Director, Automation

South San Francisco, CA

About Role

At Plenty, we are building out a team of engineers to tackle problems that reimagine the way food is grown. In this role, you will work closely with the internal manufacturing team, plant science, and outside integrators to lead a team to drive farm automation architecture, define company standards, and assist with system commissioning. We are looking for someone who has experience in industrial automation and is excited about the task of implementing a modern agile project philosophy to automation. An ideal candidate has experience leading teams in agile project management, designing mechanical systems, writing machine software using industrial controllers, understanding of electrical systems, and can work closely with our software engineering teams.


What You'll Do:

  • Lead by example, you will be leading a large team with a wide variety of technical skill sets, personalities, industry experience, and education.
  • Manage a team of mechanical and controls engineers focused on hands-on design, build, and rapid proof of concept prototypes.
  •  Manage a team of controls engineers focused on improvements of a control system library for core automation developed and maintained by Plenty.
  • Define best practice for machine design using an agile approach that enables fast learning and iteration of equipment prototypes.
  • Define a road-map of equipment that supports both requirements of our R&D organization and manufacturing deployment strategies.
  • Ability to interface at different levels of the company, this role will be interfacing with high level leaders, engineers, and technicians.
  • Work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.

What We're Looking For: 

  • 10 - 15 years of experience of relevant experience.
  • Mechanical, Electrical, or Software Engineering Degree or Advanced Degree.
  • Experience managing a large automation development group focused on equipment design for a vertically integrated environment.
  • Experience developing equipment as an individual contributor.
  • Strong knowledge of pneumatic and electric actuators, sensors, and other components typically used in industrial equipment.
  • Experience creating 3D CAD and 2D drawings, including familiarity with using and creating templates.
  • Experience with working with mechanical, controls, and software engineers to adopt best practices in design through development of a standard machine architecture.
  • Experience working within a regulated manufacturing environment like food, pharma, etc.
  • Proven ability to design equipment that complies with FDA, UL, OSHA, SQF or other similar regulatory environments.
  • Leading a cross-functional team through design reviews and FMEA activities that identifies risks during the design process.

About Plenty:

Plenty is a new kind of farm for a new kind of world. We’re on a mission to bring fresh, local produce to communities everywhere in a way that’s better for the environment by using 1% of the water, 1% of the land, and none of the synthetic pesticides or fertilizers of conventional  agriculture. Our local field-scale indoor farms are creating a healthier, more delicious and sustainable future.