Project Vahana intends to open up urban airways by developing the first certified electric, self-piloted vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) passenger aircraft. We envision Vahana being as a cost-comparable replacement for short-range urban transportation like cars or trains. A core premise of this project is that full automation and sense-and-avoid technology will allow us to achieve higher safety levels by minimizing human error while allowing more vehicles to share the sky. As a platform, Vahana can be as diverse as its wheeled grounded counterpart when being used for cargo delivery,  emergency services, search and rescue, or even as a tool to deploy modular infrastructure in disaster sites. There is no other project that we know of that incorporates this much automation in vertical flight. With Airbus’ long history in aircraft certification and safety, we are uniquely positioned to realize large-scale automated flight within urban environments.

Chief Architect UAM, Systems Optimization and Modeling Engineer
Santa Clara, CA

Airbus believes in the potential of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to transform our cities for the better. By pushing the limits of technology in the fields of connectivity, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and electric propulsion, our aim is to develop sustainable mobility systems that bring maximal societal benefit while causing minimal environmental impact. To this end, Airbus is harnessing its expertise across the company to develop solutions that will unlock the third dimension of urban mobility and offer viable alternatives to connect people.

Airbus UAM is looking for a passionate individual to join the Systems team. Your responsibility will be to architect and drive the development of an integrated technical-economic model to guide UAM program and system strategy. Specifically, you and the team you lead will be engaged in the formation and integration of several models that blend factors such as economics, operations, vehicle performance, and human factors. You will establish a software architecture, merge external models, and develop new ones when necessary. In addition, you will be responsible for directing analyses to generate actionable insights, and identify sensitive model parameters, all while working with partners to refine assumptions and models as needed.

To get specific, your responsibilities will be to:

  • Build and lead a team of software, modeling, and optimization engineers to realize the integrated model
  • Use custom-built modeling tools to perform high-level feasibility analyses for future products, define program- and system-level specifications, and coordinate interdependent iterative design processes for various UAM technologies
  • Leverage internal and external data sources to abstract and simplify complex systems to develop new models, continuously improve strategic and technical decision, and inform future product roadmaps
  • Liaise with various team members across the organization, from vehicle to infrastructure to air traffic management, in order to understand the global UAM system
  • Work with the safety and cybersecurity teams to evaluate overall system safety and performance
  • Analyze and visualize large data sets from various data sources to understand product use cases
  • Write detailed specifications for studies to provide insight into areas that need refinement, defining all inputs and outputs
  • Perform analysis and modeling of physical systems
  • Combine model results and fleet data to make statistically informed system-level decisions
  • Post-process and analyze experimental data to validate and inform models
  • Communicate analysis results and tradeoffs with the broader UAM team including providing input to all development phases of the UAM strategy, global UAM system, eVTOL aircraft, and other teams.


Additional Responsibilities: drive and deliver high quality project work for the benefit of UAM and Airbus Group organizations in the US and globally. This role requires exemplary collaborative ability across different teams, geographical locations, time zones and cultures.

We expect you to have:

  • A M.S. or PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics (or other technical field)
  • 4+ years of experience in research or development of software for system modeling, simulation, or system architecture exploration, particularly for transportation related applications.
  • A strong analytical approach to problem solving with demonstrated understanding of statistics and optimization methods
  • A strong background in mechanical, electrical, thermal and systems parameter modeling
  • High proficiency in Python and Matlab with familiarity in working with APIs
  • Experience in working with large datasets for both analysis and visualization
  • Excellent problem solving and communication skills

At , we execute projects and foster partnerships. Projects are ambitious, risky, time-constrained undertakings that culminate in a demonstration at convincing scale—something that’s more than a mere prototype, but somewhat short of a product. 

A³ partners with startups, established companies, and research institutions allow us to work successfully within the Silicon Valley ecosystem and connect our parent company to all the excitement here. To support these two missions, a small and dedicated operations team provides an underlying infrastructure of shared services, such as contracting, communications, legal, finance, information technology, administration, and facilities. 

By the way, you might be interested to know that we offer a killer benefits package as well as a flight training benefit, just in case you don’t already have your pilot’s license!

A³ by Airbus is an equal opportunity employer in every category. The data is incontrovertible that diversity leads to better teams, better performance, and better results. Consequently, we actively seek candidates of all genders, backgrounds, and experiences.

All job offers at A³ are contingent upon the candidate passing an export control check.