Senior R&D Engineer

We are looking for an innovative, fast learning and experienced engineer who loves building and has a shared passion for bringing complex electromechanical systems to market and the biomanufacturing industry. Working across our engineering and biology teams at our brand new, independently owned R&D center you will help develop our bioproduction technologies within a commercially focused startup R&D environment.
Anticipated Start Date: as soon as possible
Closing Date: 24 February, 2023
Salary Band
: £50k - £65k
Contract: Full Time
Location: Sheffield, UK


Unicorn Biotechnologies is an early-stage, venture backed company, building autonomous, smart machines for complex cellular bioproduction. We are re-imagining the artisanal processes of mammalian cell culture to create linearly scalable, fully automated biomanufacturing solutions. Solving this bottleneck will both permit lab scale processes to be efficiently turned into production processes - a looming barrier to mass market entry - and remove the barriers to participate in the booming bioeconomy. We will play a key role in producing transformative products - from cultivated meat to next-gen therapeutics - tangibly improving human and planetary health.


You will play a senior and leading role in a growing engineering team whilst also designing, building, testing and developing novel bioproduction systems. This work is not a pure management role and will require a desire to roll up your sleeves and design, test and build systems daily. You will be directly involved in the entire product development cycle, from understanding user requirements through to delivering prototypes and ultimately manufacturable designs. The fast pace of a startup will mean that your day to day roles will be constantly changing and you will be expected to stretch your skillset to meet this need.
Key Responsibilities:
- Operational oversight of product development and engineering R&D projects (mechanical, electrical and software) including technical progress and regulatory compliance.
- Working on developing our overall mechanical and technical approaches and suggesting new directions for our R&D projects and collaborating with our biology team to facilitate interdisciplinary innovation.
- Prototyping designs in our workshop to rapidly test concepts, and coordinating  suppliers, manufacturing partners and consultants.


Commercially focused builders and do-ers who relish solving difficult, interdisciplinary technical challenges to create real value and impact.
Friendly, organized, efficient and enthusiastic individuals with a can-do attitude.
Collaborative, curious and communicative people who thrive as part of a tight knit but technically diverse team.
People from all backgrounds and walks of life who want to play an active role in creating a company, and a future, we are all proud to be a part of.


- Prior experience working in R&D between the scientific and engineering worlds, and the ability to create specifications from processes with a level of uncertainty and variation in inputs (aka cell biology).
- Demonstrable experience of developing electromechanical devices from customer specifications through to a manufactured product.
- CAD experience (SolidWorks preferable) and ability to perform hand calculations to determine solutions to engineering problems.
- Knowledge and experience working on complex fluid handling and/or thermal and mass transfer systems.
- Prior experience working with electrochemical sensors and electronics/embedded electronic systems.
- Knowledge of and desire to engage in rapid prototyping, including hands-on work (3D printing, thermoforming, CNC/machining).
- Previous DFM experience, including familiarity with thermoplastic (e.g. injection molding, extrusion) and metallurgical manufacturing techniques and knowledge of UK based manufacturing partners.
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively internally between biologists and engineers and with external suppliers and consultants.
- Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously (using Jira, Confluence, Notion or similar), and to keep accurate design records for regulatory compliance (e.g. ISO and CE marking).
- Prior experience working with mammalian cell culture, and/or mammalian cell culture bioproduction systems.
- Previous experience embedded in a cell culture laboratory, or a scientific research team.

While we consider applicants from any/all relevant backgrounds, it is likely that you will have an BEng/MEng/PhD in one of MechEng, Aerospace, ASCE, EEE or BioEng and/or have 5-10+ years of relevant industry experience.


Join a fast-moving transformative industry in a high growth environment. Opportunity to work on a variety of projects across the company  and to rapidly learn new skills.
We seek to empower, not restrict, and give ownership and significant input into key decisions.
Our networks are your networks. We will do everything to empower and promote the people that work with us.
You will be based in the UK's greenest city on the doorstep of the peak district with world-class hiking, biking, running, and climbing 15 minutes from our custom built, independently owned R&D center.
Competitive salary and stock option plan.

The Details

Sheffield, UK
Research & Development

About the Company

Unicorn Biotechnologies

Developing the next-generation of enabling stem cell biomanufacturing technologies.

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