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Senior Product Design Engineer - Camera Integration



Product, Design
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2023

About Zipline

Do you want to change the world? Zipline is on a mission to transform the way goods move. Our aim is to solve the world’s most urgent and complex access challenges by building, manufacturing and operating the first instant delivery and logistics system that serves all humans equally, wherever they are. From powering Rwanda’s national blood delivery network and Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, to providing on-demand home delivery for Walmart, to enabling healthcare providers to bring care directly to U.S. homes, we are transforming the way things move for businesses, governments and consumers. The technology is complex but the idea is simple: a teleportation service that delivers what you need, when you need it. Through our technology that includes robotics and autonomy, we are decarbonizing delivery, decreasing road congestion, and reducing fossil fuel consumption and air pollution, while providing equitable access to billions of people and building a more resilient global supply chain.

About You and The Role

Does working on large integrated electro-mechanical systems from conception through fully scaled production and world-wide deployment excite you? Does hearing people say something is too difficult or impossible make you want to jump in head first? Do you enjoy being the “go to” engineer on the ground, analyzing system performance, solving problems live when our systems are powered on for the first time? At Zipline our work is intended for the field. Patients are counting on it today--there is no time for aiming low or for coming up short. If leveraging your talent to drive creating elegantly engineered solutions excites you read on!

What You'll Do

As a Senior Product Design Engineer in the Perception Hardware team, you will be leading the development of flight critical sensors spanning multiple modalities on our air vehicles - owning the design process for new sensor designs. You will characterize the most influential aspects of sensor performance and iterate quickly through new design candidates to improve them. You are a speed user and optimizer for iterating concepts in 3D/2D CAD and have core competencies that enable high volume manufacturing at scale with 99.9% yield. You achieve this through your knowledge of design for manufacturing, common tooling or process design constraints, quick concept prototyping, testing and down-selection. Early in the development process, you will work closely with perception software engineers to guide and improve the design. You will work closely with our electrical engineering team to optimize the integration of custom PCBAs, harnessing, and flex circuits. As the design matures, you will also work with our cross-functional partners in Supply Chain, Quality, NPI and Manufacturing to scale product build volumes internally and externally with our vendors. You will set an example to the company on best practices for expedient design development under significant uncertainty and be a walking encyclopedia of knowledge for reliable mechanism design and mechanical design best practices.

You do not let “how it is normally done” artificially limit the potential solution space but leverage your experiences, knowledge, and first principles thinking towards problem solving to create an optimal product. You are comfortable solving complex problems with little direction and maximum autonomy. Hand calcs guide your thinking and designs and help you quickly bound a problem. You are biased to action and an efficient optimizer leaning on best practices and proven processes seemingly always getting things done in half the time.

You quickly test your prototype designs in worst case loads and after worst case environmental exposure to ensure your designs will pass engineering and design validation testing phases. You are the first to reach out to suppliers for feedback even when the design isn’t complete to ensure the parts are manufacturable once designs are released and no tool changes will be necessary after the proto phase. You know the limitations of various plastic materials and how they will flow in the molds and interact with other materials once flying in the field. You are a technical mentor and a resource to others on the team able to share best practices and review work with junior members on the team.


  • Minimum of 5 years of product development experience with proven track record shipping hardware through 2 product life cycles - concept, prototype, validation, production
  • Experience working from concept to production on a product containing sensitive component(s) where data quality was critical
  • Demonstrated CAD expertise in master and direct modeling where instantiating an idea, sketch and/or incorporating DfX feedback in 3D/2D and managing a 50+ part BOM is second nature
  • You apply GD&T to complex assemblies and understand how to design effective datum schemes at the onset for part assemblies for optimum cost/yield
  • Experience designing for high volume manufacturing processes - injection molding, sheet metal, castings, and material grades
  • Passion for elegant mechanical design at every level of detail - every part serves a purpose every gram of mass is accounted for
  • Able to utilize FEA for validating structural part designs prior to tooling kick off
  • Able to interface with other disciplines to understand other impacts to design
  • Know how to prototype quickly and effectively, using these iterative cycles to down-select multiple concepts down to one in 1-2 weeks
  • Excellent communication - written, verbal, and visual. You know how to tailor to your audience with the right level of technical depth


  • Tooling design expertise - Your parts never have unwanted sink marks, knit lines, flash, or warpage because you know how to engineer it out before the tool is cut
  • Aerodynamics/Acoustics/Structural Vibrations simulation expertise
  • FEA expert - You know how to analyze non-linear, large displacement static loads and dynamic transient and random loads
  • Working knowledge using electrical components & microcontrollers (ex. raspberry pi)
  • Experienced design to aerospace or automotive level validation standards


The starting cash range for this role is $130,000 - $165,000. Please note that this is a target, starting cash range for a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications for this role. The final cash pay for this role will depend on a variety of factors, including a specific candidate's experience, qualifications, skills, working location, and projected impact. The total compensation package for this role may also include: equity compensation; discretionary annual or performance bonuses; sales incentives; benefits such as medical, dental and vision insurance; paid time off; and more.

Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws or our own sensibilities.

We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!

If you’d like to learn more about Zipline and our teams, feel free to check out our Instagram, one of our Reddit AMA’s, or our website!