JOB POSTING: R&D OFFICER
Company: EarthEnable Rwanda
Reports to: R&D Manager
Location: Nyamata, Rwanda – with significant time in rural villages
Compensation: Starts Modest, commensurate with experience, with a significant Performance-based basis
Contract Type: Open-ended To Apply:
Who We Are
At EarthEnable, we believe that our clients deserve our very best, that morning high-fives are the best way to start the day, and that the best ideas could come from any part of the company. We celebrate each other’s wins, learn from our setbacks, and are deeply proud of the impact we make every day. We believe that a clean, dust-free floor means more than living in a healthy home. It means pride and dignity in the place our customers most treasure: their homes. Being a part of our team means more than building floors: it means building an organization and building a better future for rural families.
What We Do
EarthEnable is transforming the way people live, by making homes healthier for families across rural Rwanda. 75% of Rwandans live in homes with dirt floors which are dusty, unsanitary, and fertile breeding grounds for parasites and germs. While replacing a dirt floor with concrete has significant health benefits (e.g. reducing diarrhea by 50% and parasitic infections by 80%), concrete is unaffordable for many who need it.
EarthEnable addresses this pressing and ubiquitous problem by selling high-quality, earthen floors that are 70% cheaper than concrete with 90% less embedded energy. Earthen floors are already prevalent in modern homes in the United States and are composed of natural materials (gravel, clay, sand, and laterite). EarthEnable trains and hires local masons to install the floors which are sealed using a proprietary drying oil that makes them waterproof, strong, and polished. In our first 4 years of operations, EarthEnable has installed over 60,000 square meters of flooring and employed over 100 Rwandese staff (and generated jobs and income for an additional 100 masons).
About the Role
This job is suitable for someone who is looking to gain exposure to all aspects of the financial and administrative side of running a business. The candidate must be a strong communicator as they will be liaising just as regularly with senior management as they will with our staff on the ground. This candidate should have an eye for detail as they will be responsible for the information that management ultimately uses to make strategic decisions.
The responsibilities of this role will include, but not be limited to:
Collaboration with District Team
- Visit district to collect data and understand their needs, innovation challenges to inform R&D research agenda
- Help the district team to develop a protocol of experiments and oversee execution to ensure they are being done accordingly and all learnings are documented and shared with other
- Meet with clients and analyze other sources of feedback and data to identify product failure and product improvement
Design and Implement Experiments
- Design experiments and develop detailed protocols
- Execute and document findings of experiments in a detailed and organized database, in case of unsuccessful experiments, document reasons for failure
Dissemination of New Ideas
- Disseminate successful experiment to implementation, establish a strong partnership with Quality Assurance, Construction, and another relevant department to ensure full integration of new innovation
- Work with the construction team to ensure any new learning or feedback from the field during dissemination or is proceeded into tasks in R&D workstream
Required qualifications & Key capabilities
- Field knowledge in engineering, soil science, construction or applied science (diploma or bachelor’s degree preferred)
- At least 2 years of experience in a similar role
- Willingness to touch Mud and work with mud
- Understanding of R&D processes like protocol development or planning experiments, e.g. through previous experience or education
- Excellent attention to detail
- Hard-working and committed to do whatever it takes to get work done
- Commitment to excellence and outstanding work ethic
- Ability to be creative, strategic, analytical, and think outside the box to solve problems
- Flexible and adaptable to changing environments; thrives in a bootstrapped culture
- An optimistic attitude, curiosity to learn new things
- Humble and patient team-player with a sense of humor
- Strong technology skills (e.g., Word, Excel, Salesforce, Google Docs, and Dropbox).
Women are encouraged to Apply.