicate technical information to non-technical audiences using written and verbal communication skills.
  • Familiarity with complex systems and how software integrates with hardware; ability to have a seat at the table in discussions regarding software updates/rollout, bug fixes, etc.
  • Must be able to travel 10-20% of time (most in the US, but some international travel)
  • Must be eligible to work in the US

What Else You Need to Know

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!