Record 0-60 times and useful features such as Fart Mode get most of the press, but behind all of the innovation is materials science. Tesla has long recognized the importance of new materials—in 2016 Elon Musk hired Charles Kuehmann, an expert on metal alloys to lead materials engineering at both Tesla and SpaceX.
The most prominent recent example of Tesla’s innovative materials is the novel steel alloy used in the upcoming Cybertruck’s exoskeleton and in SpaceX’s Starship.
Now Electrek reports that Tesla is creating a new Materials Applications Team to speed up the development and application of new materials.
David Nelson, formerly the manager of Tesla’s Drive Systems Engineering team, is in charge of building the new team. His new title is Senior Manager, Materials Applications Engineering, and he’s hiring.
“The idea is to accelerate the adoption of new materials and processes—helping to bridge the gap between materials science and part design,” Nelson wrote on LinkedIn. “This is a new team that I get to build from scratch! It’s a chance to do advanced development with world-class materials scientists and product design teams. If you are a broadly-talented design engineer please take a look at this job posting and apply.”
Tesla describes the goals of the new team in a job listing: “The purpose of the Materials Applications Team is to accelerate the adoption of new materials and processes at Tesla. Our goal is to work on problems that make step changes in the optimal design space. As a Design Engineer on the team, you will bridge the gap between materials science and part design. That can mean many different things depending on the material or process. On any given day you might design prototype tooling to make trial parts, work with vendors to perfect a process, perform large design space studies to see how a new material impacts mass and cost, or work in the lab to characterize a part or system.”