Are you interested in joining a fast-moving start-up creating sustainable solutions to sub-Saharan Africa’s access to energy problems?
Do you have a background in renewable energy engineering and want to apply your skills and experience to a hands-on business development and operations role in the developing world?
Do you want to be part of creating an innovative business model to build and operate renewable energy infrastructure that will electrify rural areas at the base of the pyramid?
About Virunga Power
Virunga Power is a recently formed power company focused on creating a new model for generation and distribution of power in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa using scalable renewable technologies. Our goal is to develop a series of off-grid and grid-connected projects, beginning in East Africa. The primary focus of the company is to mobilize new forms of capital to create a sustainable, affordable, and profitable solution to the problem of access to modern energy in sub-Saharan Africa. Virunga Power is currently developing and will subsequently invest in and operate renewable generation projects of between 1 and 10 MW installed capacity across a number of technologies, but primarily focused on small hydro, biomass gasification, solar, and wind.
About the Role
The role of the Senior Engineer is to create on behalf of Virunga Power a process and organization for the technical planning and development of small-scale renewable power generation facilities and distribution grids throughout East Africa. As the first and most senior technical employee of the company, the Senior Engineer will be expected to fill a leadership role immediately upon joining and will become a key driver of the company’s growth and success. This is a position for an initiative-taking professional who is excited about the prospect of building an exciting business in a rapidly developing region. The successful candidate will also be driven by the potential for creating large-scale positive impact by electrifying rural areas and providing infrastructure solutions to encourage rapid economic development for rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Daily responsibilities will include technical review of potential projects and proposals, technology solution assessments and initial feasibility studies, assisting in creating Request for Quote (RFQ), Statements of Work (SOW), review of bid quotations, and assisting in strategic planning. The Senior Engineer will be responsible for the development and adherence to engineering standards and will serve as the primary liaison to all third party engineering, construction firms and equipment vendors. By nature of being a start-up company, the Senior Engineer will also be expected to contribute to the development of the projects backlog and support the general business needs of the company as needed. Travel to underdeveloped areas of East Africa, and elsewhere in the region and globally will be required.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
The ideal candidate would have the following skills and credentials:
Degree or Advanced Degree in mechanical and/or electrical engineering with concentration and interests in renewable energy power plant design, construction and power grid development
Relevant engineering professional certification required
Certified project manager professional (PMP) a plus
5-7+ years of renewable power project development (both design office and field) experience. Experience in developing countries a plus
A keen, demonstrated, career interest in developing country infrastructure is required
Knowledge of the engineered equipment needed for this type of development; marketplace vendors, pricing and component options
Effective organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize processes and schedules; develop sound project plans, conduct constructability, operability, maintainability reviews and juggle multiple assignments with competing deadlines
High level of intellectual curiosity with the ability to work independently in a self-directed, entrepreneurial environment
Ability to excel in a collaborative, technical, cross-functional and geographically diverse organization
Maturity, professionalism and excellent technical communication skills, both orally and in writing
Passionate about social development issues and sustainability and creating pragmatic solutions to challenges facing emerging economies
Demonstrated experience in creating and managing project schedules with Microsoft Project or a similar scheduling tool
Working knowledge of French, Kiswahili, or other local languages in East Africa a plus
This role would be well-suited for individuals who have developed skills in engineering and project management and are interested in applying them in a sustainable context to deliver both financial and social impact. We are looking for candidates that are interested in joining a firm innovating in the decentralized power space and mobilizing new forms of capital to alleviate poverty by providing access to modern energy in a reliable, sustainable, and profitable way. We ask applicants to please keep in mind that we are a start-up in a capital-intensive sector in the developing world. While we can offer a modest initial salary, we feel it is important for the successful applicant to share the longer-term goal of the company to create a market leader in African rural electrification. In return, we expect to be able to align the compensation of the Senior Engineer with the overall success of the business.
If you are interested and feel that you meet the criteria outlined above, please send a copy of your CV and brief note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.