Job Opportunities

Positions Available:

Undergraduate Research AssistantElectric Plane Research Assistant | Research Master's Student

Position Title: Electric Plane Research Assistant(s)

Department, Faculty: School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, Faculty of Environment
Salary Range: CAD $21/hr casual
Start Date: 1 May, 2024

Deadline to Apply: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but no later than Feb 28, 2024
Reports to: Dr. Paul Parker, Dr. Mehrdad Pirnia
Location: Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA), University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. W, N2L 3G1, Waterloo, ON, Canada and 
Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC), Waterloo Region International Airport, 3-4881 Fountain St N, Breslau, ON N0B 1M0


Two aviation research assistants are invited to join the Electric Aviation project as part of a broader electric plane research group at the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA).

The candidates will monitor e-plane charging and data collection/transfer and work with a small team of student and faculty researchers. Casual employment will be for a 2-3 hour period supporting each e-plane flight. Typically, multiple flights will be planned in sequence.

The positions will be for an initial 4-month period. Part-time continuation may be possible.

For information about previous aviation student activities see:

Nature of Duties:
The candidate’s responsibilities include:
- Following aviation safety procedures

- Monitoring and following charging procedures for a Pipistrel Velis Electro

- Collecting data from the aircraft and pilots

- Logging charging/discharging data

- Supporting perception data collection via surveys

-Cleaning and preparing the e-plane

- Transferring and checking data in online data bases

- Conducting research in the area of sustainable buildings and aviation

Qualifications Desired:
- Enrolment in Aviation or related program

- Knowledge of aviation procedures

- Completion (or willingness to complete) Pipistrel Velis Electro online course

- Experimental expertise, data collection and management

- Excellent communications skills, particularly written communication

- Strong interpersonal skills, team engagement and collaboration

How to Apply:
Interested candidates should email Dr. Paul Parker ( Include a curriculum vitae, unofficial transcript and a cover letter stating how your experience makes you a good fit for the role. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion. As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+. Applicants must have valid documentation to work in Canada before starting.

Position Title: Undergraduate Research Assistant

Application Deadline: Noon on January 19, 2024

Position End Date: March 29, 2024

Wage: $25/hour (8 hours/week)

Job Summary:

Undergraduate research opportunity: regulatory framework for clear-air turbulence detection

We are seeking an undergraduate student in Aviation to assist with a research project as part of WISA’s Research-For-Impact. The project, headed by Prof. Mike Waite (Math)  and Prof. Jean-Pierre Hickey (Engineering), seeks to help Stratodynamics Aviation develop a novel infrasonic-based clear-air turbulence detection system. Turbulence is one of the most important causes of weather-related aviation incidents. Clear air turbulence (CAT) is particularly pernicious, as it remains undetectable by on-board instruments or the naked eye; its occurrence is expected to increase as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Currently, CAT is detected using a combination of forecasting and pilot reports, which results in overly conservative flight trajectory corrections, leading to additional costs and fuel burn. The objective of the present research is to quantify the infrasound emission and propagation from localized atmospheric turbulence events to advance in-flight turbulence detection technology.

Parallel to the technological development described above, we are looking for an undergraduate research assistant with knowledge in aviation to assist in understanding the regulatory framework associated with the integration of turbulence detection technologies in commercial aviation. The objective is to better understand the regulatory framework for the development of an on-board infrasonic sensor. This work will involve literature review, investigation of Transport Canada, FAA and ICAO policy and regulations, summarizing the findings in a report, and providing a final presentation. The student will interact with the research team (faculty, postdoc and grad students) and the team at Stratodynamics.

How to Apply:

Please send a CV and a short motivation letter highlighting your interest in the above work to Prof. Jean-Pierre Hickey.

Position Title: Research Master's Student

Study electric aviation and earn a masters degree.

Are you interested in electric aviation and want to pursue a masters’ degree? WISA researchers are looking for a research masters student to join the e-plane team.

We are running trial flights with the first type certified electric plane in Canada, a Pipistrel Velis Electro. As part of the research, we want to examine the opportunities and barriers, perceived and real, that aviation stakeholders face with the introduction of electric aviation. Initial survey research revealed differences in the motivations of different stakeholders. We want to continue survey research with stakeholders and also to conduct interviews and document reviews. If you are interested, please send your resume, transcript and a letter explaining your interest in the topic, to Paul Parker, by 31 July 2023.

An ideal candidate will have a background in aviation, sustainability, and social science methods.

Program: The selected student is expected to enroll in the Collaborative Aeronautics Program at the University of Waterloo through a participating department. We will discuss the options to match student and supervisor interests. Professors Suzanne Kearns, Paul Parker and Mehrdad Pirnia will review the applications.

Funding: A graduate research studentship valued at $22,000 per year for 1 or 2 years is offered. Students may also apply for scholarships to increase the total funding package.

The preferred starting date is September 2023, but January 2024 may be possible as well.