Jobs: make your next move now

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HEAD OF BATTERY DEVELOPMENT

Location: Nordhausen, Germany

Hyperion Executive Search has been exclusively retained to recruit this exciting new opportunity for EAS Batteries GmbH.

The company

EAS Batteries is a German producer of high-quality, large cylindrical lithium-ion cells and batteries. The company has a manufacturing site in Nordhausen as well as offices in Hamburg and Frankfurt.

EAS is one of the only fully integrated lithium-ion battery manufacturers in Germany. EAS specialises in high-power battery solutions that help drive the transition to the decarbonisation of stationary and mobile energy applications.

This technology can address many niche high-power applications and meet the very high requirements for reliability and safety which many applications demand in areas such as aerospace, defence, marine and public transportation.

In June 2017, EAS Batteries became part of the Monbat AD Group. Monbat is listed on the Bulgarian stock exchange and is the largest battery producer in eastern Europe, specialising in lead-acid batteries.

It was established in 1958 and boasts a wealth of battery expertise and financial stability.

Monbat has invested significant funds into EAS, to upscale the existing production capacity, developing state-of-the-art facilities and commercialising newly developed cell technologies.

To support the expansion of the company and to prepare significant increases in capacity in a dynamically growing marketplace, EAS is now looking for a Head of Battery Development.

The role

EAS has built a strong reputation for high-quality lithium-ion cells. A key part of the company’s development is to provide full battery solutions.

The Head of Battery Development will play a crucial role in developing this new product range.

Responsibilities

  • Developing standard modules and standard batteries based on EAS cells
  • Developing battery production processes and upscaling capacity
  • Developing products for new applications and markets
  • Assembling and testing prototypes
  • Carrying out continuous improvements and updates to product lines
  • Supporting the company with customer advice and care regarding technical requirements
  • Liaising with the sales team and supporting the sales process
  • Leading and overseeing government-sponsored projects and development projects with European partners
  • Taking a leading role on battery safety
  • Representing the company at national and international fares

Experience and competencies

EAS is looking for a hands-on engineer to bring flexibility and new ideas to the company. EAS is a midsized company with a dedicated, entrepreneurial team.

Decisions can be made quickly and developments can be made at a speed not possible at larger organisations.

EAS is looking for a someone who is proactive, someone who understands what clients want and how to fulfil their requirements.

The Head of Battery Development needs to be passionate about new technologies, applications and markets, with:

  • A degree (Diploma or M.Sc.) in electrical engineering or a related subject
  • Extensive knowledge and hands-on experience of developing lithium-ion batteries
  • Knowledge of large high-voltage batteries: MWh scale, up to 1000V
  • Experience of high-voltage systems and high-voltage networks
  • Experience in the development and programming of battery management systems
  • Fluency in German and English, written and spoken
  • An entrepreneurial spirit
  • Great communication skills
  • A highly organised, motivated, self-starting attitude
  • Flexibility and the ability to manage multiple projects at once
  • Proactivity and initiative

The opportunity

This is a very important role with a dynamically growing, international enterprise.

You will have the freedom to develop a product portfolio in exciting niche applications, in areas including aviation, marine, defence and space, in fast-paced growing future markets.

With the recent investment from Monbat, EAS is at a very exciting time in its development, where it can take its technology to the next level. This will be driven by the Head of Battery Development.

If you are looking for a new challenge where you will have the autonomy to develop new battery solutions, this is the opportunity for you.

 

SENIOR CELL MANUFACTURING ENGINEER

Location: Sheffield, UK

Hyperion Executive Search has been exclusively retained to recruit this exciting new opportunity for Faradion Ltd.

The Company

Faradion is pioneering the next generation of advanced, low-cost battery materials.

These novel materials employ sodium-ion (Na-ion) technology which, when incorporated into batteries, will be virtually indistinguishable from the leading products currently on the market in terms of performance.

They will, however, be available at a fraction of the cost.

In addition to the significant cost reduction, these next-generation materials will also be manufactured using more sustainable materials, since sodium is far more abundant than lithium and its salts are easier to obtain.

By bringing low-cost, state-of-the-art Na-ion technology to the market, the Faradion team is accelerating the introduction of emerging technologies such as stationary storage (on and off grid) and electric vehicles.

With its headquarters at the Innovation Centre in Sheffield, Faradion has gathered a team of experts in the battery industry, with an impressive array of skills and experience.

The Role

Faradion is seeking a technical leader to focus on developing and qualifying advanced Na-ion-based rechargeable cell designs for market sampling.

You will also develop performance and test specifications, work to define cell designs that meet customer requirements and manage failure analysis and root cause investigations.

The senior cell manufacturing engineer will be a key team member in an aggressive R&D organisation, producing next-generation Na-ion cells for high-energy applications.

The successful applicant will develop, scale up and produce innovative cell designs based on state-of-the-art commercial and proprietary materials.

