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ROLE: R&D Specialist Lead
Research and Development is responsible for creating and improving products and technologies to enable the profitable conversion of organic wastes into valuable byproducts. We take ideas from the whiteboard to the factory floor; as a team we are involved in ideation and design, product testing, trialing and transfer of technology into Operations.
In the R&D Improve team, we focus on developing our existing product lines and improving volume, quality and cost with process and product changes.
Sanergy has just finished construction of a large scale waste treatment facility capable of converting organic wastes into insect protein, organic fertilizer and briquettes. Insects, and in particular the insect we grow (the black soldier fly) are seen as a key technology in producing circular economy animal feeds. It is also a new sustainable technology with rapid sector growth – which means there is lots to learn. We are looking to further research and develop the technology to our contexts to improve process performance, reliability and quality, where small improvements can have big impact.
Lead an R&D projects team: work with R&D manager and a team of Specialists to develop project scope, timeline and risk management plans. Deliver multiple project workstreams by guiding your team to successful project execution.
Drive product and process development: optimise our KuzaPro product line, including formulation, cost reductions, breeding and yield improvements, feedstock diversification and process improvement
Test and trial: conduct bench and pilot scale research to determine feasibility and capability of new project ideas. Test new products in the field, and with customers.
Land new specifications in factory: Complete trials, equipment scoping, handover documentation and training for Operations team. Support your team to do the same.
Keep at the cutting edge: Conduct regular literature reviews, competition/peer engagements and process data reviews to remain up to date in composting and bioconversion technology, and generate further research leads. Identify where the team needs coaching or training to upskill and grow.
Maintain product and process specifications: Own and develop specifications for products and processes
Tie your work to the business: Perform cost/benefit analyses to determine marginal profitability of improvements.
What can you expect?
You will be leading a small team responsible for research and development, enabling us to grow our production rapidly and consistently in an exciting and fast-growing technology. You will be interacting across multiple functions to land changes into a process where even small changes have massive impact. You will have regular opportunities to present your work to senior leadership. You will be challenged to deliver ambitious results – and experience both professional and technical growth as you succeed. Your work is both highly technical and highly practical – for example: prepare to do highly technical trial design in the morning, and be out in the field in the afternoon, checking on your work. You will need to manage a portfolio of technical projects and deliver them on time in full. This role will be based in either Athi River, Machakos, or Kilifi.
Who are we looking for?
Skills, Qualifications & Experience
- Degree in Science- or Engineering-related field, and/or demonstrable performance managing technical project teams to success
- Preferable, but not mandatory: experience rearing insects in a production environment,
- Proficiency with Office suite tools or equivalent especially in Excel skills: you have used Excel or an equivalent tool to collect and analyse data, build models
- Experience leading technical teams and manage multiple projects
- Ability to prioritize projects and manage risks effectively. Ability to learn and parse new technologies into meaningful progress.
- Strong problem-solving skills: you have shown the ability to abstract and solve ambiguous, challenging problems
- Effective time management, organizational, and prioritization skills: you have demonstrable ability to manage multiple projects and use cross-team project management skills
- Attention to detail: you have shown that you are thorough, detail-oriented, don’t make assumptions, check and validate yours and others’ work, you catch typos and errors
- Clear communication: you capture your thoughts and theories in writing, you write great emails, you communicate at the right level to the right audience, you use formatting and templates to highlight key information, you use pictures, graphs and visuals to communicate complex topics effectively
To apply, please submit a cover letter clearly indicating your available start date (include notice period), your interest in this role, and your resume/CV that includes a list of three referees by Monday, 25th January 2021. Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.