Staff Engineer, Systems Engineering

Emeryville, CA
Systems Engineering /
/ On-site
Pick a challenge that is bigger than your lifetime.

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at Nutcracker. We are an early-stage company looking at mRNA and its production in a completely different way. We are challenging the conventional and merging both innovative science with engineering to not just save lives, but to improve the manufacturing and delivery of critical health solutions. Yes, as our name implies, we are working to crack some of the toughest scientific and engineering nuts out there. If you are driven to discover, create, and inspire something that moves science and technology forward, and lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready to be a Nutcracker.

Nutcracker Therapeutics is seeking a highly motivated, experienced Staff Engineer to work on innovative mRNA therapy systems. This person will be part of the Hardware Systems team, a team that is responsible for the elements of Nutcracker’s Nutcracker Manufacturing Unit that interface with, actuate, and run our microfluidic chips.


    • Lead and coordinate team efforts for the ongoing development of instrument systems involving fluidics, microfluidic consumables, electromechanical subassemblies and optics. 
    • Research, design and prototype electromechanical subsystems involving fluidics, microfluidics and optics. Assess and test prototypes to determine issues and risks. 
    • Design, build and test new electromechanical sub-assemblies and test fixtures for existing and new instrumentation. 
    • Analyze results from instrument testing to debug and correct issues as they arise. 
    • Perform engineering calculations and simulations as necessary to support design decisions. 
    • Review and provide feedback on system designs from external engineering teams. 
    • Maintain documentation for existing hardware systems and test fixtures. 
    • Contribute to the development of system and subsystem architectures using fluidics and microfluidics applied to molecular biology processes such as PCR. 
    • Work cross functionally across Engineering disciplines (Mechanical, Software, Electrical, Optical) and externally to define hardware and software needed for projects to be completed efficiently and to ensure instrument requirements are met. 
    • Work cross functionally within the company, assist in efforts to optimize performance of instrumentation. 
    • Work with outside vendors to source new designs and technology and resolve issues. 
    • Estimate costs, timelines and budgets for new designs. 
    • Transfer in-house designed instrumentation to manufacturing. 
    • Communicate challenges or constraints within a project and seek to manage them accordingly. 
    • Serve as the Engineering point of contact for system related hardware issues. 
    • Manage temporary assignments or projects in other functional areas as needed. 


    • Master’s or PhD degree in Mechanical or Mechatronics Engineering or Physics, or related engineering field with 8+ years’ industry experience. 
    • Expert level skills using SolidWorks or similar CAD tools. 
    • Demonstrated ability to work and manage cross-functional engineering projects.
    • Able to identify and troubleshoot complex system issues and customer challenges. 
    • Demonstrated experience designing, prototyping and testing software controlled electromechanical assemblies. Fluidics experience a plus. 
    • Demonstrated proficiency in complex assembly modeling. 
    • Solid modeling, drawing creation, and ability to follow ISO standards for design work. 
    • Deep understanding of GD&T and application of tolerancing between multi-component systems. 
    • Experience with FEA analysis of mechanical components (thermal, stress, fluidics). 
    • Experience developing SOPs for manufacturing assembly and testing. 
    • Project management skills and ability to hold to a project timeline. 
    • Good communication skills and ability to document work and ideas. 
    • Ability to function in a fast-paced small company environment with minimal direction and ability to adjust workload based upon changing priorities. 
    • Ability to think critically with demonstrated troubleshooting and problem solving skills. 
    • Ability to work closely with system software developers and triage system issues between mechanical, electrical or software root cause. 
    • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills. 
    • Electrical design skills for electromechanical assemblies a plus. 
    • Knowledge of cGMP principles, FDA and other regulatory guidelines, and validation principles a plus.
We are not accepting any resumes from agencies for this role at this time.

The expected salary range for the Staff Engineer, Systems Engineering is $170,000 to $180,000, based on candidate experience, education, location, and other job-related factors. Employees are also eligible to participate in benefits including Medical, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance, 401(k), PTO plan and employee stock options.

Nutcracker Therapeutics is an early stage life science company building a workplace where highly collaborative and diverse teams thrive.  If your best work is performed in a fast-paced entrepreneurial work environment where meaningful work is mastered each day, we’d love to hear from you. 

Nutcracker Therapeutics is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity, as such, we do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, citizenship, political activity or affiliation, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition (as defined under California law), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex or gender (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), taking or requesting  statutorily protected leave, or any other basis protected by law. 

Agency Disclaimer:
Nutcracker Therapeutics, Inc. (hereafter, Nutcracker) does not accept unsolicited resumes from recruiters or employment agencies in response to the Nutcracker Careers page or a Nutcracker social media post.  Recruiters, agencies and other persons need to have written agreement with Nutcracker, and written approval from a Nutcracker Human Resources representative, to submit resumes for a specific position in order to receive credit.  Nutcracker will not consider or agree to payment of any referral compensation or recruiter fee relating to unsolicited resumes and without a written agreement. Nutcracker explicitly reserves the right to hire said candidate(s) without any financial or other obligation to the recruiter or agency. Any unsolicited resumes, including those submitted to hiring managers, are deemed to be the property of Nutcracker.