Research Assistant or Engineering Technician: Off-grid Energy Access
The energy access team at the Schatz Energy Research Center is seeking a research assistant or engineering technician for the off-grid solar products testing laboratory and to assist with administrative and research tasks for our off-grid energy access team and the Lighting Global Quality Assurance program. This is a full-time, benefited position based in Arcata, CA. Applications are being accepted now through October 30th.
The Schatz Center’s off-grid solar and lighting laboratory research focuses on technical issues related to the performance and quality of modern off-grid solar products that are used by people living in off- or weak-grid areas of sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the wider developing world. These technologies play an important role in increasing energy access for the more than 1 billion people living without reliable grid electricity. The Schatz Center is also the technical lead for the Lighting Global Quality Assurance program, which provides third-party verification and market support for off-grid solar products.
Duties and responsibilities:
-Assist with communications to off-grid solar product manufacturers
-Review program documents, policies, reports, and spreadsheets
-Conduct data entry, data clean-up and analysis of program data
-Collaborate with other members of the Lighting Global team to contribute to programmatic decisions
-Help conduct performance tests for solar-powered products for off-grid applications
-Carry out instrument calibrations and technical tasks associated with ensuring the accuracy of laboratory test results
-Analyze test data and both write and review reports associated with laboratory activities
-Develop and review standard operating procedures (SOPs) for test methods
-Assist with desk research regarding quality standards and energy access
-Prepare quarterly programmatic monitoring and deliverables memos/reports
-Perform other tasks to assist the test lab and quality assurance program, as necessary
The activities of the selected applicant may vary depending on the person’s skills and experience. Additionally, this position may involve opportunities for international travel depending on the project’s budget and team needs.
-Eligible candidates should be PC literate and able to skillfully use Word and Excel, be detail-oriented, have excellent communication, writing, and organizational skills, and possess a technical background or interest to learn technical skills.
Desirable Qualifications (note that candidates are not expected to have qualifications in all of the listed areas):
-A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
-Excellent technical writing skills
-Ability to be creative and flexible to adapt to an ever-evolving program
-Customer service or professional online/phone communications experience
-Experience with research, data analysis, and/or policy development
-Experience with electronics design, fabrication, and/or testing
-Laboratory experience (laboratory measurements using electronic instrumentation, data analysis, record keeping, calibration, etc.)
-Experience with solar energy, rechargeable batteries, and/or efficient lighting systems
-Experience teaching or conducting technical trainings
-Experience working with an international team
-Ability to travel for extended periods up to 5 weeks, including internationally
-Experience with and knowledge of social issues in the developing world, particularly in Africa and Asia
-Language skills relevant to the work in Africa and Asia, such as French, Chinese, Swahili or Hindi
Please visit the Schatz Center website for additional information and full application instructions: http://schatzcenter.org/2019/09/job-raet-f19/