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Prelude Ventures
Prelude Ventures

Senior/Staff Manufacturing Engineer — Composite Airframe



Oakland, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2023

Manufacturing Engineers are critical to the successful launch of new products and on-going design changes at Pyka! In this role, you’ll work on a blend of earlier stage prototypes as well as later-stage production parts and assemblies. You will help with the design, fabrication, and improvement of tools, jigs, and fixtures for both in-house and outsourced production. For outsourced composite assemblies, you will liaise between Pyka and the contract manufacturer to ensure all design changes and fixture updates are communicated clearly and implemented to our quality standards. You will also have the opportunity to help us define assembly cells and build out the airframe area of our new shop.

About Pyka

Pyka’s goal is to provide society with a new form of safe, clean, and cost-effective 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 autonomous electric aircraft can be useful, starting with the highest value and most dangerous jobs. In doing so, we're building game-changing products manufactured at scale, while perfecting the safety, reliability, and capabilities of our autonomy engine and electric propulsion systems.

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.

Today, we supply autonomous electric aircraft for cargo transport and crop protection to real-world customers across four separate continents and have secured industry-first regulatory approvals from the FAA.

Our cargo aircraft enables remote connectivity, enhances express delivery networks, and ensures fast and reliable shipping of critical supplies to areas in need. Our crop protection aircraft offers agricultural services providers and farmers an autonomous tool to make aerial application safer, more precise, and less harmful to surrounding environments. Both vehicles are highly economical to operate, easy to deploy, and significantly reduce C02 emissions in their respective industries.

What you work on at Pyka makes people’s lives better now and brings the future of electric aviation one step closer each day.


  • Work closely with Composite Prototyping Engineers, Manufacturing Engineers, and the Design Team to deliver composite prototype and production units on-time with the highest level of quality.
  • Translate composite prototype work into highly repeatable production processes.

  • Root-cause complex production issues that relate to process control, tooling, material variation, etc.

  • Support composite contract manufacturers from initial outsourcing through long term production to ensure Pyka’s knowledge transfer and quality standards are met and adhered to.

  • Work with Design Engineers to determine fabrication details, document manufacturing tolerances, and develop quality gates.

  • Create and maintain work instructions for production vehicle assembly.

  • Support composite modifications and retrofit projects in the US and at our international operations sites.

  • Maintain overall shop cleanliness and organization

  • Constantly work toward optimizing the design for production (DFM)

  • Design tooling, fixtures, templates, and work instructions to accurately and repeatedly manufacture parts and assemblies to required specifications.

Preferred Qualifications

  • B.S. Engineering with 6-8 years of related work experience in composite structures

  • Ability to work autonomously and in a team environment

  • Proficient in SolidWorks to realize CAD designs from their 3D format into repeatable, high quality products

  • Critical thinking skills to devise solutions to new problems

  • Deep familiarity with tooling used in the production of composite parts and assemblies

  • Deep familiarity with secondary bonded composite structures and bond preparation

  • Proficient in composite layup techniques (both prepreg and wet layup), drilling, trimming, installation of related hardware, usage of precision instruments, and utilization of hand tools to perform these tasks

  • Ability to find production efficiencies and create processes to meet them

  • Proficient use of Google Docs (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)

Company Perks

  • $110,000–$150,000 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.