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Manufacturing Test Engineering Manager (Powertrain)



Software Engineering, Other Engineering, Quality Assurance
South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 24, 2023


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.

Join Zipline and help us to make good on our promise to build an equitable and more resilient global supply chain for billions of people.

About You and the Role

The Powertrain team is a multi-disciplinary hardware and software team responsible for designing the electric drivetrain at the heart of our life-saving drone delivery service, operating in some of the harshest environments on earth.

As the Electrical Test Engineering Manager for Powertrain, you and your team will be responsible for performance and reliability of Zipline’s high-performance electrified powertrain at the heart of a new unmanned aerial system that will enable Zipline’s mission of 100 million deliveries per year across the globe. The powertrain system is core to service radius and performance in inclement weather. Zipline’s future success depends on the development of electric drivetrains systems that are low mass, low cost, high reliability, and produced at high volumes.

We are looking for a leader with a strong foundation in electrical engineering and the proven capacity to lead and grow a high-performing team.


  • Hire, lead, and mentor the electrical test engineering department responsible for powertrain performance and reliability testing, including building this function within the department and setting the bar for performance and reliability testing.
  • Manage the requirements and verification test plans of the next-generation of Zipline powertrain hardware, from battery systems, power electronics, compute systems, and electromechanical components.
  • Manage the development of custom test hardware and software (C/C++/Python) for reliability testing and production-line testing.
  • Drive root-cause understanding of test failures; drive test campaigns to stay one step ahead of the design process.
  • Develop test methods and analyses for complex interactions between hardware and embedded software on motors, batteries, and related control algorithms.
  • Maintain visibility across the hardware your team owns, and have the ability to deep dive into projects and challenges.
  • Leverage your technical leadership expertise in hardware design and test to establish a team culture that biases toward action and tests ideas.
  • Lead the demonstration of powertrain system performance, including range, efficiency and weather performance.


  • Minimum 8 years of experience in electrical design, embedded software, and/or electrical test engineering.
  • Past success growing and leading a high-performance team, including direct leadership and leading as a ‘lead-of-leads’.
  • Strong engineering fundamentals in the areas of power electronics, motor control (e.g. drive inverters), battery electronics, and EMI/EMC.
  • Clear communication skills and the ability to explain technical challenges and solutions to fellow engineers and non-engineers alike.
  • Experiencing using industrial test automation and data logging equipment (NI cDAQ) and associated sensor selection.
  • Experience with programming languages C/C++/Python.
  • Deep experience with environmental and durability testing.
  • Must be eligible to work in the US
  • Must be able to work in person at Zipline’s South San Francisco Headquarters

What Else You Need to Know

The starting cash range for this role is $160,000 - $200,000. 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, ancestry, national origin, religion or religious creed, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, military or veteran status, citizenship, or other characteristics protected by state, federal or local law or our other policies.

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!