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Director - Powertrain Engineering at Universal Hydrogen
Los Angeles, CA, US

We are seeking a Director - Powertrain Engineering to lead our rapidly growing team developing state-of-the-art modular hydrogen fuel cell-electric powertrain for the world’s first zero-emissions regional airliner.  You will be pioneering the integration of new technologies including hydrogen fuel cells and high voltage MW size electric motors for the first time in commercial aviation, resulting in a pioneering Flight Test programme starting in 2022.  You will be leading an engineering team working with the FAA and supplier teams to rapidly iterate the design and testing of a leading-edge hydrogen powertrain for regional aircraft and playing a pivotal role in building a revolutionary propulsion system leading to a significant aircraft retrofit program.

About the Role

  • Responsible for our 2MW hydrogen fuel cell aircraft powertrain system from development through deployment.
  • Lead the development, testing, certification, and manufacturing scale-up of a hydrogen-fueled powertrain for aircraft application.
  • Manage a team of engineers tasked with building and testing prototype powertrains of increasing power levels, and conduct analyses in support of the certification process.
  • Engage with suppliers and partners to identify and resolve supply chain and aircraft integration challenges.
  • Identify key areas of research and development necessary to meet system-level requirements.
  • Provide aircraft systems subject matter and safety expertise through generation of practices and principles and mentorship of staff.
  • Lead and participate in system and hardware design and safety reviews.

About You

  • Previous experience leading engineering teams in the development of powertrains and related systems. 
  • Demonstrated proficiency in systems thinking, e.g., ability to leverage how the system, environment, and operation will influence the design, manufacturability, and performance of equipment under consideration.
  • Ability to communicate clearly (written and orally) about technical subject matter with engineers and regulatory agencies.
  • Flexibility and responsiveness in a fast-paced, dynamic, small team environment.
  • Understanding of industry regulations and experience leading aircraft systems through the certification process is a plus, but not required.

About Us

At Universal Hydrogen, our mission is to fuel carbon-free flight and reduce the climate impact of air travel. We are stitching together the end-to-end hydrogen value chain for aviation, both for hydrogen fuel and hydrogen-powered airplanes. We are building a transport and logistics network that moves hydrogen from production facilities to airports over the existing freight infrastructure, eliminating the need for costly new pipelines and storage facilities. Our system utilizes specialized capsules that safely store hydrogen during transit and also act as modular fuel tanks that load directly onto aircraft. We are also developing powertrain conversion kits to retrofit existing airplanes and enable new airplanes to fly on hydrogen. Founded by former executives from Airbus, United Technologies, Google, and DARPA, and backed by investors such as Playground Global, JetBlue, Toyota, and Airbus, we are convinced that hydrogen is the best and only scalable solution to truly decarbonize aviation, and we want to bring it to market decades sooner—by 2025.

We strive for a culture that is empowered, collaborative, open, and human-centered. We are driven by a sense of urgency to address climate change through the near-term decarbonization of commercial aviation. We recognize that people have a diverse set of preferences for work conditions and hours that optimize for their overall productivity and wellness, and both our cloud-based IT setup and flexible work policy reflects this. However, because we are building physical products, most roles will require working at our facility at Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles most of the time.

Our compensation and benefits package promotes transparency, equitability, and long-term employee well-being, while rewarding individual and team performance. This includes cash bonuses and significant equity participation for all salaried employees, employer-paid health insurance coverage, generous parental leave, a pet-friendly headquarters located at Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles, and generous paid time off. As a young company, we are actively working to expand the benefits we provide—including childcare, retirement, parental, and mental health benefits—and we’re always open to feedback on what’s most important to you. 

We know that no two candidates are the same, and we want to give you the opportunity to present yourself in the best way possible. Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can support a great recruitment process for you—whether that includes off-hours interview scheduling, captioning/transcription services, or other accommodations. We value diversity in all its forms, and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply, especially if you share in our mission to decarbonize air travel. 

Please note that for the health and safety of our employees, we require all employees to provide proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations as recommended by the CDC (or a valid exemption).