Mechanical Design Engineer

Mechanical Design/Engineering Pasadena, California

Position at Heliogen

The Company:

Heliogen creates solar power solutions to sustainably empower civilization. We use innovative mechanical, electrical, and algorithmic designs to concentrate the sun’s energy and apply that energy to generate electrical power, provide industrial process heat, and drive thermochemical reactions.

Position Purpose:

The Mechanical Design Engineer will be responsible for equipment design, fabrication, installation, and optimization to support a variety of solar-driven processes.  Examples of custom equipment will include solar receivers, thermochemical reactors, heat exchangers, and thermal energy storage systems. Beginning in the conceptual phase, the Mechanical Design Engineer will evaluate equipment designs to select the most promising candidates for prototyping and on-sun testing. They will support equipment design and optimization through small-scale laboratory experiments, medium-scale on-sun demonstrations at Heliogen’s Lancaster, CA solar test site, and large-scale commercial deployments.

Key Position Accountabilities:

  • Structural analysis – Carefully analyze structural requirements for solar receivers, thermochemical reactors, ducting, material handling equipment, and packed bed vessels
  • Thermal analysis – Consider heat transfer, material properties, and service limits in the design of equipment exposed to high temperature and thermal cycling
  • Materials of construction selection – Consider service conditions for the selection of metal alloys and refractory ceramic materials to meet performance requirements
  • Mechanical design – Support the analysis and design of custom equipment like solar receivers, energy storage vessels, heat exchangers, and thermochemical reactors.  Designs should be effective for fabrication methods such as welding, machining, and forming of metals from plates, sheets, and common structural steel shapes
  • Fabrication – Support the documentation and fabrication of custom equipment using both in-house and vendor resources.
  • Test support – Interface with other scientists, engineers, and field personnel to support the execution of on-sun testing, validating test results against process analysis and simulations
  • Equipment performance and process optimization – Integrate test data analysis into design iterations as equipment is scaled up, optimizing for performance, capital cost, and operating cost


  • BS, MS, or PhD in Mechanical Engineering with minimum of 5 years work experience that includes hands-on equipment design and fabrication, installation in plant environments, and performance testing.
  • Significant experience in mechanical design and analysis, using both hand-calculation and software such as SolidWorks and Ansys
  • Extensive SolidWorks experience of 3 or more years
  • Experience with analyzing and designing gas and liquid fluid handling systems
  • Familiarity with technology development beginning with small-scale prototyping and scaling-up for both manufacturability and increased production capacity
  • Passion for startup company style, hands-on, and engaging with work to get the job done
  • Strong organizational ability, including formulation of project goals, deliverables, and timeline for execution
  • Familiarity with hazard analysis in the context of industrial process safety

Desirable Experiences:

  • Hands-on laboratory experience
  • Using thermodynamics and transport analysis fundamentals to study problems in fluid mechanics and heat transfer
  • Equipment design for applications involving extreme conditions – high temperatures, high pressures, and corrosive fluids.  Examples may include kilns, foundries, gasifiers, pyrolyzers, hydrocarbon reformers, burner systems, boilers, and pressure vessels
  • Vendor management, including equipment suppliers, raw material suppliers, fabricators and construction contractors
  • Experience with high temperature materials, including high-nickel alloys and ceramics
  • Familiarity with ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel and Piping codes
  • Familiarity with domestic and international building codes

Heliogen, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.