VP of R&D Engineering at ESS
Wilsonville, OR, US

At ESS (NYSE: GWH), our mission is to accelerate global decarbonization by providing safe, sustainable, long-duration energy storage that powers people, communities, and businesses with clean, renewable energy anytime and anywhere it’s needed. As more renewable energy is added to the grid, long- duration energy storage is essential to providing the reliability and resiliency we need when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. 

Our technology uses earth-abundant iron, salt, and water to deliver environmentally safe solutions capable of providing up to 12 hours of flexible energy capacity for commercial and utility-scale energy storage applications. Established in 2011, ESS Inc. enables project developers, independent power producers, utilities, and other large energy users to deploy reliable, sustainable long-duration energy storage solutions. For more information visit www.essinc.com. 

ESS is seeking a VP of R&D Engineering to lead cross-functional engineering disciplines (chemical, mechanical, electrical and control engineering) to develop and evolve breakthrough performance in long-duration energy storage. In this role, you will facilitate core technology development leading to the creation of world-class performance, set engineering direction and create a disciplined approach for the development of new products and improvements and/or maintenance of existing products. 

You will work hand-in-hand with the founding CTO of the Company, learning the deep tech that has established ESS as the leader in long-duration storage. You’ll help lead teams and establish a vision, taking the product to the next level. 

The ideal candidate will have a passion for sustainability and the environment, will thrive in a fast-paced entrepreneurial setting, be self-motivated and have an interest in disruptive, cutting-edge technology. 

This position involves close interaction with numerous product engineering and operations disciplines. Applicant must be comfortable working in a team environment that is fast paced and dynamic. A strong commitment to quality and continuous improvement is required. 

What you’ll do at ESS:

  • Lead the R & D engineering team to develop large energy storage systems based on IFB technology that meet and exceed market requirements for performance, quality, cost, and manufacturability.
  • Recruit, retain, mentor, and develop a talented, high-performance technical development organization (including chemical, mechanical, electrical and materials) with design authority.
  • Responsible for leading the development of a long-term technical roadmap that pushes the limits of performance and commercial viability, including a disciplined stage-gate approach to ensure maximum return on investment for the organization. 
  • Support product engineering and operations functions in addressing product challenges, including testing, and qualifying new materials, processes, techniques, and designs to ensure the company’s continued market leadership.
  • Partner with Product Managers to ensure alignment with emerging market requirements and competitive risks.
  • Partner with Program Managers to ensure roadmaps are clearly defined, tracked, and measured.
  • Develop and manage the R&D budget, including hiring, operating expenses, and capital outlays in support of research and development projects. 
  • Provide technical analysis and recommendations to executive leadership. 


What you need to succeed:

  • MS degree (required), but ideally a PhD in Electro-chemistry engineering.
  • 15 years of experience in research, development, or product development, including at least 5 years in a management role.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of engineering principles and experienced in technical analysis, technical writing, and complex problem solving.
  • Hands on experience with Flow Batteries, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Electrolyzers, and related technologies.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading a complex and multidisciplinary technical development organization.
  • Demonstrated experience in successfully developing large complex industrial products in a fully commercialized environment (not just labs and prototypes).
  • Demonstrated experience in engineering process and documentation management.
  • Demonstrated experience in interfacing with Operation and Manufacturing organizations during new-product technologies introduction and scale to manufacturing process.
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced, collaborative work environment. 
  • Strong communication and presentation skills, affable, with demonstrated maturity and professionalism.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment, manage the vision, think strategically, plan, organize, innovate, and analyze complex data and situations. 
  • Must be highly skilled leading teams while able to clearly convey the vision, motivate employees, create effective teams, and build peer relationships. 
  • Ability to clearly assess, articulate, and manage risk with a sense of urgency to meet product requirements on schedule and on budget. 
  • Must have the ability to see the big picture, prepare contingency plans, and ensure execution of plans through effective organizational awareness and communication.


Benefits of working at ESS.

In addition to the value of working with and helping grow a global reaching clean technology, ESS offers Company assisted medical, dental and vision, 401k with Company match, Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), unlimited PTO, and 8 paid holidays.

As an equal opportunity employer, we are open to considering every qualified candidate who is eligible and legally authorized to work in the United States on a full or part-time basis, without need for sponsorship.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.