Portfolio Careers

Build the Circular Economy Together

Director, Research & Development - R&D



Mesa, AZ, USA
Posted on Friday, July 21, 2023

Do you want to be on the cutting edge of the clean energy/climate tech industry? Are you excited about the intersection of renewable energy and the circular economy? We are too. And that’s why we launched SOLARCYCLE, Inc, a tech-driven recycling platform designed to maximize solar sustainability. Our process takes end of life solar panels and dismantles them into individual components or materials.

About the role

We are seeking a proactive, seasoned, and experienced leader to join our recycling facility as the Director of R&D. As the head of the R&D activities in Arizona, you will report directly to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and play a crucial role in driving innovation and leading research projects focused on solar panel silicon recycling and CdTe panel recycling. This position requires expertise in both mechanical and chemical recycling processes. The ideal candidate will provide strategic direction, manage a team of engineers, and spearhead the development of our next-generation recycling lines.

Role responsibilities

  • Direct and oversee R&D projects related to solar CdTe panel recycling.
  • Direct and oversee R&D projects related to solar panel silicon recycling
  • Manage a team of 3 engineers (with potential growth to 6 engineers) and foster a collaborative and innovative research environment.
  • Define and execute the research roadmap aligned with the organization's goals and objectives.
  • Communicate research findings, project updates, and recommendations to senior management and stakeholders.
  • Participate in the writing of product disclosure documents to drive innovation and increase our patent portfolio.
  • Stay updated with the latest industry trends and emerging technologies relevant to solar panel recycling

Supervisory responsibilities

This position will have supervisory responsibilities over 3 – 6 or more engineers.

Education, Training, and Professional Experience

  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science, or a related field. A Ph.D. is desirable but not necessary.
  • Extensive experience (at least 8-10 years) in research and development, preferably in the field of recycling or sustainable technologies.
  • Strong background in both mechanical and chemical recycling processes, specifically in solar CdTe panel recycling.
  • Proven track record of successfully leading and managing R&D projects from conception to implementation.
  • Experience in managing a team of engineers, fostering their professional growth and development.
  • Proficient in laboratory-based research methodologies, instrumental analysis, and recovery methods using acids and recovery agents.
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to convey complex technical information to both technical and non-technical stakeholders.
  • Strong leadership abilities, with a strategic mindset and the ability to drive innovation and change.
  • Ability to adapt to a fast-paced and evolving environment.

Note: This position is based in Mesa, AZ, USA. Relocation to the Phoenix area or a willingness to relocate is required.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that applicants are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. If you think this role is for you but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right person for this role.

You will be working alongside a highly successful team who deliver amazing innovative work in the solar PV industry! The solar industry needs a global end-of-life partner to restore, renew and ultimately recycle yesterday’s solar panels for tomorrow’s clean energy projects. SOLARCYCLE aims to be the partner of choice for solar asset owners looking for a responsible solution to their end-of-life system needs.

Solar power is one of the most powerful tools humanity has in our fight against climate change. But for solar to truly scale to its full potential, we need to create renewable supply chains and a vibrant secondary market for upcycled panels and recycled materials. SOLARCYCLE was founded by experts and advocates in solar, climate and circular economy. Our investors come from the frontlines of the solar industry, including the founders of SolarCity, SunPower and Nextracker. This is the next frontier - ensuring a cleaner, more sustainable and domestic supply of the critical minerals needed for the next wave of solar. We exist to make clean energy massively scalable and even more sustainable by radically advancing recycling technology and infrastructure for the solar industry. If this resonates with you, we really want to meet you.

Equal employment opportunity

SOLARCYCLE is an equal employment opportunity employer and makes employment decisions, including but not limited to, hiring, firing, promotion, demotion, training, and/or compensation, on the basis of merit. Employment decisions are based on an individual's qualifications as they relate to the job under consideration. The Company's policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions, the actual sex of the individual, or the gender identity or gender expression), race, color, religion, including religious dress practices and religious grooming practices, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, familial status, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, protected veteran or military status, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local laws, ordinances, or regulations. The Company is committed to complying with all applicable laws providing equal employment opportunities. This commitment applies to all persons involved in the operations of the Company and prohibits unlawful discrimination by any employee of the Company, including supervisors and co-workers.