Senior Automation Engineer

Number of employees


San Francisco, CA, United States

Posted on: 2023-10-13

Category: renewables

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Employment type:

Full time

Experience required:



Salary not provided

About the company:

Charm Industrial is working to return the atmosphere to 280 ppm CO₂. We design, build and operate a fleet of mobile fast pyrolyzers that convert ag and forest biomass residues into bio-oil for use in carbon removal and direct-reduced-iron steelmaking.

In 2020 our Chief Scientist and co-founder Shaun Meehan had two breakthroughs (bio-oil intermediate and bio-oil sequestration) that kickstarted the company. Within 10 months we completed our first carbon removal injection and in 2021 we completed more than 5,000 tons of CO₂e removal for customers like Stripe, Shopify and Microsoft. 

About Charm

Our mission is to reverse climate change and return the atmosphere to 280 ppm CO₂, profitably. We convert waste biomass into carbon-rich bio-oil and inject it into permanent, underground storage as carbon removal, or reform the bio-oil to produce syngas for fossil-free steel.

Our carbon removal pathway took off in 2020 with initial purchases from customers like Stripe, Shopify & Microsoft. In 2021 and 2022 we delivered thousands of tons of carbon removal via off-the-shelf pathways, and also deployed our first R&D prototype pyrolyzer of our own. In the next 18 months, we'll build and deploy the next pyrolyzer revision, demonstrate our fossil-free ironmaking pilot, substantially expand our operations in Colorado and put thousands of tonnes of CO₂e underground.

We're looking to expand our team of ambitious creative and hands-on engineers, fabricators, operators, and forward-thinking humans. We value psychological safety and collaboration. We take calculated risks and don't sweep mistakes under the rug; instead, we pin them to the wall and learn from them. We value that everyone’s unique backgrounds and perspectives shape their work. We encourage you to read our company values.

Come help us reverse climate change. Gigatons or bust!

About the Role 

As a Senior Automation Engineer, you will play a pivotal role in designing and implementing automation features vital to supporting thousands of pyrolyzers as we scale-up. Charm’s development team is constantly building new systems and gaining insights which turn into requests for software features! You'll program these features into Codesys PLCs, and modify or design HMIs to interact with them. This role involves collaborating with test engineers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers to conceptualize and test the software changes you make.

This position will be hands-on with PLC hardware, but will also involve software development under our GitHub codebase, focused towards modularizing controls software into reusable codeblocks, which will reduce the burden on our future designs. You will also support our transition to a SCADA system, facilitating fleet management of our systems as we grow! As part of SCADA, you’ll take ownership of designing HMIs which operators will use to control our pyrolyzers.

This role reports to our Lead Controls Engineer under the development team! Join us and play a critical part in hitting our goal of gigatons of carbon removal and prevention of catastrophic climate effects!

What We Offer

· Stock options
· Health benefits (medical, dental, vision)
· Traditional and Roth 401(k)
· Paid time off, including parental leave
- A yearly professional development stipend
· Healthy snacks and lunches at a sweet workplace with lots of space inside and out
· A chance to pivot into a role in climate!

Visa Sponsorship Policy

Since we are a small startup, certain accommodations for visa sponsorship may not be within our capability. At this time, Charm Industrial is only sponsoring E3 and TN visas.

Our Commitment

Charm Industrial is an equal opportunity employer with a firm commitment to growing our team in an inclusive way, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, medical condition, age, or veteran status. The consequences of climate change inherently affect some more than others, and we need a diverse team to help us save our little planet most effectively & justly. We are excited about all of those who choose to apply, and for those who end up joining us, to see how you better us as a team and company. We are more than the sum of our parts.


  • As a senior engineer, you’ll play a critical role in supporting our ability to manage fleets of pyrolyzers!
  • Work closely with our development team to make software updates in support of new sensors and automation
  • You’ll conceptualize, implement, and validate automation software solutions, which reduce operator burden and accelerate our ability to scale effectively
  • You’ll own the design of intuitive Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs) tailored for frontline operators
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to pinpoint critical processes that inform the optimal user interface
  • Develop python scripts (amongst other optimizations) that streamline the design complexities of GUIs and control software across our diverse range of R&D machinery
  • Your work will shape the foundation of our controls & data acquisition infrastructure!
  • Requirements:

  • 4+ years experience programming Codesys PLCs in a similar industry
  • A strong understanding of protocols such as Modbus, E/IP, RS485 and OPC-UA
  • A history of designing & building HMI user interfaces
  • Practical experience using SCADA systems to bring-up industrial machines
  • Experience designing and deploying PLC software adhering to IEC61131-3 Standard
  • Programming skills in Python, C++, C, Structured Text (ST), Instruction List (IL), and Function Block Diagram (FBD)
  • Strong leadership skills for taking on fast-paced projects, amongst changing requirements & priorities
  • Demonstrated experience incorporating safety elements in PLC design
  • Bonus (but not required):

  • Experience with electrical design & schematics
  • Familiarity with Linux environment & SaaS tools
  • Prior experience with Ignition SCADA, especially within the Vision Module
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