Engineering Operations Manager
Culver City, California - Full Time

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ABOUT THE NRG COSIA CARBON XPRIZE

The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE is a $20 million global competition to incentivize breakthroughs in the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into valuable products. The winning team will convert the most CO2 into products with the highest net value. The competition is now in the “semi-final” stage, during which 27 teams from six countries will demonstrate pilot-scale systems that convert CO2 into products.

The Carbon XPRIZE will prove to the world that energy innovation can enable solutions to climate change. By demonstrating breakthrough technologies that turn CO2 emissions into valuable products, the Carbon XPRIZE will catalyze the development of markets for CO2 mitigation technologies, and inspire other industries, governments, and educational institutions to take concrete positive action to combat climate change. In success, the competition will help shift the public sentiment to be more optimistic about climate change.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

The XPRIZE Foundation is seeking an experienced, creative, and skilled engineer, technologist, scientist, or technical manager to support and drive technical and operational aspects of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE.

The Engineering Operations Manager will support the project in all areas relating to the day-to-day scientific and engineering operations of the competition. This person will assume primary responsibility for managing and supporting workflows of key external contractors, building templates and tools to evaluate team performance and competition scores, and supporting the external judging panel in their deliberations and evaluation of team performance. The Engineering Operations Manager will also support the Domain Lead for Energy and Prize Manager in managing day to day competition operations, execution of the field tests and technology validation in the competition semi-finals and finals, working with external partners to oversee construction of test facilities in the competition finals, and managing updates and publication of the competition Rules and Regulations.

Experience designing and/or managing large technical programs that involve testing and evaluation in either a laboratory environment and under real-world conditions will be a significant asset.

Ideally, this person will have a strong background in the science and technology of energy systems, carbon management technologies, chemical or materials engineering, materials and manufacturing, clean energy, and/or related hardware development. This person does not need to be an expert in CO2 conversion. However, the ideal candidate should be comfortable acquiring knowledge relevant to the wide array of technologies and processes reflective of the competing teams. The Engineering and Operations Manager will be expected over time to develop subject matter expertise in all technical and science components of the Prize. S/he may be asked to represent the prize and XPRIZE Foundation at external events (e.g. technical conferences, panels, etc.).

GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES AT XPRIZE

XPRIZE is a cross-matrixed organization. This means that most staff members are shared across multiple projects at any given time, or move across projects as they evolve. While the Engineering Operations Manager will have a primary responsibility to the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, it is anticipated that in future there may be opportunities to contribute to the operations of other prize competitions, design and launch future XPRIZE competitions, and/or help drive XPRIZE impact programs. The ideal candidate will combine technical expertise and knowhow with creativity, people skills, and an ability and desire to learn new things and take on new projects.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • MSc, MEng or other advanced degree plus relevant experience
  • Two years’ minimum experience in some of the following areas:
    • Energy Systems
    • Environmental Technologies
    • Greenhouse gas technologies
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Materials Science
    • Materials Engineering
    • Data Management
    • Techno-Economic Analysis
    • Climate Science
    • Carbon Cycle
  • A general understanding of the energy, natural resources, and environment landscape, including the role of carbon emissions in that landscape, in North America and globally
  • Ability and desire to work across disciplines
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Experienced in working collaboratively with a wide variety of stakeholders from academia to government agencies and the private sector
  • Experience with written and verbal communications that may be technical in nature
  • Some experience with project or program management
  • Outstanding attention to detail

PERSONAL ABILITIES AND CHARACTERISTICS

  • Self-starter who takes the initiative to develop projects, completes tasks on time, solves roadblocks and addresses issues before they become problems
  • Collaborative approach and appreciation/enjoyment working as part of a team
  • A demonstrated ability to respect and support peers
  • Willingness to, from time to time, to go the extra mile to complete a project or support a colleague
  • Exceptional organizational abilities and aggressive attention to detail
  • Rigorous time management
  • Creative and enthusiastic approach
  • Prioritization skills and ability to multi-task
  • Personable and professional demeanor
  • Patience and flexibility
  • Incredible interpersonal skills and can-do attitude
  • Sense of humor and work-life balance
  • Belief that a small group of motivated individuals can truly change the world for the better
  • Willingness to think and act creatively

XPRIZE FOUNDATION

Founded in 1995, XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. The organization motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE conducts competitions in five Prize Groups: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE, the $7 million Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7 million Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5 million IBM Artificial Intelligence XPRIZE, the $1.75 million Water Abundance XPRIZE, and the $2 million Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, go to www.xprize.org.