(Senior) Manager, Manufacturing Design Engineering

San Mateo, California, United States

Skydio is the leading US drone company and the world leader in autonomous flight, the key technology for the future of drones and aerial transportation. The Skydio team combines deep expertise in artificial intelligence, best-in-class hardware and software product development, and operational excellence to empower a broader, more diverse audience of drone users - from first responders to insurance claims adjusters, utilities, and more!

About the role:

  • Skydio is looking for a leader and manufacturing expert to develop and drive our manufacturing design engineering team. The MDE team is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing assembly flow, manufacturing processes, and equipment for building the next generation of drones, docks, and accessories.
  • You will be responsible for growing and managing a team tasked with the application of technology and operational excellence in our manufacturing processes to both develop new products while also supporting existing products in manufacturing. You will work closely with a cross functional team of design, EE, software, quality and reliability engineers, program managers, supply chain, and operations to develop new products from prototype to mass production.
  • You will lead a team of manufacturing engineers to develop the process, manufacturing line, fixtures, tests and suppliers to meet operational requirements at our internal manufacturing locations.

How you will make an impact:

  • Develop vision and strategy - Build the manufacturing design engineering organization by setting a clear vision and operational execution plan.
  • Set goals - Identify areas of improvement, construct a plan, and drive the evolution of our manufacturing team to achieve these targets
  • Be both hands on and strategic - You should understand factory lines, fixturing, flow and how to optimize them.  You have fixture design experience and understand best practices.
  • Solve Problems - The MDE team is the first line of defense for assembly failures.  The team needs to understand the reason behind the product design as well as the specifics of the assembly.
  • Grow and manage high performing engineers - Act as the lead technical expert who aids in the development of manufacturing design engineers, assigning tasks, aligning on priorities, providing guidance and mentorship.
  • Engage early - The MDE team should be involved early in the design process to provide feedback to the design team as well as prepare the factory proactively.
  • Make data driven decisions - Utilize statistical process control methods to monitor manufacturing processes, balance lines, identify issues, and implement corrective actions.
  • Context switch - There are multiple products in various stages of production and development at any given time, some with multiple SKUs.  You will work with leaders across the organization to understand build targets and prioritize the team to hit these goals.
  • Set objectives - Define key performance indicators to drive continuous improvements in the process.
  • Execute on people strategy - Through a mix of hiring outside and developing internal talent, you will ensure that the team members are receiving development opportunities and coaching required to realize their full potential.
  • Lead - Hire, develop and guide an inclusive, diverse, engaged, and high performing team.
  • New product development:
    • Develop & launch new products while maintaining high standards of manufacturing cost, quality and manufacturability 
    • Utilize PFMEA, DFM and prototype yield, quality and process data to align design with manufacturing strategy
    • Develop Processes, Control Plans, component and assembly CTQs, Inspections, Inline tests and Work Instructions
    • Define and implement workflows, line layout, fixtures, and equipment while providing progressively refined labor, cost, and capacity estimates
    • Develop and improve NPI processes
    • Work cross functionally with the broader teams to identify problems, conduct RCCA and document development activities and milestones
  • Sustaining products:
    • Analyze existing workflows, equipment placement and space requirements to improve manufacturing efficiency, improve yield and reduce cost
    • Responsible for manufacturing equipment capital expenditure budgets.
    • Coordinate with Reliability and Quality teams to analyze failures, define root cause and implement corrective actions
    • Maintain line fixtures, calibration and quality measurement systems

What makes you a good fit:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, or related engineering field or equivalent experience.
  • 10+ years of hands-on experience in a manufacturing environment, ideally with expertise in high volume production
  • SPC, Lean, Six Sigma experience
  • Must be able to analyze and resolve complex process development and ongoing support issues of a broad scope using independent judgment
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively with all levels of employees.
  • Eagerness to operate in a dynamic and fast-paced environment.
  • Possess strong project management, detail orientation, and analytical skills.
  • Ability to adapt to change and learn quickly.


Compensation Range: 

The annual base salary range for this position is $170,000 - 230,000*. Compensation will vary based on factors, including skill level, proficiencies, transferable knowledge, and experience. In addition to base salary, Skydio full-time employees are eligible to enroll in our benefit plans and take advantage of a variety of incentives and stipends.




At Skydio we believe that diversity drives innovation. We have created a multidisciplinary environment that embraces the power of diverse perspectives to create elegant solutions for complex problems. We are committed to growing our network of people, programs, and resources to nurture an inclusive culture.

As such, we do not make hiring or other employment-related decisions on the basis of an applicant or employee’s race, color, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, sex/gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions),  gender identity or expression, age, religion, disability status, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition, genetic information or characteristics, veteran, military or family status, or other classifications protected by applicable federal, state or local anti-discrimination laws.

For positions located in the United States of America, Skydio, Inc. uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit https://www.e-verify.gov/

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