Senior Staff Engineer – Instrument Development

Molecular Assemblies is a San Diego-based company developing a revolutionary, enzymatic DNA synthesis technology capable of powering new products in industrial synthetic biology, personalized therapeutics, precision diagnostics, and eventually information storage, nanotechnology and more.

The Senior or Staff Instrument Development Engineer will be a crucial contributor to the design and development of essential functions of the Molecular Assemblies’ core oligo synthesis technology. The role will require a hands-on approach, particularly with interfaces between the subsystems and consumables of the system platform.  This role will help develop and drive MRD/PRD/DIS among an interdisciplinary team of scientist and engineers. The Instrument Development role will involve interfacing with and setting up laboratory equipment, off-the-shelf & custom instruments/modules, and consumables. Additionally, looking for a background in mechanical engineering to support transferring learnings into new design and/or testing fixtures/instruments.  This member should be familiar with standard lab practices, have great attention to detail, and enjoy communicating and working in fast paced environment.

Role & Responsibilities

  • Lead front line instrumentation integration and testing to support internal R&D and cross-functional development teams
  • Work closely with internal teams to identify root cause and systemic design concerns to develop robust and reliable instrumentation
  • Support and provide system and interface engineering feedback while preforming necessary engineering design and development improvements
  • Organize and plan out activities for self or team to execute to meet individual, team, and company goals
  • Drive and execute platform, instrument, and subsystem reliability tests
  • Collect and analyze large data sets to interpret performance, root cause analyses, and/or characterizations
  • Contribute to overall instrument integration and platform development of its mechanical, electrical, motion, fluidic and thermal designs and development plans
  • Collaborate with partners, internal or external, on platform and/or subsystem designs and transfer to manufacture

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Hands-on hardware troubleshooting and root cause analyses ability
  • Demonstrated product development experience of uL/pL fluidic systems involving but not limited to, fluidic dispensing, motion stages, and thermal management
  • Advanced statistical analysis in excel, JMP, MiniTab, etc. preferred
  • Scripting analysis & programming in MATLAB, Python, R, or other comparable language
  • Familiarity with CAD (Solidworks) or similar and implementation of GDT practices
  • Familiarity with terms such as MTBF, cPK, FMEA, DOE for efficient phase gated product development
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to handle multiple tasks with different priorities
  • Experience troubleshooting electrical components (PCBA, cabling, etc.) and debugging software/FW issues a plus
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, dynamic environment and adjust to rapidly evolving technology


  • Minimum BS degree in Mechanical/Bioengineering or similar field
  • Minimum 5 years related work experience in a similar field required
  • Minimum 3 years working in a life science company
  • History of working in multidisciplinary field including biochemistry, biology, optics, mechanics, fluidics, electrical, and software
  • Familiarity with standard laboratory practices, workflows, and GMP

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