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Prelude Ventures
Prelude Ventures

Senior/Staff Mechanical Design Engineer - Battery Systems



Oakland, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Pyka is looking for a Senior/Staff Mechanical Engineer to lead the internal development of custom battery packs for our large electric agricultural and cargo aircraft. In this role you will own the design of several unique pack assemblies from conceptualization to implementation in aircraft that are flying in the field for customers every day.

This role requires close collaboration with many teams both internal and external to Pyka including: Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing and Flight Operations, and component vendors - so excellent communication and project management skills are essential.

In this position you will contribute your expertise in battery pack design and play a critical role in developing systems that are incredibly reliable, durable, and easy for operators to use.

Candidates who thrive in small teams and fast-paced environments will love this role.

Some of the way you will contribute in your first few weeks will include:

  • Work with technicians to build up several battery packs from start to finish to deeply understand the processes currently being employed
  • Take over design responsible engineer duties for our next generation agricultural pack design
  • Design ways to improve the robustness of our in-house battery pack ATP test stand
  • Begin conceptual design of a rapid cargo battery swapping machine
  • Address known issues and design solutions for our current generation charging infrastructure

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.


  • Work closely with internal and external teams to lead the development work of both the agricultural and cargo battery packs

  • Design ground based support equipment such as charging, swapping and transportation systems

  • Pack level interconnect and mechanical design

  • Cell and pack level battery testing

  • Selection, testing, and validation of critical electrical components including connectors, cables, housings, fuses, adhesives, and coatings

  • Root cause analysis of field or manufacturing issues

  • Creation, revision control, and maintenance of detailed documentation sets

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 4-7+ years of experience designing large, mass produced, HV battery pack assemblies for the aviation or automotive industry

  • Familiarity with automotive or aviation wiring harness standards, components, and best practices

  • Experience writing test plans, designing test infrastructure, and executing on test cards

  • Experience with any 3D CAD package (Solidworks, NX, Inventor, etc.)

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

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

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

  • Extreme attention to detail

Company Perks

  • $130,000–$180,000 per year base salary + 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.