Senior Mechanical Engineer: Biochar

San Francisco, CA /
Pyrolysis /
Full Time
/ On-site
About Charm

Our mission is to reverse climate change and return the atmosphere to 280 ppm CO₂, profitably. We convert waste biomass into carbon-rich bio-oil and inject it into permanent, underground storage as carbon removal, or reform the bio-oil to produce syngas for fossil-free steel.

Our carbon removal pathway took off in 2020 with initial purchases from customers like Stripe, Shopify & Microsoft. In 2021 and 2022 we delivered thousands of tons of carbon removal via off-the-shelf pathways, and also deployed our first R&D prototype pyrolyzer of our own. In the next 18 months, we'll build and deploy the next pyrolyzer revision, demonstrate our fossil-free ironmaking pilot, substantially expand our operations in Colorado and put thousands of tonnes of CO₂e underground.

We're looking to expand our team of ambitious creative and hands-on engineers, fabricators, operators, and forward-thinking humans. We value psychological safety and collaboration. We take calculated risks and don't sweep mistakes under the rug; instead, we pin them to the wall and learn from them. We value that everyone’s unique backgrounds and perspectives shape their work. We encourage you to read our company values.

Come help us reverse climate change. Gigatons or bust!

About the role

Reversing climate change has its share of incredibly difficult problems, and we need the brightest and most creative hardware engineers to help us solve them. Come join Charm’s pyrolysis R&D team, where you will be tasked with solving problems across thermal, fluids and structural design for our pyrolyzers - the machines that produce bio-oil and therefore drive our carbon removal supply!  

Charm’s pyrolyzers make bio-oil but that is not all! One of the other byproducts is biochar, and it can be a value-added product that can be used for heat & energy for the process, but also for replenishing field nutrients and soil carbon. We are looking for a Senior Mechanical Engineer to help us design our char removal and handling systems for our pyrolyzers. If you have an interest in learning about (or prior experience in) material handling, solids separation, and/or heat exchange, this role is for you! 

We’re building better climate chemical plants - turning them into modular, mobile units that look more like farm equipment, and are made more like cars at scale. Your designs will be put to the test early and often, and constantly push the envelope on what is possible. Best of all, your designs will directly impact our ability to scale our pyrolyzers and put more oil, and therefore more carbon (!)

Responsibilities

    • Provide key input to the design of char-related systems (such as the char / gas separation, cooling, and storage systems) according to program goals and requirements. You will test your hardware early and often, then share your knowledge with other subsystem leads to identify, understand, and address interdependencies. 
    • Work collectively with a wide network of people and resources - this could (and likely will!) include managing vendor relationships and timelines, working with external analysis consultants, and working closely with the rest of the pyrolysis team to align development timelines and meet program goals together.
    • Work with our chemical engineers or outside vendors to deepen our collective understanding of the properties of our char, and integrate these learnings into the designs of all systems that interface with char.
    • Provide technical guidance and feedback to more junior engineers.

In this role, you will bring:

    • A depth of experience in mechanical and machine design
    • 3D modeling experience
    • A familiarity with standard safety best practices
    • Mentorship and guidance for more junior engineers
    • Experience working in collaboration with vendors to develop bespoke solutions

These skills are a bonus, but not essential:

    • You have experience with the production of biochar
    • You have an understanding of the safety around handling biochar
    • You’ve worked with solids handling and conveyance solutions
    • You’ve encountered particulate removal from gas streams
This role is located at our San Francisco, CA Minifactory and is not open for remote work. The salary range is $126-147k per year, plus benefits described below.

What We Offer

· Stock options
· Medical and dental insurance
· Traditional and Roth 401k
· Paid parental leave managed through Cocoon
- A yearly professional development stipend
· Healthy snacks and lunches
· A sweet workplace (both SF Minifactory and CO Miniforge!) with lots of space inside and out
· A chance to pivot into a role in climate!

Visa Sponsorship Policy

Since we are a small startup, certain accommodations for visa sponsorship may not be within our capability. At this time, Charm Industrial is only sponsoring E3 and TN visas.

COVID-19

The nature of our work requires the vast majority of our team to be in-person full time. As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, we've continuously adapted our safety policy to keep our team safe and productive. Our current safety policy requires the attestation of COVID-19 vaccination to work at Charm. Additionally, we ask that all of our employees and visitors stay home and rest if they have any cold/flu/covid/sickness symptoms.

Our Commitment

Charm Industrial is an equal opportunity employer with a firm commitment to growing our team in an inclusive way, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, medical condition, age, or veteran status. The consequences of climate change inherently affect some more than others, and we need a diverse team to help us save our little planet most effectively & justly. We are excited about all of those who choose to apply, and for those who end up joining us, to see how you better us as a team and company. We are more than the sum of our parts.