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Staff Mechanical Engineer



Other Engineering
Chester, VA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2023

About Plenty

We are on a mission to grow plenty of fresh food for everyone, everywhere. We are building the world’s largest, most technologically advanced, indoor vertical farms. Using a fraction of the land and water outdoor farms need, our farms are designed to secure our food future.

Our people and teams are how we make our mission possible. We are passionate about our contributions to Plenty, the communities around us and our planet, but never take ourselves too seriously. We’re down to earth, we grow together, and we always find a way. Join us as we rewrite the rules of agriculture, and we’ll bet our berries you’ll be rewarded with innovative and collaborative teammates, a supportive environment, diverse career opportunities and meaningful work.

About the role

Plenty is looking for a Staff Mechanical Engineer to join our Automation Mechanical Design team. The Automation Mechanical Design team is responsible for implementing industrial automation technology to reduce cost and increase efficiency on our process lines. In this role, you will use your experience in equipment design to lead and mentor a group of exceptional engineers and engineering vendors, help create positive design outcomes, and work to establish standards that meet functional and cost needs. You will work cross-functionally to develop systems that will revolutionize agriculture and help feed our growing populations.

What you'll do

  • Lead the creation of efficient, fast, reliable equipment, and support it through validation and production handoff
  • Collaborate closely with Farm Operations and Plant Science teams to gather requirements for industrial automation equipment
  • Collaborate with Engineering Product Managers and external vendors to ensure all design requirements are met, and quantify and execute appropriate validation testing
  • Partner closely with Controls Engineers to integrate industrial robots, sensors, electromechanical actuators, pneumatic controls, field input/output, etc.
  • Get hands-on to design, build, and test rapid proof of concept prototypes
  • Mentor fellow engineers on the team
  • Develop design standardization/templates/libraries for both internal and external use
  • Apply a unified technical vision where appropriate
  • Ensure design quality and completeness through frequent reviews and feedback
  • Build and maintain 3D CAD, 2D part drawings, assembly drawings, and bills of materials (BOMs)
  • Generate documentation for design validation/production release (design specifications, FMEAs, SOPs, spare parts lists, etc.)
  • Travel ~30% to support installation and commissioning
  • Others duties as assigned

What you'll bring to the table

  • 7+ years of combined Mechanical Design and Project Management experience
  • Experience owning numerous subsystems or machines through all product cycles, from concept through production release
  • Experience with manufacturing and/or processing equipment and validating that the equipment meets process parameters
  • Experience designing for many manufacturing processes, e.g. machining, sheet metal processing, welding, with a strong knowledge of materials and finishes
  • Extensive understanding of pneumatic and electric actuators, sensors, and other components typically used in industrial equipment
  • Keen ability to optimize designs for function, cost, maintainability, etc.
  • Expert at creating 3D CAD and 2D drawings, including using and creating templates and macros
  • Excellent internal and external communication skills, including a deep understanding of how the product you will be working on interfaces with and impacts other parts of the farm
  • Adapts and manages through flexible and evolving design requirements, as well as tight time constraints
  • Experience designing equipment for food/wash-down/other harsh environments
  • Education or experience equivalent to a B.S. Mechanical Engineering or similar discipline

Type of role

Full-Time; Hybrid

What we can offer

  • Compensation; we’ll pay you a competitive salary, give you a stake in the company via equity and contribute toward your 401K
  • Health & well-being; we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits, in-office gyms, and an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, financial & legal matters
  • Food; in-office lunches, snacks and access to our leafy greens & new produce in development -- are you up for a side gig as a taste tester?
  • Grow together; learning & development opportunities including unlimited access to our Upstart University platform, LinkedIn Learning, lunch & learns, training certifications, and more
  • Equipment; we’ll provide you with the equipment you need to be successful, including $75/month toward your phone bill and $250 every 2 years to upgrade your phone
  • Paid time off; we know you’ll do your best if you’re taking time to recharge, so we don’t cap the amount of days you can take off per year in addition to the paid holidays we observe
  • Parental leave; 12 weeks off for all new parents - fully paid so you can focus your energy on your newest addition

Food & Safety Requirements

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations
  • Ensure equipment design is of a material suitable for food safety and designed in a way that is smooth and easily cleanable
  • All applicants must be 18 years or older to apply