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Systems Design Engineer III – Neural Dynamics

Department: Neural Dynamics - Engineering

Systems Design Engineer III – Neural Dynamics

The mission of the Allen Institute is to unlock the complexities of bioscience and advance our knowledge to improve human health. Using an open science, multi-scale, team-oriented approach, the Allen Institute focuses on accelerating foundational research, developing standards and models, and cultivating new ideas to make a broad, transformational impact on science.

The mission of the Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics is focused on fundamental discoveries in systems neuroscience. We are interested in how the brain builds our understanding of the complex world to guide the flexible behaviors that address our biological needs. The answers will be in terms of defined neuron types and circuits interacting across the whole brain and body. We will develop next-generation methods and theories and employ a team-based approach for discovery neuroscience. Knowledge, data, models and tools will be widely shared, in part to support the development of therapies for brain disorders. Knowledge, data, and tools will be widely shared, in part to support the development of therapies for brain disorders.

We are seeking a Systems Design Engineer to address challenges related to data acquisition, behavioral control, and automation in our experiments. The Systems Design Engineer will interface closely with scientists and other engineers to design, implement, and maintain the hardware, software, and firmware comprising these systems. The ideal candidate will be versatile across multiple disciplines, diligent about documentation and reproducibility, agile, and collaborative.

The Allen Institute believes that team science significantly benefits from the participation of diverse voices, experiences and backgrounds. High-quality science can only be produced when it includes different perspectives. We are committed to increasing diversity across every team and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this role.

Essential Functions

  • Design and manufacture data acquisition and control electronics for use in mouse behavior experiments
  • Develop firmware for microcontroller boards and drivers and control software for interfacing with hardware
  • Build and maintain multiple implementations of these systems across various experiments and configurations
  • Work with scientists and engineers to determine design specifications
  • Collaborate as part of an agile engineering team working to support instrumentation in Neural Dynamics
  • Facilitate efficient communication between scientific and administrative groups

Note: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This description reflects management’s assignment of essential functions; it does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, computer science, or computer engineering; or equivalent combination of degree and experience
  • 3 years of equivalent experience in the job

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Advanced Degree in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering or a related field
  • 3 - 5 years of professional experience designing embedded systems for behavior experiments
  • 3 - 5 years of professional experience with software development for experiment control / data acquisition
  • Fluency with open-source tools (Linux, KiCad, GNU ARM/AVR toolchain, Makefiles, Git, etc)
  • Interest in reproducible, open science
  • Proficiency with data analysis software (preferably Python)
  • Familiarity with agile, team-based engineering methodologies
  • Excellent documentation and communication skills

Work Environment

  • Frequently required to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, or reach
  • Possible exposure to chemical, biological, or other hazardous substances

Physical Demands

  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and lab equipment

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Occasional evening and weekend hours required
  • This role is currently working onsite and is expected to work onsite for the majority of working hours. The primary work location for this role is 615 Westlake Ave N., with flexibility to work remotely on a limited basis.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • In keeping with our focus on employee safety, all employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. All employees will be required to keep their vaccination status up to date according to CDC guidance and our policy.

Additional Comments

  • **Please note, this opportunity offers relocation assistance**
  • **Please note, this opportunity offers work visa sponsorship**

It is the policy of the Allen Institute to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Allen Institute will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.





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