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Lead Data & Automation Engineer

Houston, Texas, US
Closing date
Oct 11, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Job Description

14549 Minetta St., Houston TX 77035


Lead Data & Automation Engineer

About Solugen

At Solugen, we believe planet-scale change starts with the chemistry we use every day. So we've built the world's first carbon negative molecule factory. Fusing biology with chemistry and technology to make the materials we need to sustain life on Earth. Solugen, Inc. is a revolutionary product and technology company using biology to transform the chemicals industry. Solugen was founded in 2016 and is a post-Series C venture-backed biotechnology company supported by renowned venture capital firms including Founders Fund, FiftyYears, Refactor, Y Combinator, Temasek, GIC, and Baillie-Gifford. Located in Houston, Texas, Solugen has recently started-up a first-of-its-kind carbon-negative manufacturing facility -The Bioforge TM - that uses a novel chemoenzymatic technology to manufacture bio-based chemistries for a wide range of markets including water treatment, agriculture, personal care, and other applications. Solugen currently has 200+ full time employees.


Solugen's mission is to decarbonize chemical manufacturing. As a first step, Solugen is building a 10,000 tpy first commercial plant with the potential to offset up to 37,000 tpy of carbon dioxide equivalents. This role directly supports Solugen's mission by ensuring R&D assets are being fully utilized and data is being efficiently visualized and processed. This role will ensure maximum utilization of the R&D assets by spearheading the development of automation between the Lab Information Management Software and Electronic Laboratory Notebook (LIMS/ELN), and lab instrumentation. While also serving as the system administrator, this role will monitor the usage and upkeep of the platform. This role will serve as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the platform, working closely with R&D teams to develop templatized workflows that connect upstream and downstream teams. This role will bring about a new level of visualization through the process of creating dashboards in the platform that can surface and plot data, facilitating advanced analysis and machine learning algorithms.

Reporting directly to the Vice President of Technology the Data and Automation Engineer will work closely with scientists and engineers to outline the current R&D custom workflows to ensure efficient data management and traceability. The position requires technical knowledge in lab data management and processing (LIMS/ELN), as well as interpersonal effectiveness required to drive a smooth implementation and ensure data integrity. The ideal person for this role will also have hands-on experience with lab automation and is ready to put on gloves and get into the lab to set up automation equipment, ensure interface with our data warehouse, and work closely with scientists to help automate complex biological and chemical workflows. This role has the possibility of growing towards specializing in the data infrastructure of Solugen or focusing and becoming an expert in Lab Automations.

Key Responsibilities
  • Architect, develop, and support the LIMS/ELN that leads to a wide user acceptance (70%) across involved company functions within 6 months.
  • Spearhead the development and implementation of synchronized lab automations and ensure full connectivity to the LIMS/ELN enabling automated screening of thousands of samples per day.
  • Reduce scientist time spent on data analytics by developing scripts (SQL, Python) that will standardize these processes from the LIMS/ELN.
  • Craft structured tables and build connections to link the Solugen ecosystem together to enable visibility and traceability across the life cycle of ideas to products.
  • Provide future and current users of the LIMS/ELN platform with efficient and streamlined training to empower them to use the platform to its full potential as additional tools/people come online.
  • Maintain and update documentation monthly to capture the links being established in the platform to maintain best practices.
  • On a routine basis perform IQ, OQ, and PQ activities to maintain a stable environment.

  • Key Competencies

    Job Specific

    - Attention to detail and organization.

    - Strong interpersonal ability to help build trust, and drive adoption of new software across multiple departments.

    - Familiarity with Benching LIMS/ELN software.

    - Hands-on experience with liquid handling automation (Hamilton, Tecan, Agilent) and scheduling software.

    - Broad understanding of life sciences, and design of experiments with a scientific focus.

    - Experience with programming languages like python and SQL. Automation API development experience.

    - Ability to take complex idea's and distill them down to simple elegant thoughts and expressions.

    - Excellent analytical, quantitative and qualitative problem-solving skills.

    - Comfortable balancing multiple projects at one time.

    - Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

    Company Specific

    - Ask a lot of questions, be curious, and have insights into your work.

    - Be nimble, embrace the speed and ambiguity of startup culture.

    - A passion for green chemistry and fighting climate change.

    - Ability to self-manage and set your own priorities and schedule.

    - Be comfortable working in multiple roles.

    - Emphasize safety above all else.

    - Respect for others.

    - Creative problem solving.

    - Willingness to learn and research new engineering/science concepts.

  • Bachelor's degree in IT, computer programming, software engineering, biology, bioengineering, or related field. Advanced degree preferred.
  • 4+ years' experience in life sciences LIMS development and wet lab experience in Life science automation and high throughput screening.
  • Experience with programming languages like python and SQL. Automation API development experience.

  • Solugen is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other legally protected status.
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