RF Engineering Manager - Avionics
About You and The Role
The Avionics team is a group of hardware and software experts responsible for designing robust systems that power our life-saving drone delivery service in some of the toughest environments on Earth. Our team designs aircraft avionics that must excel in a wide range of harsh, real-world climates and electromagnetic interference (EMI) environments. The Avionics system is a vital part of the overall zipline aircraft system architecture, where we strive to achieve high performance and reliability while minimizing mass and cost.
You and your team will be responsible for delivering vehicle to vehicle, command and control, and GNSS navigation systems that are tightly integrated into the Avionics flight computer. These radio systems are at the core of a new unmanned aerial system that will enable Zipline’s impact to expand from 100,000 deliveries/year to 100 million across the globe. Zipline’s future success depends on the development of avionics systems that are low mass, low cost, high reliability, and produced at high volumes. Rigorous design engineering and validation is required, as well as ingenuity in approaches to packaging, integration, fault tolerance, and validation.
We are looking for a leader with a strong foundation in RF system design and an excellent grasp of communication system design, RF electronics, and antenna design, and the proven capacity to lead and grow a high-performing team.
What You'll Do
- Lead, mentor, and grow a small but mighty team of RF engineers designing the 802.11, cellular, ADS-B, and GNSS radio systems tightly integrated into the vehicle flight computer.
- Develop and implement RF engineering processes, including the definition of RF team deliverables, to ensure high quality on tight, deterministic timelines.
- Provide technical leadership in system level design spanning RF link budgets, interference analysis, and RF MAC layer.
- Coordinate team resources, project scopes, and timelines to complete deliverables aligned with program needs.
- Define, trade, revisit, and update vehicle RF architecture. Optimize at the integrated vehicle system level
- Coordinate within the Avionics team to implement the RF systems in the aircraft highly integrated flight computer.
- Coordinate across teams such as GNC and Perception to determine requirements for the RF system performance, identify trades, and ensure reliable operation for downstream systems.
- Ongoing engineering to successfully sustain the operation of existing avionics systems in our existing fleet of thousands of aircraft.
What You'll Bring
- Demonstrated skill building and leading a team of engineers to achieve ambitious goals, with proven success
- 6+ years of experience in RF engineering roles, with at least one year of direct people management experience.
- Past success developing electronics for critical systems in fields such as automotive, aerospace, transportation, or medical devices.
- Deep design experience in one or more of the following areas: RF system design and analysis, antenna design, or practical implementation of complex RF systems.
- Strong understanding of communication system fundamentals including linear systems, signal processing, and communication theory.
- Familiarity with RF design tools such as ADS, CST, Microwave Office, MATLAB, or Simulink.
- Experience in formally managing a team of junior and experienced engineers.
- Enthusiasm for collaborating in a fast paced, cross-functional environment.
- Clear communication skills and the ability to explain technical challenges and solutions to fellow engineers and non-engineers alike.
- Must be eligible to work in the US.
- Must be able to work in person at Zipline’s South San Francisco office.
What Else You Need to Know
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