Fluidic Systems Engineer – Conservation X Labs

Conservation X Labs (CXL) is dedicated to addressing human-induced drivers of extinction through the development of breakthrough technologies. To build our work further, we are currently looking for an exceptional and enthusiastic team-player with a passion for conservation and technology to join our dynamic company and organization. The “X” in our name stands for both “Experimental” and “Exponential” – our mission is to harness exponential technologies, open innovation, and entrepreneurship to dramatically improve the efficacy, cost, speed, scale, and sustainability of conservation efforts to end human induced extinction. We are an optimistic, passionate, forward-looking, entrepreneurial, fun, and mission-oriented organization built to radically improve the way we find solutions for conservation’s biggest challenges.

We seek a brilliant and creative fluidic systems engineer to accelerate the development of a transformative new frugal product for empowering anyone to help protect biodiversity. The molecular sciences division of Conservation X Labs is developing a handheld, battery-powered tool that puts the power of a lab in the hands of any individual, enabling a rapid, automated test to validate the identity of a wildlife or food product. We are rapidly developing this tool and are planning to commercialize this product as independent, spin-out company of its own. The device will empower enforcement agents, conservation practitioners, and even citizen scientists to validate the identity of a species anywhere in the world.

We are rapidly scaling up this product and require extensive experience in microfluidics from a R&D perspective, while also considering manufacturing and scaling concerns. While expertise in microfluidics is a must, the ideal candidate will have experience in some or all of the following engineering disciplines: fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, embedded systems engineering including UI, IC, and sensor design. The ability to code in Python, C, and/or C++ is highly preferred as well.

This engineer will be a critical part of an interdisciplinary team that includes molecular and conservation scientists, engineers, computer scientists, entrepreneurs, communications professionals, and policy experts. This is an opportunity to make a huge difference in protecting threatened species while developing a breakthrough new solution that has significant commercial potential. We are focused on building products that are usable by anyone, anywhere and seek a dedicated, creative, and passionate engineer to join the team and supercharge product development.


We seek applicants who want to disrupt conservation in order to radically improve it. We are looking for those who have dared mighty things by trying a path that others have not chosen. We are looking for those who have failed, but have learned from failure and risk, and whose faces are marred by dust, sweat, and blood. We are looking for those who like to experiment, to make things, to hack things, to test things, and to break things (particularly dogmatic approaches to conservation). Finally, we are looking for hardworking people who will enthusiastically devote  their intellectual and creative energy to advance our mission, enjoy working on a team, are deeply entrepreneurial and self-motivated, and are nice.

The Fluidic Systems Engineer is responsible for the development of microfluidics components for robust analysis that are economical and mass-producible. This will include designing and building microfluidic solutions that integrate effectively with the molecular and physical characteristics of the product. Designing these solutions such that they will work in environments as diverse as a dock in Seattle or a wildlife market in Hong Kong is a key challenge of the work. An understanding of how to integrate microfluidic designs for specific reaction types and optical analysis will be crucial to the design and build of iterative prototypes. In addition, you will work
collaboratively on related aspects of product development including design for manufacture, user testing, and market analysis. You will also be available as an expert contributor to other hardware products Conservation X Labs is developing to reduce the drivers of species extinction and protect biodiversity. This position is based in Seattle, Washington, and will involve occasional travel to field testing sites as well as travel to conferences and the Conservation X Labs Headquarters in Washington DC. Salary is competitive and based on industry practice, experience, and salary history.

• Design and build automated microfluidic and mesofluidic solutions for biomolecule analysis
• Integrate the microfluidic and mesofluidic systems with other elements while considering robustness and ease-of-use for users in global environments
• Design all components for manufacture, specifically for cost-effective and highly scaleable production
• Develop methods to analyze and quantify performance and reliability
• Contribute to other engineering and molecular aspects of prototype design and testing
• Develop and manage external partnerships with researchers, consultants, contract manufacturers, users, and others to ensure the best resources are brought to bear in solution development
• Work collaboratively, in a high-paced, but friendly environment consisting of biologists, engineers, social scientists, entrepreneurs, and partners working to end human-induced extinction
• Document all research, designs, experiments, and data with our internal documentation system
• Present results and progress in a clear and concise manner, both in writing and orally

• Advanced degree plus 2-3 years experience preferred, and/or industry experience and demonstrated excellence in microfluidics or other relevant field
• Experience in designing for high-volume, low cost manufacture
• Ability to work creatively to solve multivariate, inter-dependent and inter-disciplinary problems
• Ability to work across engineering and scientific disciplines, in small teams with enthusiastic co-workers
• Understanding of diverse embedded systems and mechanical design required, the more experience in these systems the better
• Experience in multiple fields, including fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, embedded systems engineering including UI, IC, and sensor design
• Some experience in computer programming in Python, C, and/or C++ required, the more experience the better
• Excellent documentation skills and attention to detail for all research, designs, experiments, and data
• Ability to present results and progress in a clear and concise manner, both in writing and orally
• Friendly, curious, and passionate attitude towards teamwork and mission-driven product development.

Conservation X Labs applies technology, entrepreneurship, and open innovation to source, develop, and scale critical solutions to the underlying drivers of human-induced extinction, whether in conservation or other fields. Conservation X Labs takes an approach to conservation that is technology- and innovation-focused, market- and scale-driven, and interdisciplinary. We believe this approach – one that addresses the direct drivers of extinction rather than its symptoms, and one that takes a revolutionary over evolutionary approach – is the future of conservation, what we call Conservation 3.0. We source, develop, and scale new solutions through open innovation, directed engineering and technology development, product acceleration, and building the diverse community of solvers that will transform the field. Conservation X Labs operates as both a 501c3 non-profit organization and a B-corporation.

Please send a cover letter and resume to daremightythings@conservationxlabs.org with “Fluidics Systems Engineer – [Your Last Name]” in the Subject Line of the email.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until 5 pm PST, February 1st, 2019.

by engineers.
for everyone.

E4C Membership is a curated experience! When you become a member, we will tailor a unique user profile for you based on the way you engage with our content over time. Your actions and preferences will allow us to serve you content that is most relevant to you. In addition, becoming an E4C member grants you access to exclusive engagement opportunities and the E4C newsletter.

Join E4C and become a part of a global community that believes engineering can change the world!

Become a Member