Dragon tamer (aka project engineer)

Job Details
Job type
Full Time
Boston Metro
Location (City)
Job category
Carbon Trading
Job intro


Takachar’s vision is to dramatically increase the amount of biomass (crop and forest residues) economically converted into useful products. Our impacts include income and job creation in rural areas, as well as mitigation of CO2 emission and air pollution associated with conventional open-air biomass residue burning. In North American West Coast, improved vegetation management of non-merchantable residues may also mitigate the risks of catastrophic wildfires. We are winners of Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Fellowship, Elon Musk’s XPRIZE Carbon Removal, and Prince William’s inaugural Earthshot Prize.

    Job Duties/Responsibilities


    You are a friendly and hardworking team player who is eager to take on new challenges with a background in an engineering field such as mechanical, electrical, civil, or computer science. With a strong mechanical aptitude, you enjoy a hands-on, highly dynamic role in a fast-paced environment that keeps you physically active and gets you outdoors (not stuck behind a desk 40 hours a week), be it rain, sun, or fog. 


    Mode A. Internal testing: We are currently testing a hardware prototype. Supervised by our Operations Manager, you will work alongside our 1-2 other junior project engineers on this effort. Think of this less as a rote operation but rather a directed hypothesis-driven scientific inquiry, where you and your project supervisor will critically evaluate your observations and the data at hand in order to plan the next steps to improve on the reactor prototype, the product, and the general operations based on scientific evidence. You will assist in:

    • Operating the equipment safely and continuously for a few hours a day under different operating conditions,
    • Collecting data for remote analysis by our analysts,
    • Arranging a steady supply of different types of biomass to ship to Richmond for our testing,
    • Working with remote programmers to load updates onto the programmable logic controller system,
    • Training other oncoming interns or co-ops on certain aspects of the job, including giving demonstrations and tours of the prototype to visitors as needed (under supervision),
    • Keeping an electronic laboratory notebook replete with all the observations and data collected during the day, and
    • Making iterative fabrications to improve the prototype at a Sonoma farm, including doing the fabrications yourself or interfacing with local metal fabricators.

    Mode B. Field demonstration: We will also be deploying this hardware equipment from our internal site to a forested landing in rural communities for further field testing. Many of these are prospective customers of ours. In the past, we have worked with electric utilities, forested landowners, and tribal nations managing their own forests. You will be:

    • Coordinating the logistics and coordination for moving this 500 lb hardware equipment in various components to this remote location,
    • Working alongside 1-2 other project engineers, as well as additional third-party timber harvesting or vegetation management crew from the forest on the procurement of biomass and processing of the output samples,
    • Operating the equipment safely and continuously for a few hours a day under different operating conditions,
    • Spending a part of your time working in a rural environment under resource-constrained settings, where there may not be electricity or even cellular phone coverage.

    Mode C. Independent Project: This is often regarded as the signature of Takachar’s co-op program. Even for our entry-level co-ops, we are not completely prescriptive in your work. There is significant scope for choose-your-own-adventure work within the company in the following way. On the days you are not needed for Mode A (generally 2 days/week), we will work with you to define your own independent project which you can own for the duration of your co-op which you can work on, either remotely at your home or on-site as needed. Our prototype relies on many facets of engineering to make it work, including mechanical parts, mechanical-electrical interface for the control system, the application of data science and machine learning to make sense of the data collected, and the simultaneously updates to our technoeconomic and lifecycle assessment models. We will work with you to find a facet of the project where your own personal learning interest intersects with an ongoing need in the prototyping process. Some past projects successfully carried out by co-op students include:

    • Designing an improved conveyance system on SolidWorks,
    • Implementing and testing an Arduino-based temperature alarm system,
    • Writing Python scripts to automate the processing of certain data collected from the reactor,
    • Performing an overall energy and mass balance of a drying system as it interfaces with the needs of our prospective client.

    During your employment, Modes A/C and B will alternate. When they do, it is about 50/50. Mode B (field demonstration), which usually happens in the summer/fall, will also take place in different sites normally in short sprints of 3 weeks or so, depending on our partners’ requirements.



    • Detail and safety oriented
    • Prior experience with machine/power tools (e.g. various drills, saws, lathes, etc.)
    • Comfortable working with basic metal fabrication equipment and techniques, including: Cutting, rolling, bending, and (optionally) welding.
    • Ability to advise and brainstorm with the team on the best and/or fastest fabrication solution to achieve a certain goal.
    • Committed to Inclusivity. We work with many disadvantaged communities such as First Nations; ability to engage well, learn, and listen to these communities is critical.



    • Prior experience with electronics (e.g. certified electrician)
    • Prior experience with hardware operations and logistics, especially fieldwork (e.g. landscaping, forestry, gardening, camping, etc.)
    • Comfort level with driving a pick-up truck (e.g. Ford E150/350) towing a load (e.g. trailer)

    We offer competitive salary, and depending on the context, relocation benefits. All interns receive career developement mentorship. 

    How to Apply

    Please send your resume and cover letter to info at takachar dot com. 

    Degree Requirement
    Contact Information
    Contact name
    Kevin Kung
    Contact email