Principal Materials Engineer (Composite Pressure Vessels)

Universal Hydrogen

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Full time

Trucks VC portfolio

May 10

We are working to make a high-pressure gaseous storage capsule for hydrogen that is 2X lighter than the current state of the art. One of the keys to this is the use of dry carbon fiber—whether braided or filament-wound—saving the substantial weight of the epoxy matrix. This represents considerable engineering challenges and you will be the key technical authority working through these and ultimately bringing our capsule technology through certification and into high-rate production. You will lead and grow a team of engineers and technicians responsible for requirements development, design, prototype fabrication, testing, and ultimately design-for-manufacture of the key structural layer of our gaseous capsule system. This role offers an exciting opportunity for you to demonstrate creativity, problem solving, and innovative design solutions in a fast-paced, energetic startup environment and play a critical role in the decarbonization of aviation in the near future.

About the Role

  • Lead the development of carbon fiber structures for high-pressure gaseous storage capsules.
  • Lead a multidisciplinary engineering and manufacturing team. 
  • Perform trade studies of various design and manufacturing methods for carbon pressure vessels, including braiding, weaving, filament winding, overwrapping, etc.
  • Identify and direct third-party vendors, partners, and test labs to ensure specified design requirements are met.
  • Integrate carbon fiber structures with elastomer/polymer liners and metal end bosses.
  • Construct test plans for verification and validation of selected materials to the design parameters and requirements.
  • Develop requirements for PHMSA and FAA certification and work closely with the certification team to support the process.

About You

  • Familiarity with various carbon fiber structure manufacturing technologies including braiding, weaving, filament winding, overwrapping, etc.
  • Experience with high strength carbon fiber materials.
  • Knowledge of finite element analysis principles and tools, preferably using ANSYS and/or FEMAP.
  • Familiarity with pressure vessel sizing, design, and manufacturing principles.
  • Experience with material test standards and regulations (aviation experience is a plus). 

About Us

At Universal Hydrogen, our mission is to fuel carbon-free flight and reduce the climate impact of air travel. We are stitching together the end-to-end hydrogen value chain for aviation, both for hydrogen fuel and hydrogen-powered airplanes. We are building a transport and logistics network that moves hydrogen from production facilities to airports over the existing freight infrastructure, eliminating the need for costly new pipelines and storage facilities. Our system utilizes specialized capsules that safely store hydrogen during transit and act as modular fuel tanks that load directly onto aircraft. We are also developing powertrain conversion kits to retrofit existing airplanes and enable new airplanes to fly on hydrogen. Founded by former executives from Airbus, United Technologies, Google, and DARPA, and backed by investors such as Playground Global, Tencent, Toyota, GE, JetBlue, and Airbus, we are convinced that hydrogen is the best and only scalable solution to truly decarbonize aviation, and we want to bring it to market decades sooner—by 2025.

We strive for a workplace that is open, friendly, and fun, while valuing focus, urgency, camaraderie, and maverick behavior in accomplishing our mission. We recognize that people have a diverse set of preferences for work conditions and hours that optimize their overall productivity and wellness, and both our cloud-based IT setup and flexible work policy reflect this. However, because we are building physical products, most roles will require working at our facility at Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles or at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in Toulouse most of the time.

Our compensation and benefits package promotes transparency, equitability, and long-term employee well-being, while rewarding individual and team performance. This includes a significant variable pay component in the cash compensation, equity participation for all employees, 100% coverage of healthcare costs, and dog-friendly offices. As a young company, we are continually expanding our benefits, striving to provide our employees with the support they need to be their best both in and outside of the office. In the next few months, we are rolling out childcare support, catered meals, green mobility support, and private pilot (PPL) training—and we’re always open to feedback on what’s most important to you! 

We know that no two candidates are the same, and we want to give you the opportunity to present yourself in the best way possible. Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can support a great recruitment process for you—whether that includes off-hours interview scheduling, captioning/transcription services, or other accommodations. We value diversity in all its forms, and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply, especially if you share in our mission to decarbonize air travel.

Please note that for the health and safety of our employees, we require all employees to provide proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations as recommended by the CDC (or a valid exemption).

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Universal Hydrogen

Fueling Carbon-Free Flight