Specific activities will include creation of new cell designs, implementing designs of experiments for new cells and materials, overseeing cell builds and cell build scale-up, and evaluating cell test results.

Responsibilities

  • Transferring cell manufacturing technology from lab-scale to pilot-line and/or full manufacturing lines.
  • Providing engineering support to cell manufacturing teams, to resolve manufacturing process issues.
  • Assisting with engineering-level test builds together with quality and operations personnel at manufacturing facilities.
  • Optimising electrode coatings on pilot lines, including formulation, coat weight, density and porosity.
  • Planning, developing and executing design of experiments for fabrication and testing of Na-ion cells.
  • Working closely with R&D scientists to increase understanding of failure modes, performance and life expectancy of Na-ion cells.
  • Designing, developing, validating and analysing sodium-ion cell components, assemblies, specifications and the full suite of Phase Gate Process.
  • Providing feedback on cell performance to the teams responsible for selection, characterisation and validation of Na-ion cell materials and components.
  • Analysing statistical data for electrode and cell quality.
  • Analysing and evaluating chemical and electrochemical data to execute root-cause analysis.
  • Proposing cell-level design changes to optimise battery performance for different applications.
  • Working with external suppliers, vendors and academic institutions.
  • Developing and creating reports, comprehensive technical specifications, drawings and Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (DFMEA).
  • Understanding and adhering to programme timelines.
  • Traveling to manufacturing facilities and suppliers.

Experience and competencies

The position requires a self-starting, highly organised individual capable of identifying opportunities and taking responsibility for project implementation.

This individual will utilise a strong theoretical and working knowledge of cathode, anode, electrolyte and separator materials, as well as how these components work together to make a successful cell.

It is expected that the candidate will also be familiar with testing and analysis techniques used to characterise battery devices and materials.

Additionally, this candidate will need to be comfortable working within a product development environment, including experience with formal product development tools. You will have:

  • Extensive direct battery cell design and material development experience including process tracking and performance/safety characterisation, with an emphasis on lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery cells.
  • Familiarity with current state-of-the-art production processes applicable to lithium rechargeable cells.
  • Experience of technology scale-up, transferring for lab-scale to manufacturing.
  • Familiarity with applicable test equipment, test procedures, international standards and certified agency requirements applicable to rechargeable lithium battery products.
  • A Chemical or Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering or related field degree (PhD preferred).
  • Experience in working with external vendors and contractors to develop and qualify cells/battery designs.
  • Experience with applying quality tools (advanced product quality planning, 8D etc.) and their application to production of lithium batteries.
  • Resourcefulness, with strong attention to detail and excellent interaction skills, capable of rapidly integrating observations and results into subsequent development activities.
  • Excellent analytical skills, statistical analysis of performance, results, process capabilities, design of experiments (Minitab), statistical interpretation.
  • Experience with mathematical modelling of lithium-ion battery designs.
  • Competency in the DFMEA process.
  • Demonstrated expertise and success in development of products for large-volume production in a structured environment using Design for Six Sigma or advanced product quality planning methods.
  • Hands-on experience in developing technical specifications for components and assemblies.

For a full job description and a confidential conversation please apply or contact Ross Hoare at Hyperion Executive Search..

 

REGIONAL SALES MANAGER: DACH, ULTRACAPACITORS

Hyperion Executive Search Ltd has been retained to recruit this exceptional opportunity on behalf of Skeleton Technologies. 

The Company

Skeleton Technologies is the global leader in ultracapacitor-based energy storage. It delivers reliable solutions across industry for customers with needs for high power, high energy and long-lifetime energy storage.

Through the use of patented nano-porous carbide-derived carbon or ‘curved graphene’ it has achieved global breakthroughs in ultracapacitor performance.

Its ultracapacitors deliver twice the energy density and four times the power density offered by other manufacturers.

Its current customer base includes global engineering companies, the European Space Agency and several Tier 1 automotive manufacturers. Skeleton’s mission is to help people and companies save energy.

Its products can help significantly reduce the negative environmental impact of internal combustion engine vehicles by regenerative breaking and engine starting (start-stop systems).

Hybrid buses and locomotives have achieved up to 40% fuel and energy savings with an ultracapacitor-based system.

We are looking for a hands-on ‘hunting’ type of sales manager to build up our sales pipeline in order to meet our ambitious customer acquisition and revenue growth objectives.

Accountabilities

  • Develop and nurture key customer accounts in Germany, ensuring customer satisfaction and sustainability of the business.
  • Developing channel partner network for DACH, with a focus on system integrators in the field power and automation. 

