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Innovation Endeavors
Innovation Endeavors

Staff Mechanical Design Engineer



Chester, VA, USA
Posted on Saturday, September 23, 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 Design Engineer to join our Devices Engineering team. The Devices Engineering team designs custom, high production volume, industry leading horticultural grow lighting systems and proprietary high production volume growing containers (ie our towers). We focus on energy efficiency, cost efficiency, and reliability to provide our plants with the optimal growing conditions to enhance flavor and nutrition at the lowest cost. In this role, you will join a team of engineers to tackle problems that reimagine the way humanity grows food. Doing so requires us to reimagine farms as highly integrated and aggressively optimized engineered systems, and to draw upon experience and strategies from high-volume product design.

What you'll do

  • Collaborate across the organization to develop requirements and specifications for advanced environment sensing, lighting, and control systems.
  • Participate in multiple full product design cycles, from initial concept through to successful product launches in farms across the US and eventually internationally
  • Employ system level analysis to consider trade-offs between function, deployment time, operational costs, and capital investment
  • Design for both offsite fabrication and assembly and onsite construction
  • Use CAD to develop designs and drawings
  • Perform mechanical design, analysis, validation, and reliability testing of components and systems
  • Prototype designs and design concepts and iterate based on findings
  • Work with suppliers and contractors for outsourced design elements and sub-systems
  • Work with manufacturing suppliers for components and sub-systems
  • Perform root cause analysis of test failures, field failures, or production issues in order to establish containments and countermeasures
  • Interact with complex sub-systems and cross-functional teams of engineers, plant scientists, farm operators, and farm maintenance teams
  • Be able to travel to new farm sites to aid in commissioning and installation (<25% time)

What you’ll bring to the table

  • BS / MS in Mechanical Engineering (or equivalent) with 5 years of experience in consumer electronics or machine and equipment design
  • Experience in design-for-manufacturing and lean manufacturing principles
  • Outstanding analytical and creative problem solving mindset, with strong drive to harmonize various functions into a productized solution
  • Ability to perform thermal analysis as a part of the design process
  • Experience designing with metals and plastics, including manufacturing processes and limitations associated with each
  • Familiarity with electrical systems and components, ideally high voltage systems and experience designing wire harnesses
  • Demonstrated knowledge and ability to integrate state-of-the-art design and manufacturing methods into product concepts and designs
  • Experience owning projects, including working independently, managing projects with tight timing constraints, leading and completing multiple design engineering projects
  • Strong hands-on experience in solid modeling (Solidworks, Catia, etc)
  • Strong understanding of GD&T, assembly and dimensional engineering principles in design

Type of role


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