Careers

Electronics and Real-Time Programming, for Embedded Robotic Systems and Aerospace

Job offer published in May 2022
Toronto, ON, Canada (onsite)
Start date ASAP, at the latest the end of May 2022
Permanent and Temporary positions: both are welcome

About TransPod

TransPod — a new generation of ultra-high-speed ground transportation — is being designed to carry passengers and cargo between cities at over 1000 km/h. Fossil-fuel-free and fully-electric, the TransPod line is being developed for application in cities around the world. Aerospace engineering allows the TransPod vehicle to travel faster than a jet, at ground level in a protected guideway which is immune to weather. With the convenience of a subway, a TransPod line will avoid airline flight diversions, travel faster than a jet, and move three times as fast as any current fastest train.

This technology is being developed by TransPod Inc. (https://transpod.com), a Canadian company based in Toronto, with operations in France and Italy, and collaborations with universities across Canada, France and Italy. The project is very multidisciplinary, with team members in physics, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, material science, infrastructure, architecture, and economics.

Opportunity

If you seek deep engineering challenges, in a dynamic environment with leading new technology, this job may be for you. If you are excited by supersonic vehicles, advanced systems for megawatt electrical power, and advanced electronics to control a 1000 km/h vehicle, you have an opportunity to push your skills to the limit, contribute to a major project, and learn from leading experts, including Ph.D.s and professors from around the world.

Our goal is to give you an opportunity to be at the forefront of new technology — advanced aerospace vehicles, cutting-edge science and technology — and to be part of a major international project with a team across Europe and Canada, contributing to responsible urban design, transportation solutions, and fossil-fuel-free green technology.

Qualifications

You must have extremely good hands-on experience in designing complete systems (code/electronics/mechanics all from your own mind), from concept to finished product, yourself, without needing other people to help you.

In your application, please show projects you’ve created, designed and built yourself, without the help of anyone else. For each example, include photos, images, diagrams, schematics, code, screenshots, plus a short explanation, and a statement saying exactly which parts you purely did yourself.

We are looking for very advanced projects, not just an arduino with some messy wires. Only apply if you have spent many years building (or programming) advanced prototypes, with high reliability, good design, and advanced operation. We also encourage people who have developed their skills and hobbies from a very young age, and love doing it.

If you join our team, your first project will be working on an aerospace vehicle with 12 real-time control computers, 386 sensors, 8 engines, 5 power buses, and 10 data buses.

Skills (for embedded programming applicants – as many of these as possible)

  • Embedded programming
  • Low-level programming of robotics, sensor fusion, arbitration, corner cases and failure mode handling, feedback control, multi-axis stabilization, multi-DOF coordination
  • Buses and interfacing of many different processors and systems
  • Avionics systems architecture; designing fault-tolerant hardware and firmware
  • Computer vision programming, preferably in OpenCV and Linux — basic edge detection, shape tracking, and robust response to different lighting conditions
  • Coordination of code between multiple programmers
  • Embedded development on FPGA (optional, starting in later 2022).

Skills (for electronics applicants – as many of these as possible)

  • Soldering (many years of experience with fine electronics, extremely good soldering skills)
  • Buses and interfacing of many different processors and systems
  • Avionics systems architecture; designing fault-tolerant hardware and firmware
  • Motors and robotics: 3-phase AC motors, stepping motors, linear motors
  • Sensors: optical (IR beam, rotary encoders, time-of-flight), magnetic, force, pressure sensors, both analog and digital.
  • Programming on embedded microcontrollers
  • PCB manufacturing (working with fabricators in China or North America; preparing gerber files)
  • High voltage safety procedures and PPE equipment.

What we’re looking for:

  • Ingenuity (e.g. problem solving)
  • Creative mind
  • Analytical mind (e.g. good at programming and can think analytically about anything)
  • Resourcefulness
  • Independence: can work independently with high self-motivation, a good intuition about the best things to do and assumptions to make, able to get things done without needing someone to guide you every step of the way.
  • Collaboration and teamwork: working positively with others in a team, being a person who helps and solves problems.
  • Can work with a multidisciplinary team
  • Able to differentiate between knowns and unknowns, and keep track of where each number came from, what it depends on, and whether it’s subject to change.
  • Excellent theoretical (mathematical) and practical understanding, and ability to use your practical and theoretical experience in creating designs.
  • Whatever you do, you make things better.

Timeline & Pay

Start date ASAP, at the latest the end of May 2022.

There are two options: Permanent positions, and Temporary positions. Both are welcome.

Permanent option:

  • Starting ASAP. Either full-time or part-time can be accomodated, transitioning to full-time.
  • Salary: $75,000 – $100,000 per year (in the case of a full-time position), depending on qualifications, from recent graduates to PhD senior engineers, and from low practical experience to high practical experience.
  • Location: Downtown Toronto. Remote work can be accommodated, but strong preference is given to those who can come physically to the lab in Toronto.

Temporary option:

  • Starting ASAP. Either full-time or part-time can be accomodated.
  • May-July 2022, with an optional ability to extend and become permanent.
  • Location: Downtown Toronto.
  • Payment: $25.00-$50.00 per hour, depending on qualifications, from college graduates to PhD senior engineers, and from low practical experience to high practical experience.

Responsibilities

  • Understanding requirements
  • Quickly implementing solutions, demonstrating that it works. (not things that half-work; you have to be good at getting things working.)
  • Being part of a team building and testing a large aerospace vehicle
  • Researching existing techniques, products, solutions, and research literature.
  • Knowing what is practical based on your hands-on experience.
  • Drawing on your theoretical knowledge; performing calculations, back-of-napkin estimates, and simulations when needed
  • Proposing solutions by drawing diagrams, writing documentation, and collaborating on it with other team members
  • (for programming people) Proposing solutions by writing code, with good style, efficiency, clarity, robustness, maintainability, and reliability when run in real-life on each embedded platform.
  • (for electronics/mechanical people) Building prototypes, integrating with electronic, mechanical systems, and intelligently deciding when each part should be off-the-shelf or custom-made.
  • (for electronics/mechanical people) Designing with considerations of manufacturability, maintenance, cost of materials, regulations, sales, and what a customer would like
  • Synthesizing and organizing information, to create diagrams, documents, calculations, that distinguish between requirements and proposed solutions, between knowns and unknowns
  • Analysis of experimental data; writing code to analyze and graph
  • Communicating about your progress
  • Collaborating with outside people, if needed, about parts purchasing, testing, or collaborations.

Summary

The ideal candidates have a passion for designing, building, tinkering, repairing, programming, and creating new things. They have an innate, intuitive understanding of mechanics, electronics, physics, programming, and other disciplines, to be able to quickly understand and solve a problem, propose solutions, and see the connections between different fields. If possible, excellent theoretical understanding (from university education and research), practical understanding, and intuitive understanding are all needed to join our team.