Senior Director of R&D
Spire Global is a space-to-cloud analytics company that owns and operates the largest multi-purpose constellation of satellites. Its proprietary data and algorithms provide the most advanced maritime, aviation, and weather tracking in the world. In addition to its constellation, Spire’s data infrastructure includes a global ground station network and 24/7 operations that provide real-time global coverage of every point on Earth.
As Senior Director of R&D in Spire you will be responsible for the strategic R&D developments across the whole technical stack in Spire. Specifically, this role will drive long-term technology development, enabling future success and competitive advantages. The role is targeted mainly towards upstream technology developments (i.e. new spacecraft sensors, technologies, Earth observation techniques, etc.). We are looking for an experienced technology leader who is part technologist and part manager, to develop, own and drive Spire’s long-term technology roadmap.
Responsibilities of your role:
- Own Spire’s long-term technology roadmap, and drive the internal innovation cycle
- Manage the spin up of technology-specific teams, execution of projects, and spenddown or spinout/productization of said teams
- Manage the funnel of new technologies entering the company, and work with senior leadership and business owners to downselect the right technologies to pursue based on the business roadmaps
- Maintain a map of the industry detailing which cutting edge technologies in the fields Spire is active in might be relevant in the next 5 years
- Explore, evaluate and set up collaborations with external partners to develop and source technologies (e.g. academia, public organizations, startups etc.)
- Help secure internal and external funding for valuable projects
- Contribute to the technical aspects of proposals for bids, grants, tenders etc.
- Be an internal advisor on technology aspects, strategically supporting other areas of the business where needed
- Be an external technical point of contact for the company, representing Spire at conferences, events, etc. evangelising Spire’s technology prowess
- Maintain the budget this R&D group
- 10+ years of work experience in complex engineering projects
- 5+ years of experience managing complex engineering projects, major changes and initiatives.
- 5+ years of experience with “hard tech”/“deep tech”, including electromechanical systems (e.g. space, defense, vehicles, aircraft/drones, medical equipment, consumer electronics), measurement and sensors, software, algorithms, and AI/ML
- Experience recruiting, coaching and retaining high-performance and specialist technical teams
- A history with hands-on experience developing systems (e.g. systems design, CAD design, PCB design, software development etc.) at one point during the career
- Experience with project management of large interdisciplinary, multi-year projects
- Experience working with customers and external stakeholders (e.g. academia, public organizations, startups etc.)
- Experience with system architecture and systems engineering
- Comfortable with public speaking
- Comfortable with travel to visit Spire offices, partners, conferences, trade shows etc.
- Experience working with SMEs outside of their own field of expertise
- Can design from first principles, supports open-minded thinking
- Excellent communication, leadership, and strategic thinking abilities with a problem-solving aptitude.
- Previous experience as R&D director, VP Engineering, CTO or other senior leadership roles
- Experience in the aerospace sector, particularly in earth observation and satellite subsystem and sensor development
- Experience in geospatial data science and analysis (e.g. Earth observation systems, weather forecasting etc.)
- Experience with high-reliability systems in extreme environments (e.g. space, deep sea, desert, etc.)
- Experience with manufacturing of electromechanical systems, including supply chain management
- Background in radio communications, remote sensing, data science etc.
- Significant international and cross-cultural experience
Spire is Global and our success draws upon the diverse viewpoints, skills and experiences of our employees. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender identity or veteran status.
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