Natel Energy

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Mechanical Engineer

  • Engineering
  • Full-time
  • Alameda, CA


Natel Energy is seeking a skilled and motivated Mechanical Engineer to join our team! Natel designs and tests high performance fish-safe hydraulic turbines, modernizing the hydro industry and preserving biodiversity while simultaneously meeting decarbonization goals. You will join an exciting and fast paced team where we develop and analyze the hydraulics and mechanics of turbine equipment, from some of the largest in the global fleet down to scale model performance test units; and you will help us achieve our goals of modernization, decarbonization, and biodiversity by designing and testing turbine equipment so we can demonstrate and guarantee high performance and fish survival. Natel’s hydraulic test laboratory is the only one in the world capable of performing both fish passage testing and scale hydraulic testing in accordance with international standards, and your role will include the design, assembly, and testing of scale model machines as well as supporting systems and other R&D equipment. As part of a small organization you will have the opportunity to drive your projects from concept to implementation, owning each step along the way.

Prior experience in the hydro industry is not required. A successful candidate will have an appetite to hone a range of design, testing, and project management skills; will be an effective communicator and collaborator; will thrive whether working in CAD/FEA or on the shop floor; and will be passionate about our mission and opportunity.


  • Enable the development and delivery of Natel’s hydraulic designs via: CAD modeling of existing hydraulic facilities; analysis of full-scale turbine runner (i.e. propeller) mechanisms and structure; detailing and conveying runner and turbine geometries, specifications, and analysis results to partner OEMs; and cost estimation and design for manufacturing.

  • Design, procure, integrate, and operate scale model test turbine equipment. You will evaluate new turbine types and requirements; detail components and assemblies using a mix of materials and processes; conduct and document analyses and tolerance stackups; design fixtures, tools and test equipment; review others’ work, both internal and external; and collaborate in manufacturing, assembly, operation and testing, and reporting.

  • You will become familiar with and share responsibility for the operation and improvement of the control and data acquisition systems for Natel’s laboratory equipment.

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • A degree in Mechanical Engineering or similar

  • At least 1-2 years relevant experience (rigorous internships may count)

  • An organized and data-driven approach to problem solving

  • 3D CAD modeling experience including assemblies

  • Experience in conducting well-documented structural / mechanical analyses

  • Experience with structural FEA

  • Experience with tolerance analysis and drafting

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills: comfortable receiving as well as providing guidance and technical material from/to engineers, designers, technicians, and suppliers

  • Confidence in working independently to drive a project forward

  • Experience in control and data systems is not required, but interest in learning and contributing in this area is a must!

Desired Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with Siemens NX, including surfacing, and Simcenter Nastran

  • Familiarity with a range of FEA techniques including 1D / connection elements, 2D and laminate modeling, mixing element types, and assessing a variety of failure modes

  • A well-versed understanding of ASME Y14.5 GD&T as well as typical machining, fabrication, an inspection methods

  • Hands-on experience with relevant processes (machining, fabrication, composite layup, inspection, assembly, etc) whether professionally or personally

  • Experience with sensors, data acquisition systems, and PLCs

  • Endorsements or certifications in applicable skill areas

Compensation & Benefits

Starting pay for the successful applicant will depend on a variety of job-related factors, which may include job-related knowledge, skills, and experience, market location, business needs, other compensation components, and/or market demands. The starting base salary range for this role is  $105k-$133K. This range may be modified in the future.

In addition to competitive salaries, we offer equity to new employees and incentive compensation  based on team performance.

We are proud to offer great benefits like 4 weeks of paid vacation, 2 weeks of paid sick leave, and trans-inclusive health insurance plans (along with dental, vision and life insurance). We want our team to live full lives outside of work.


Onsite, Alameda, CA. This role is full time at Natel’s Alameda, California office and facility, with flexibility to work from home intermittently. We have a dog-friendly workplace!

Occasional travel may be required for supplier site visits, field testing, or similar.

Our hiring process

Natel Energy is committed to building, supporting, and growing a diverse team. We have a standardized interview process designed to reduce individual bias, and have structured pay scales to prevent inequity. We don’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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