Exceptional People + Purpose Beyond Profit = Watershed Outcomes

Exceptional People + Purpose Beyond Profit = Watershed Outcomes

Sr. Staff Thermal Systems Engineer



Software Engineering
Irvine, CA, USA · United States
Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Job Description

About Rivian

Rivian is on a mission to keep the world adventurous forever. This goes for the emissions-free Electric Adventure Vehicles we build, and the curious, courageous souls we seek to attract.

As a company, we constantly challenge what’s possible, never simply accepting what has always been done. We reframe old problems, seek new solutions and operate comfortably in areas that are unknown. Our backgrounds are diverse, but our team shares a love of the outdoors and a desire to protect it for future generations.

Role Summary

The Thermal software team develops sophisticated algorithms to manage the thermal performance of the powertrain, battery packs, heat pump, and cabin HVAC systems. As part of the team, you will be collaborating with designers, engineering, manufacturing, firmware, and service and require the ability to apply engineering fundamentals to model and design thermal systems.


  • Work cross functionally with the design and development engineers throughout the engineering organization to ensure the relevant subsystems are designed with appropriate requirements, interfaces and interactions to achieve specific vehicle functions.
  • Break down new, high-level feature requests into sub-system and component level requirements, and drive the implementation, testing and release.
  • Research and develop estimation and physics based thermal models for thermal management of the cabin HVAC, heat pump, battery, and powertrain to deliver the best customer-experience in terms of performance, range, NVH, and cabin comfort.
  • Develop control-oriented system models and use them to develop and refine control strategies.
  • Ability to leverage numerical system models to define and validate requirements, evaluate system performance and perform trade-off studies.
  • Work collaboratively with mechanical, electrical, and firmware engineers to define control system capability and establish actuation/sensing requirements.
  • Work with Thermal Management Module SW and integration engineers to implement, test, and debug algorithms
  • Ability to develop strategies to find outliers based on fleet analysis and apply these in a manufacturing environment


  • M.S. or Ph.D. in Engineering, Computer Science, or related STEM disciplines.
  • 10+ years relevant industry experience working with thermal control systems and software.
  • 2-5+ years software engineering experience is required
  • Strong fundamentals of heat-transfer and thermodynamics, devices like heat exchangers, compressors, valves, pumps, fans, and heaters along with their subsystem and system-level interactions.
  • Strong proficiency in developing controls creating controls-oriented dynamic system models of thermal, hydraulic, or mechanical systems in Matlab/Simulink/Python etc. is required
  • Familiarity with state-of-the-art system modeling techniques for electric motors, inverters , batteries (latest Li-Ion chemistry)and thermal management.
  • Excellent proficiency with analysis of large data sets in Matlab/Python
  • Demonstrated strong strategic thinking and communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate cross-functionally, work hands-on, and execute on open-ended projects in a fast-paced, resource-constrained environment. Demonstrated leadership skills, people management and organizing leading the work of others.

Pay Disclosure

Salary Range for California Based Applicants: $218,200 - $272,800 per year (actual compensation will be determined based on experience, location, and other factors permitted by law).

Benefits Summary: Rivian provides robust medical/Rx, dental and vision insurance packages for full-time employees, their spouse or domestic partner, and children up to age 26. Coverage is effective on the first day of employment, and Rivian covers most of the premiums.

Equal Opportunity

Rivian is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local fair employment practices laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information or characteristics, physical or mental disability, marital/domestic partner status, age, military/veteran status, medical condition, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Rivian is committed to ensuring that our hiring process is accessible for persons with disabilities. If you have a disability or limitation, such as those covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, that requires accommodations to assist you in the search and application process, please email us at candidateaccommodations@rivian.com.

Candidate Data Privacy

Rivian may collect, use and disclose your personal information or personal data (within the meaning of the applicable data protection laws) when you apply for employment and/or participate in our recruitment processes (“Candidate Personal Data”). This data includes contact, demographic, communications, educational, professional, employment, social media/website, network/device, recruiting system usage/interaction, security and preference information. Rivian may use your Candidate Personal Data for the purposes of (i) tracking interactions with our recruiting system; (ii) carrying out, analyzing and improving our application and recruitment process, including assessing you and your application and conducting employment, background and reference checks; (iii) establishing an employment relationship or entering into an employment contract with you; (iv) complying with our legal, regulatory and corporate governance obligations; (v) recordkeeping; (vi) ensuring network and information security and preventing fraud; and (vii) as otherwise required or permitted by applicable law.

Rivian may share your Candidate Personal Data with (i) internal personnel who have a need to know such information in order to perform their duties, including individuals on our People Team, Finance, Legal, and the team(s) with the position(s) for which you are applying; (ii) Rivian affiliates; and (iii) Rivian’s service providers, including providers of background checks, staffing services, and cloud services.

Rivian may transfer or store internationally your Candidate Personal Data, including to or in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union and in the cloud, and this data may be subject to the laws and accessible to the courts, law enforcement and national security authorities of such jurisdictions.

Please note that we are currently not accepting applications from third party application services.