Hardware Engineer Job at Code for Africa

Code for Africa is the continent’s largest federation of independent civic technology and data journalism laboratories, which build digital democracy solutions giving citizens unfettered access to actionable information that empowers them to make informed decisions and that strengthen civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Position: Hardware Engineer

Job Location: Nigeria (Remote)
Employment Type: Full-time

About the Role

  • The successful candidate will join CfA’s sensors.AFRICA team as a Hardware Engineer to help shape its hardware choices and to lead development of new digital services.
  • The team currently consists of a senior strategist and mid-level hardware/software engineers who have successfully steered sensors.AFRICA through a series of proof-of-concept pilot projects deploying CfA’s own prototype low-cost sensors, as well as working with partners such as the Kenyan National Bureau for Statistics (KNBS) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to experiment with new ways to use air sensors to create actionable insights/data.
  • The success of these early projects has prompted CfA to expand the team, ahead of planned rollout of wider citizen-driven sensor networks in key African countries, as well as new research partnerships that will explore who to use low-cost sensors to give communities early warning for cholera outbreaks and other public health emergencies.
  • The expanded sensors.AFRICA team will be part of a multinational and multilingual team across the continent, and will be comfortable using digital collaboration tools to create open source software/hardware products for a global audience and international partners.
  • Applicants should possess knowledge of engineering principles and practices, and the fabrication processes (such as 3D printing) to turn designs into devices. Applicants should also be comfortable computing complex engineering calculations, quickly and accurately, while also performing detailed analysis of designs, specifications, and plans, and establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with collaborating partners both within CfA and outside of the organisation.

Your daily responsibilities will include:

  • Work collaboratively with CfAs team of engineers and data scientists in designing, constructing, installing, and operating ambient air quality and meteorological monitoring projects at partner locations throughout Africa
  • Writing, testing, and maintaining firmware in Arduino, C, and C++ languages and designing printed circuit boards using electronic CAD tools (Eagle) to come up with the Printed Circuit board layout, component placement and electrical connections
  • Working with fabrication partners to rapidly prototype PCBs and assembling the designed printed circuit boards as well as other components e.g housing to produce a finished product
  • Support office air, water, sound and other environmental  measurements functions including monitoring field operations, validating data, and reporting.
  • Improve and optimise the ongoing performance, scalability, and reliability of our hardware systems (and documentation) given the growing size of our sensor networks.
  • Ensure consistent and proactive calibration and maintenance for all deployed monitoring equipment, including innovative ways to support volunteer (non-technical) custodians of the equipment at schools, environmental organisations, etc
  • Developing documentation and operation manuals for all products you will work on
  • Training partners and other stakeholders on how to operate our line of sensor kits
  • Deploying, maintaining, and tracking sensor kits in the field
  • Data quality assurance for sensor kits that are deployed
  •  Participate in stakeholder consultations or internal strategic discussions, to help non-technical partners understand what is possible and now best to use the technologies to achieve actionable insights.

Required: minimum requirements include:

  • B.Sc / B.Eng in Electrical Engineers, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering or equivalent practical experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in electronics packaging mechanical design.
  • Demonstrated experience in electronic Design For Manufacturing (DFM) best practices.
  • Demonstrated experience in IoT, Low Power Electronic Design.
  • Experience reading and interpreting data sheets and electrical schematics.
  • Excellent command of electrical engineering fundamentals.
  • Demonstrated experience in revision control using Git and Git workflows.
  • Demonstrated experience in the Espressif MCU ecosystem and ARM-based microcontrollers.
  • Board documentation and liaison with the firmware development team
  • Experience in design of reusable libraries and SDKs is a plus.
  • Self starter with the ability to work effectively in teams across internal and external organisations and virtual teams.
  • Ability to design, prototype, validate, test and assemble printed circuit boards (PCBs) using electronic ECAD tools, preferably Autodesk Eagle and Fusion360.
  • Experience working on PCB post-manufacturing processes including circuit board reflow and soldering, and final testing.

Language and Location Requirements:

  • Location: CfA’s main sensors.AFRICA lab is located in Nairobi (Kenya), but CfA also has additional labs in Abuja (Nigeria), Cape Town or Johannesburg (South Africa), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and Lagos (Nigeria). The role can be performed remotely, and CfA will therefore consider exceptional applicants from across Africa.
  • Primary language: English
  • Preferred but not required: French, Amharic or Arabic.

What We Offer

  • A competitive salary, subject to experience, with opportunities for performance-based growth, both in terms of career path and public stature.
  • A dynamic workplace, with a transnational team, occasional international travel, and generous vacation benefits.
  • Ongoing opportunities to learn new cutting-edge skills and techniques/technologies to future-proof yourself in a rapidly evolving industry.
  • A chance to shine on a global stage, writing for international audiences and interacting with colleagues around the world.