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Kittyhawk – 3D Printing Research Group Lead

Here at Kittyhawk in Palo Alto, we are developing groundbreaking all-electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. It is designed to be extremely low-cost, in part by taking advantage of novel manufacturing and material techniques, including 3D printing.

To help Kittyhawk evaluate and develop 3D printing technology for aerospace applications, we are starting a 3D Printing Research Group, to operate alongside our main engineering team in Palo Alto. This group will report to the Kittyhawk CEO and should expect keen interest and involvement by the Kittyhawk Chairman. 

The object of this group is to expand the use of 3D printing in aerospace by developing technology, techniques, and materials that allow it to be stronger, lighter, cheaper, and more scalable. This will involve use of novel hardware, such as robotic arms and 5-axis machine tools, as well as combining different materials. It will also extend to the software used by these printers, including closed-loop sensing and machine control.

The ideal candidate to lead this Group will have a recent PhD in one of the following disciplines: materials science, advanced manufacturing, machine automation, CAD/CAM, or industrial processes. For example, candidates currently serving as a post-doc in a university lab focusing on one of these topics would be ideal. Aerospace industry experience is not required.

Within 3 months you will:

  • Establish a research roadmap in coordination with Kittyhawk engineering
  • Set up the lab

Within 6 months you will:

  • Hire two other team members
  • Downselect to 2-3 research projects
  • Set milestones
  • Identify commercial partners

Within 12 months you will:

  • Demo first MVPs
  • Integrate first Research Group work into Kittyhawk manufacturing
  • Influence design of the next Kittyhawk vehicle to use 3D printing technology more extensively


  • PhD or equivalent in related area: materials science, advanced manufacturing, machine automation, CAD/CAM, or industrial processes
  • Demonstrated interest and experience in novel additive manufacturing
  • Experience with both 3D printing hardware and software
  • Experience with robotics


  • Management experience
  • Manufacturing experience
  • Software development experience
  • Demonstrated interest in advanced aviation

We welcome you to apply even if you don’t match every requirement posted for this role.  No one candidate will be a 100% perfect match to our description, so if you are passionate about working on the next evolution in aviation and have similar experience to what we are looking for, we encourage you to apply.  Diverse backgrounds and experiences promote innovation and our goal is to build a team that encompasses a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skills.
Please note that as of August 15, 2021, all persons working on Kittyhawk company premises must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Applicants may seek an exception through the reasonable accommodation process.

Our headquarters is in Palo Alto and we offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, unlimited PTO days, 10 company holidays, a 401(k) plan with 40% company matching (no vesting period), flight lesson subsidy, education assistance, and company-sponsored social events. For those working onsite, Kittyhawk also offers commuter assistance, and free drinks and snacks.

Kittyhawk provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Kittyhawk abides by applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Kittyhawk is an E-Verify employer.


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