Volta Labs, Inc. (W19)
Biological automation as agile and scalable as digital electronics.

Senior Mechanical Engineer

Cambridge, MA
Full-time
About Volta Labs, Inc.

Volta Labs is a venture-backed startup spun off from the MIT Media Lab by co-founders Udayan Umapathi and Will Langford. We were incubated at the MIT Engine and are supported by top VC firms.

Volta’s vision is to make biological automation as agile, scalable and reliable as digital electronics. To realize this vision we are building a platform technology by engineering the full-stack -- hardware, software, chemistry, and biology.

About the role

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Volta Labs, Inc. (https://www.voltalabs.co) is an MIT spin-off company that makes programmable fluidic chips for biological automation. We are a transdisciplinary team combining engineering, computer science, chemistry and molecular biology to enable the next generation of automation for genomics and genetic engineering.

THE OPPORTUNITY 

We are in the process of gathering people with an interdisciplinary mindset to form the foundations of what will become the company over the next few years. You will come on board as an early member of the team and grow with our organization. We are building a complex software-hardware-biology system where systems-thinking and the ability to evaluate a problem from multiple perspectives is a must.

THE TEAM 

You’ll join a team where everyone—including you—is not afraid to go into unexplored territories across many fields to develop our automation system. We are an incredibly supportive team–we love to pitch in when problems arise and give great peer feedback to help each other grow. We are passionate about lots of things–automation, computation, genetic engineering, DNA sequencing, robotics, fabrication, industrial design, great user experience for customers–and we love sharing those passions with each other. You'll be a key driver of these values in our Cambridge office and play a big role in helping grow the team.

Job Responsibilities

  • Work across disciplines to rapidly design, test, and debug holistic system-level solutions for a complex hardware-software-biology instrument.
  • Lead projects to design, assemble, test, debug, document and implement reliable instrument hardware.
  • Characterize and study processes/systems including electromechanical, thermal, and fluidic systems.
  • Develop and maintain systems documentation.

Your Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or related engineering or physics degree.
  • 5+ years of engineering experience, especially in research & development environment.
  • Highly proficient in conceptualizing, designing, and analyzing mechanical assemblies in CAD (Solidworks, Fusion360) and in building in-house prototypes rapidly.
  • Excellent fundamental engineering knowledge and have examples of applied engineering success through work, projects, or academic endeavors.
  • Excel at bringing structure to unstructured problems: proven ability to research information, solve challenging problems, and coordinate projects under tight timing constraints.
  • Ability to collaborate in a fast-paced team environment with rapidly changing priorities: pro-active team player who thinks ahead, plans, and suggests solutions.
  • You are a continuous learner who embraces a growth mindset.
  • Strong leadership and communication skills with the ability to synthesize technical information and present it to specialists and non-specialists.

Nice to Have

  • Particularly skilled in and excited about areas of heat-transfer and thermo-fluid systems.
  • Experience transitioning complex electromechanical products from early concept into production.
  • Ability to perform basic FEA or other analyses focused on mechanical strength, heat transfer, and dynamic performance.
  • You have a successful track record working with cross-functional development teams.
  • Experience with computational tools for measurement and analysis (Python, Matlab) and familiarity with embedded programming (Arduino, AVR, ARM, STM)

Technology

Volta is building a agile, scalable and reliable automation for genomic and genetic engineering. Our technology stack can be broken up into three components: hardware, software and biochemistry.

The underlying hardware combines solid-state electronics with a proprietary surface coating to fundamentally reduce the complexity of basic liquid-handling operations and improve precision tremendously To build this complex stack of hardware:

  • our team collaborates on various fields of engineering including electrical, mechanical and surface chemistry
  • our system also involves engineering several robotic, fluidic and industrial components to enable a complete automation system

To enable this to be useful we are building a suite of solutions solutions:

  • a simple high-level software abstraction (no-code interface) that allows users with no specialized knowledge to configure and implement any new or existing biological workflow on Volta’s platform quickly
  • API for integration with other robotics and lab automation tools
  • ML / AI driven tools for workflow optimization and data visualization

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