Job Opening

Automation Engineer

Emeryville, CA


Octant is a well-backed team (Series A led by a16z) of experienced scientists and entrepreneurs at the frontiers of biology, chemistry, and computation. We are a small molecule therapeutics company scaling drug discovery to navigate the complexity of human diseases using an integrated platform combining synthetic biology, genomics, computation and high-throughput chemistry.

Octant is an equal opportunity company that deeply values diversity, equity, and inclusion, and welcomes applicants of all backgrounds. We’re committed to growing the company with a diversity of talented individuals and our team is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment for everyone.

Job Description

We are seeking Octant's first Automation Engineer who wants to a build a world class drug discovery platform. As an automation engineer, you have experience designing, building, and maintaining fully integrated and standalone automation systems. As the first automation engineer, you will work across biology, platform, chemistry, and software teams to strategically identify where automation will have the highest impact across the company. While experience with mammalian cell-based assays is a plus, you've worked across a variety of automation systems and assay types and have developed a taste to implement the right solutions for the right problem. You are highly collaborative, love working in the lab, and take pride in producing high quality results. In addition, you thrive on getting things done, are eager to trouble-shoot random tasks that arise in startups, and can navigate the uncertainty of an ever-changing and fast-paced environment.

This job might be great for you if:
  • Have a bachelors degree in mechanical, chemical, or biological engineering or an equivalent amount of experience with robotics and laboratory automation. Prior experience with platform technologies and/or drug discovery is a plus.

  • Are excited to design and implement robust, creative, and scalable robotic methods to automate existing and novel workflows for scientific operations across the company.

  • Appreciate and understand taste for automation in a new startup given your experience with a broad set of instruments and data.

  • Have strong computer skills, experience in one or more programming languages, and experience with a variety of automation workstation control software. Previous experience interfacing automation with LIMS systems is a plus.

  • Build and manage relationships with vendors to purchase and service high-throughput equipment.

  • Think futuristically about how to design space and logistics of robotics systems and other automated equipment.

  • Have successfully transferred technologies from manual workflows into high-throughput systems, including requirements gathering, scripting, optimization, and testing.

  • Have a demonstrated record of working on and leading impactful projects

  • Thrive in a fast-paced, collaborative, team-oriented startup environment

For more information, please send a resume/CV and cover letter to and include “Automation Engineer” and your name in the email’s subject line.

In your email, please also share something you've been proud to build in your previous experience.

Medical, dental, & vision coverage with competitive compensation based on experience level.