Reactor Design Engineer

  • Sila Nanotechnologies
  • Alameda, CA
  • Jan 14, 2021

Job Description


You’re a hands-on engineer energized by ownership of your design decisions. You understand how every mechanical part you design, every fitting you specify, and every line of code you write is a commitment. You’re thorough and don’t leave loose ends dangling. You’re excited when the things you build outlast you. You excel at translating loosely-defined scientific requests into rigorous, deterministic machines that help unlock technical truth. You bring pragmatism and a daily sense of urgency to your work. When you see hardware in the wild, you always wonder, “could I build this better?” When things don’t go as planned, you excel at reducing problems to their underlying physical phenomena and finding solutions everyone can trust. You’re a skilled listener and communicator, which helps you interface with a wide range of people, from chemists to pipefitters. You’re relentless in eliminating sources of drift and uncertainty.


  • Design and build new R&D hardware (and the software and instrumentation that runs it). Starting from a blank sheet of paper, deliver new-to-the-world reactors comprising wet chemistry, thermal processes, instrumentation, and tightly-integrated process automation. You’ll have abundant support, but you’ll need to take the lead in carrying out a design from concept through deployment.
  • Work with contractors and external vendors to get things built. This will include fabricators, tradespeople, system integrators, and in-house engineers & technicians.
  • Close loops. In daily collaboration with the end-users of the machines you build, iterate and refine your designs in fast learning cycles.
  • Diagnose problems when they arise and fix them responsively. This will include data analysis and in-person discussions with people who identify problems.
  • Organize, document, communicate. Create enduring records of your work. Ensure successful handoff to end-users of your work with clearly-documented commissioning procedures and tests.
  • Bring the right level of operational discipline to an open-ended R&D setting. Plan projects accurately and execute according to plan. Design hardware for manufacturability and operability. 


  • BS in engineering and at least 5 years of work experience (or fewer for candidates with an advanced degree). 
  • Frictionless proficiency in mechanical design, CAD software (SolidWorks preferred), and making machines that balance flexibility and robustness. Proficiency in documenting designs and getting them fabricated by outside vendors.
  • Programming experience (C, Python, .NET, or IEC 61131 PLC automation preferred).
  • Knowledge of AC and DC power fundamentals, sensor/signal troubleshooting, and field wiring best practices.
  • Experience with complex, multidisciplinary technical systems (for instance: interconnected electronic, mechanical, pneumatic, and hydraulic systems)
  • Great communication skills, including the ability to surface problems constructively.
  • Experience in R&D settings with time pressure, open-ended technical problems, and substantial individual autonomy are nice to have


  • Pass a respirator fit test and be able to wear respiratory protection on a periodic basis
  • Wear personal protective equipment including, but not limited to, a lab coat, gloves, safety glasses, and steel toe safety shoes
  • Move items up to 50 lbs with the assistance of lift equipment and carts
  • Move long distances (such as from building to building)
  • Can travel both domestically and internationally up to 25% of the time


Organization Type


Organization Size



Energy, Transportation

Drawdown solutions

Distributed Energy Storage, Utility-Scale Energy Storage

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