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Senior Controls and Automation Engineer

Charm Industrial

Charm Industrial

Software Engineering
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, October 14, 2023
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 Controls Automation Engineer, you play a pivotal role in designing and implementing control systems vital to enabling thousands of pyrolyzers as we scale-up.
This role involves primarily designing control systems to support unique test platforms built by Charm’s development team. You’ll collaborate with test engineers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers to conceptualize GUIs, validate new automation software, and support existing ones with new software features!
This position will be hands-on with PLC/HMI hardware, but will also involve supporting forward-looking architectural decisions, such as our transition into a SCADA system, facilitating fleet management of our systems as we grow. You’ll work as part of the controls team to modularize our software architecture into reusable codeblocks, improving our future design efficiency. You’ll be a great fit for this role if you enjoy challenges, technical leadership, and embracing design decisions.
This role reports to the Pyrotronics Lead 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!


  • Develop modular and scalable control systems that enable R&D platforms with a diverse range of sensors and actuators
  • Conceptualize, implement, and validate automation on our production systems, which reduce operator burden and accelerate our ability to scale effectively
  • 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
  • Support our transition into a supervisory control & data acquisition system designed to manage fleets of pyrolyzers


  • 4+ years developing control systems as a technical/engineering lead
  • Solid understanding of fieldbus and communication protocols including Ethernet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP, and OPC-UA
  • Hands-on experience configuring and troubleshooting control systems
  • Experience with various PLC/HMI/SCADA platforms
  • Proficient with IEC 61131-3 based languages including Structured Text, Function Block Diagram, and Ladder Logic
  • Solid understanding of object-oriented programming and application to industrial controls
  • Strong technical leadership skills amongst changing requirements & priorities
  • Proficient in the design of safety systems including safety relays, safety PLCs, E-Stops, and Safety Torque Off

Bonus (but not required):

  • Proficiency in using python for scripting
  • Experience with electrical design & schematics
  • Familiarity with Linux environment & SaaS tools
  • Prior experience in SCADA & data historians such as Ignition or OSI Pi
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.