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Senior R&D Engineer (Principal Investigator, Solar Calciner)



Other Engineering
Pasadena, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, September 1, 2023

Heliogen is a renewable energy technology company focused on decarbonizing industry and empowering a sustainable civilization. Powered by AI, computer vision, and robotics, Heliogen’s concentrating solar thermal solutions turn sunlight into heat, steam, power or green hydrogen fuel to help industries such as mining, cement, steel, and transportation transition to clean energy. For ambitious business and technology professionals seeking to have a meaningful impact on climate change and the health of humanity and our planet, Heliogen offers the opportunity to address global challenges through collaboration with a world-class, dynamic team of forward-thinking leaders.

About this role:

Developing a solar calciner for cement manufacturing by harnessing renewable energy technologies to drive sustainability and decarbonization of industrial processes. You aim to lead groundbreaking research and personally contribute to designing and optimizing innovative solar calciner systems that will revolutionize cement production. You will work to help Heliogen’s vision to create a greener future by integrating solar solutions into industrial processes and reducing the carbon footprint of the cement manufacturing sector. You will work with a dynamic team of scientists and engineers, fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment where individual contributions are valued and breakthrough discoveries are celebrated. You will have a meaningful impact on the global quest for sustainable energy solutions through your expertise in cement and ceramics, coupled with effective project management and grant administration skills.

In this role, you will:

  • Lead the research and development of a solar calciner system for cement manufacturing, focusing on mechanical and thermal equipment design suitable for harsh operating conditions.
  • Personally contribute to the solar calciner system's design, prototyping, testing, and optimization, ensuring efficiency, reliability, and safety.
  • Manage and administer Department of Energy grants, ensuring compliance with grant requirements, reporting deadlines, and budgetary guidelines.
  • Conduct in-depth literature reviews and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in solar technologies, cement manufacturing, and ceramics to inform project strategy and decision-making.
  • Develop and maintain research plans, project timelines, and budgets, ensuring the efficient utilization of resources and timely completion of project milestones.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including engineers, scientists, technicians, and external partners, to facilitate knowledge exchange, troubleshoot technical challenges, and drive project success.
  • Identify, evaluate, and establish partnerships with academic institutions, research organizations, and industry experts to leverage their expertise and resources to support the projects.
  • Foster a culture of safety, quality, and innovation within the research team, promoting best practices and ensuring adherence to application regulations and standards.
  • Analyze and interpret research data, prepare technical reports, and present findings to internal and external stakeholders, including DOE representatives and external conferences.
  • Particle transport Under development

What's essential:

  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Ceramics, or a related field.
  • Proven experience in cement manufacturing or ceramics, with a deep understanding of the processes and challenges associated with these industries.
  • Strong track record successfully managing Department of Energy grants, including grant applications, reporting, and compliance.
  • Excellent analytical, problem-solving, and data interpretation skills.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively collaborate with diverse stakeholders, including internal teams, industry partners, and government agencies.


  • Demonstrate expertise in solar technologies, preferably in industrial applications or thermal processes.
  • Proficiency in project management methodologies, with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines.
  • Familiarity with relevant regulations, standards, and environmental considerations in the cement manufacturing industry

Heliogen was created at Idealab, the leading technology incubator, and became a public company (NYSE: HLGN) in December 2021. For more information about Heliogen, please visit