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Prelude Ventures
Prelude Ventures

Staff Mechanical Design Engineer



Oakland, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, September 1, 2023

Pyka is looking for a Staff Mechanical Design Engineer to join our experienced and enthusiastic team of engineers. In this role, you will take ownership over a variety of mechanical components and subsystems and support them from conceptualization through serial production.

Our Mechanical Engineering team members work closely with Flight Test Engineers, Manufacturing Engineers, and other Mechanical Engineers to come up with, test, and iterate on the design of mechanical components and assemblies. This role is not for the faint of heart -- the Pyka ME team handles the same amount of hardware as teams 10x the size. You’ll have the opportunity to work with a team that moves extremely quickly with significant opportunities for ownership/contribution, professional development, and growth.

Some of the first design projects you will work on include clean sheet design of a payload handling system for a cargo aircraft, ground infrastructure for swapping battery packs in the field, and the redesign of existing components to make them more reliable, stronger, and lighter.

As a Staff Mechanical Engineer at Pyka, you will be central to supporting our existing fleet of aircraft as well as developing the next generation through continuous learning and iteration.

About Pyka

Pyka’s goal is to provide society with a new form of fast, environmentally friendly, and accessible transportation enabled by autonomous electric aviation.

To get there, we’re taking a different approach than most. We're applying our technologies to every industry where electric aircraft can be useful, starting with the highest value and most dangerous jobs. In doing so, we're building useful, game-changing products manufactured at scale, while perfecting the safety, reliability, and capabilities of our autonomy engine and electric propulsion systems.

Today, we supply our aircraft to agricultural service providers and farmers as an autonomous tool that makes aerial crop protection safer, more targeted and less harmful to surrounding environments. Our vehicles are highly economical to operate and easy to deploy. What you work on at Pyka makes people’s lives better now and brings the future of electric aviation one-step closer each day.

We design, develop and manufacture an ecosystem of technologies including proprietary flight control software, avionics, high power density motors, motor controllers, batteries, and custom carbon-fiber composite airframes.

We foster a welcoming community within our company that promotes experimentation, asking questions, making simple solutions to complex problems, and expressing different views and opinions. We are a transparent company both internally and externally and do not believe in operating in “stealth mode.” Lastly, we don’t work 60 hour weeks, and don’t expect you to either. In this role you will have a great deal of responsibility, earn a competitive salary and benefits, and contribute to the development of groundbreaking technology.


  • Act as project lead on several mechanical design and development projects simultaneously, going from requirement definition, to a finished, fully tested product in serial production

  • Use your engineering, design and project management experience to provide mentorship and help junior engineers to succeed in their roles

  • Lead the conceptual design, prototyping, testing, iteration and documentation of flight critical mechanical parts and assemblies

  • Create 3D CAD, drawings and manufacturing documents with meticulous attention to detail

  • Work with manufacturing teams to build tools and processes to facilitate the manufacture of in-house and parts and subsystems

  • Communicate closely with external suppliers and fabricators to ensure receipt of quality products, on time

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 8+ years of professional experience in mechanical design, preferably in aerospace, automotive or a related industry

  • An inquisitive attitude with an ability to quickly and deftly research new topics, and try new things

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; the ideal candidate is not afraid to ask for clarification or give feedback

  • Proven record of leading mechanical design and development projects from conceptualization to manufactured product.

  • Expertise in any 3D CAD package (Solidworks, NX, Inventor)

  • Experience using FEA and hand calculations to validate mechanical designs

  • Ability and excitement to be in a prototyping shop building things with your hands

Company Perks:

  • $140,000–$190,000 per year base salary + competitive equity. Compensation will vary depending on location, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. Salary ranges are subject to change.

  • Employer-sponsored health, dental and vision insurance, FSA with employer matching, and 401(k)

  • Paid time off, company holidays, and parental leave

  • Free catered lunch and plenty of snacks

Export Control Requirements

This position requires access to technology, software and other information that is subject to governmental access control restrictions, due to export controls. Employment in this position is conditioned on the continued availability of government authorization to authorize release of such items, to the extent required, including without limitation an export license, or other documentation required to establish authorization to receive access to such items.

Company may delay commencement of employment, rescind an offer of employment, terminate employment, and/or may modify job responsibilities, compensation, benefits, and/or access to Company facilities and information systems, as Company deems appropriate, in order to ensure compliance with applicable government access control restrictions.


We do not work with external recruiters; if you are an external recruiter, please do not reach out.