Senior research and development manager

Job Summary

This role will be responsible for setting the R&D strategy as per the overarching technology pipeline strategy set by the Senior NTCO Manager.

  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Mid level
  • Experience Length: 5 years

Job Description

Our client is an award-winning social venture that builds healthy, prosperous communities by making hygienic sanitation accessible and affordable in Africa’s urban informal settlements. They currently seek a Senior Research and Development Manager who will work in our New Technology Commercialization (NTCO) Team. This team is responsible for ensuring the organisation is maximizing the value it is getting from the organic waste sources. 

This role will be responsible for setting the R&D strategy as per the overarching technology pipeline strategy set by the Senior NTCO Manager. This will include the prioritisation and tactical execution of research efforts, development of new and exciting technologies, supporting with troubleshooting in ramping and scaled operations and building the talent pipeline necessary to deliver on each of these.

The Senior R&D Manager is responsible for:
  1. Setting the tech pipeline strategy with the Senior NTCO Manager
  2. Formulate and execute the coherent plans for delivering this strategy
  3. Deliver improvement to the bottom line through gross margin and production cost reduction R&D-lead projects
  4. Take potential new products into pilot phase

The role comprises the following duties and responsibilities:
  • Accountable for the execution of the NTCO Technology Strategy
  • Build, plan, manage and coach the product workstream teams to:
    • Conduct broad literature search to identify and shortlist potential future technologies for feasibility assessment
    • Conduct desk research on shortlisted technologies to determine initial technical or economic feasibility
    • Conduct lab scale research to determine refined feasibility analysis
    • Conduct pilot scale research to determine feasibility of technology at larger scale and capability
    • Provide troubleshooting support to operational and sales teams
    • Create and maintain specifications and process performance targets for Production and Planning teams
    • Execute research that supports the continuous improvement of existing processes
  • Make recommendations at various technology "gates" to progress or kill potential products or processes

Skills and qualifications you’ll need  
  • An Engineering, Applied Science, or Science degree 
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in R&D roles, preferably in an industrial setting, with a track record of exceptional performance
  • Team management experience with an emphasis on developing team members through coaching and mentoring
  • Demonstrated ability to navigate ambiguity and comfort with continually adapting plans
  • Experience in a startup and a multicultural environment is highly desirable
  • Strong interpersonal, communication & presentation skills (verbal, written) and the ability to build effective internal and external client relationships. Should have the ability to exercise tact, courtesy, and judgment in working with all levels of staff. Successful candidates should be able to communicate to stakeholders when there are delays or setbacks, early.
  • Pleasant, energetic, confident, with a positive, can-do attitude, good work ethic, and professionalism. 
  • Demonstrated initiative in developing solutions to meet complex administrative/technical needs of a workgroup. Should have very strong organizational skills.

Qualities you’ll need to fit in well with the Org-Stars
  • A collaborative spirit that compels you to work beyond your team 
  • A desire to understand and serve customers 
  • A willingness to embrace diversity, integrity, and empathy 
  • An innovative approach to assessing and testing new ideas  
  • An enthusiasm to achieve set targets and improve yourself professionally

To Apply
To apply, please submit a cover letter clearly indicating your available start state (include notice period), your  resume/CV that includes a list of three referees and a Portfolio of all the projects done up to date. Kindly indicate your salary expectations. 

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