Optimal

Senior Modelling and Control Engineer at Optimal

Rotterdam, Netherlands · Full Time

We are a collection of engineers and scientists from Oxford, MIT and DeepMind, on a mission to grow safer, healthier food by deploying fully autonomous indoor farms outside every city on earth. Backed by world-leading deep technology funds, including Founders Fund.

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Job Description

THE MISSION AND TEAM

We are a collection of engineers and scientists from Oxford, MIT and DeepMind, on a mission to grow safer, healthier food by deploying fully autonomous indoor farms outside every city on earth.

Our team includes a professor of control engineering, a research scientist who helped reduce the cooling bill of a Google data centre by 40%, and a farmer who started as a vegetable picker 40 years ago and now runs one of the most advanced indoor farming operations in the world.

We are backed by world-leading deep technology VC funds, including Founders Fund, who have backed companies such as SpaceX, Palantir and Square from the very start. We are well capitalised for the future having raised one of the largest seed rounds ever in Europe.

INDIVIDUAL MISSION

Our belief is that the next step-change in productivity for agriculture will come from the automatic control of large-scale greenhouses. We think that modern control methods can have a major impact on productivity, whilst minimising the energy inputs required to grow crops.

As a senior control engineer at Optimal you will be directly responsible for the production and performance of control algorithms running in the most advanced greenhouses in the world. You will be able to work closely with our research team, and contribute to combining control theory with machine learning in a principled way. Joining us at this early stage will allow you to have a meaningful and significant impact on the journey we take, the problems we tackle and the team we build.

This role is aimed at a senior engineer who is looking to step up and be on track to take on a technical lead role at a fast growing startup.

CORE RESPONSIBILITIES
- Develop models of dynamical systems suitable for MPC using a non-standard software stack i.e., not Matlab/Simulink
- Code up MPC algorithms that can run online in production scale greenhouses
- Design and build a software in the loop testing framework to stress test MPC algorithms across a range of scenarios and historical data
- Design and execute open loop tests (steps, ramps etc) on a production scale greenhouse to identify the dynamics of a system
- Critically review the properties of control algorithms e.g., carry out stability analysis, give convergence guarantees
- Build high-fidelity simulators of greenhouses e.g., including fluid dynamics, first principles models of actuators
- Implement Kalman filters to localise weather and smooth sensor data

Extra credit
- Strong publication record in relevant journals/conferences.
- Knowledge or willingness to learn machine learning approaches for time series modelling: GPs, RNNs, Bayesian NNs, etc., as well as techniques from reinforcement learning to complement your skills.

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What We're Building

We are a collection of engineers and scientists from Oxford, MIT and DeepMind, on a mission to grow safer, healthier food by deploying fully autonomous indoor farms outside every city on earth.

Our team includes a professor of control engineering, a research scientist who helped reduce the cooling bill of a Google data centre by 40%, and a farmer who started as a vegetable picker 40 years ago and now runs one of the most advanced indoor farming operations in the world.

We are backed by world-leading deep technology VC funds, including Founders Fund, who have backed companies such as SpaceX, Palantir and Square from the very start. We are well capitalised for the future having raised one of the largest seed rounds ever in Europe.

Other Jobs at Optimal

Optimal Team

David Hunter
Founder/CEO @Optimal. Deep Reinforcement Learning research @University of Oxford. Algorithmic trading @Deutsche Bank.
João Abrantes
CTO @Optimal. Machine Learning and Robotics research at @EPFL .
Richard Mason
Senior Engineer @ Optimal Labs. PhD in Engineering @University of Oxford . O. Hugo Schuck Prize Winner. YC Fellowship and Entrepreneur First alumni.
QIXUAN FENG
Engineer @ Optimal Labs, MSc in Computer Science from Oxford.

Optimal Investors

Philipp Moehring
Managing everything Europe (funds, syndicates) @AngelList. Investing in early stage tech companies in Europe. Connecting founders, investors & talent.
Nathan Benaich
Investing in intelligent systems.
Michael Orland
Currently: trying my hand at angel investing. Previously: CRO @Songkick, MBA @London Business School, PM @Rave Wireless, PM @Vindigo
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