Drone R&D Specialist

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Be visionary

At FLIR, we have a simple but ambitious mission: to develop market-leading thermal and sensing technologies which enhance everyday life. From saving energy, to saving lives FLIR is making a real difference in our world.

Our products are used in a wide array of situations to rescue people in danger, detect criminals, conserve energy, navigate safely, provide security around the globe, and protect our environment.

We are looking for individuals who thrive on making an impact and want the excitement of being on a team that wins.


Job Description


About Us

FLIR Unmanned Systems, Utah is developing the next-generation of high-performance, small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and software to U.S. military forces and government agencies.

About the Position

We are currently seeking an engineering minded person with significant small UAS related experience to join FLIR Unmanned Systems in Orem, Utah as a Drone R & D Support Engineer. This position requires US Citizenship will report to the site engineering lead and support research and development efforts at the site. The right candidate will be self-motivated, have passion for robotics and drones, have extensive hands on experience and intuition with drone and drone related technologies, and be an excellent communicator.  

The Drone R&D Specialist is a position with broad responsibilities and scope.  Job responsibilities will vary depending on the needs of ongoing R & D activities to include:  design validation, flight test lead, airframe development and test, test fixture development, vendor management, customer interactions, new technology injection, and demo support.  You will work with a multi-disciplined team of Software Developers, Algorithm Developers, and Mechanical Engineers. The ability to work closely with a team, adapt to new tasks, and learn quickly is valued. 

As an Drone R&D Specialist, you will: 

  • Work closely with the engineering development team and provide feedback on candidate designs
  • Develop clever ways to thoroughly vet & validate prototype designs and concepts
  • Support flight test efforts including flight envelope exploration and expansion
  • Lead and manage system integration efforts of new components & technologies
  • Architect, develop, build, and maintain fleet of R&D support aircraft with support of Interns & Technicians
  • Keep tabs on applicable COTS technology and look for ways to apply to R & D efforts
  • Work closely with and manage key vendors in support of R & D efforts
  • Support key customer customers and demonstrations

    About you 

    You are self-motivated, work well with a team, and have a passion for drones & aviation.  You understand small UAS and associated technologies.  You communicate well and are comfortable interacting with vendors and customers on the phone and in person.  You work well with different kinds of engineers and can communicate technical principles at appropriate level to your audience.  You are an accomplished small UAS pilot who is aware of the fundamental risks of flight and takes measures to reduce risk to equipment and conduct safe flight-testing activities.   You keep tabs on the hobby industry and COTS providers of components that are useful in the development of small UAS.  You maintain relationships with these suppliers and are able to write and manage statements of work in support of program goals.  You have strong grasp of engineering fundamentals and can use this knowledge to solve unfamiliar problems. You are equally adept at rapid prototyping and designing for scale and quality. You are able to learn quickly and explore new concepts and technologies to create a quality product. 



    What You Bring 

  • US Citizen
  • 5+ years direct hands on experience with small unmanned aircraft
  • Experience with a wide variety of consumer and professional drones
  • Accomplished pilot of small aircraft (hobby/professional)
  • Experience with COTS/Hobby SUAS components
  • Experience with drone airframes and avionics
  • FAA part 107 certificate holds
  • You must be able to hold a security clearance and be willing to travel occasionally



FLIR and all of our employees are committed to conducting business with the highest ethical standards. We require all employees to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, rules and regulatory orders. Our reputation for honesty, integrity and high ethics is as important to us as our reputation for making innovative sensing solutions.

FLIR is an equal opportunity employer.