Natel Energy

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Senior Mechanical Engineer

  • Engineering
  • Full-time
  • Alameda, CA


Natel Energy is seeking a skilled and motivated Senior or Staff Mechanical Engineer to join our team!  Natel designs and tests high performance FishSafe hydraulic turbines, modernizing the hydro industry and preserving biodiversity while simultaneously enabling decarbonization. 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. You will lead design, assembly, and testing efforts of scale hydraulic test model turbines in accordance with international standards; design and analyze full scale turbine components for manufacturability in coordination with suppliers and OEM partners; and work with our hydraulic design engineers to expand our product range.

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


  • Own the space where hydraulic designs and shapes meet the mechanical and manufacturing space. Develop and quantify requirements and processes needed for design evaluation; recommend and implement DFM and structural improvements; internalize and leverage market and supply chain drivers, costs, and opportunities.

  • 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.

  • Lead the design, procurement, integration, and operation of scale model test turbine equipment in collaboration with our hydraulics, lab engineering, and operations leads. Evaluate new turbine types and requirements, develop solutions for cost effective and precise machine equipment builds, and guide the team through design to commissioning and testing.

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • A degree in Mechanical Engineering or similar

  • At least 4 years relevant experience

  • Engineering leadership experience, technical and/or managerial

  • An organized and data-driven approach to problem solving

  • 3D CAD modeling experience including assemblies and surfacing

  • Expertise in conducting well-documented structural / mechanical analyses

  • Expertise with structural FEA

  • Expertise 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

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

  • Familiarity with steel fabrication, forging, casting, and machining processes

  • 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 in aerodynamic or hydraulic design and use of associated tools (e.g. CFD)

  • 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  $120k-$170K. 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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