Key Tasks

  • Develop and execute operational plan to achieve sales targets and to expand the company’s customer base in the region, e.g. a go-to-market/distribution operational plan including identifying best-of-class go-to-market partners and developing efficient systems/processes to manage the above go-to-market partnerships.
  • Own and hit/exceed annual sales targets through personal selling and the support of sales and application engineers from sales back-office.
  • Build and maintain up-to-date sales pipeline in Salesforce (CRM).
  • Partner with customers to understand their business needs and objectives and develop strong, long-lasting customer relationships.
  • Effectively communicate the value proposition through proposals and presentations.

Experience

Good fit:

  • Five years’ experience, with minimum three years as sales manager in energy storage or power electronics products’ sales.
  • Proven ability to drive sales process from plan to close, a track record of successfully acquiring new key accounts and markets, as well as building up channel partner networks.
  • Good understanding of hybrid energy storage systems. Powertrain/drivetrain experience. Basic technical know-how of machine building, industrial grid and/or automotive industry.
  • Ability to translate technical information into real customer advantages.
  • Demonstrable experience in developing client-focused, differentiated and achievable solutions; the prerequisite for this being ability to articulate the distinct aspects of products and services and position them against competitors.
  • An enthusiasm for growing a great company. Entrepreneurial by nature. Change and growth oriented.
  • First Degree in engineering preferred, but could be also degree from different fields, provided the person is technology savvy and has learned the specifics of energy storage/hybrid systems and technologies.
  • Native German, Fluent English.

Desirable:

  • Experience in ultracapacitor/rechargeable battery industry or energy storage product system integration/engineering field is highly desirable.
  • Alternative industries the candidate could come from: commercial vehicles, electric/hybrid bus, industrial grid, rail/locomotive, mobile work machines.

Why should you join?

  • Opportunity to introduce a new energy storage technology to the market and change the landscape of energy storage devices forever.
  • Develop further in sales and take responsibility for a business area or region.
  • Impact directly the success of the company and grow together with the business.
  • Competitive base gross annual salary.

Sales bonus applies: 5% to salary fund from each closed deal. No cap.

For a full job description and a confidential conversation please apply or contact David Hunt at Hyperion Executive Search..

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JUST THE JOB: By David Hunt, managing partner, Hyperion Executive Search
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HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF ENERGY-STORAGE READY

We all know that the solar industry, particularly in the UK, has lost a significant number of jobs in the last nine months. We also know that energy storage is the hottest of hot topics at present, and a sector predicted to see substantial growth.

However, as I’ve written before, the number of jobs available in the storage sector doesn’t come close to the number of solar jobs lost. Demand outstrips supply.

What is more, many of the jobs lost to solar do not lend themselves to transfer to the storage sector, for an obvious example think roofer.

Many skills and experiences learnt from solar in the last few years can, though, with thought, open doors to you for a career in the nascent energy storage market.

In fact, many of the placements we’ve made in the energy storage sector in the last year have moved excellent candidates from the solar market. Clearly, though, it’s going to be a competitive jobs market.

I get approached by many candidates from solar thinking that in itself makes them perfect for a job in storage.

Sadly, that’s not always enough: you will be competing for jobs with other candidates from solar and from other sectors; wind, grid services, building automation and power electronics to name a few.

So in this competitive market, what can you do to get ahead? Here are some tips.

  1. Research. It is a dynamic and broad industry, much more so than solar. Not only are there different scales (residential, commercial and utility), there are many differing technologies. Energy storage does not = batteries. Of course they are the dominant technology at play presently, though not by scale; that goes by a country mile to pumped hydro. So research and read to be sure you know more than the other candidates that you’ll be up against. Read about the technologies and case studies, but read about the market too. Who are the main players, who are the interesting start-ups, who is buying or investing in who?
  2. Think. Use your research to think of ways your previous experience can be most relevant to the energy storage sector. What scale best suits for starters. What qualifications do you have, who have been your main customers or contacts? When recruiting a hiring manager will want to see at least 70% of the skills and experience of their ‘ideal candidate’ in you. So if you are missing energy storage experience, how can you show you have the majority of the other 70% they want to see.
  3. Train. Look at possible training courses, particularly if you have a technical background. Can you add to or update existing qualifications? Are there online or Open University courses you can take advantage of? Take part in industry and manufacturer webinars. Energy storage will become a significant employer; it’s worth investing in your career now. In such a young market, starting now will already give you a big advantage over someone who starts in six months’ time.
  4. Network. Continue to build relationships with people in the whole clean energy sector, attend conferences, and join relevant LinkedIn or other online groups and forums. Keep in touch with former colleagues and employers, customers and suppliers. You just don’t know who will get the ‘break’ into storage first, and who might be able to open doors for you in the future.
  5. Take Care. Of course, if you are out of work it can be more difficult, but in any situation I always advise candidates to take care with their career. It’s a precious thing. Lottery or rich spouse aside, it’s the only thing that will pay your bills and feed your family. The better you treat your career, the better it will treat you. Before applying to a job do some research (again). Of course look into the company and its products and services, but look into the job description too, and the requirements. It’s good to be ambitious and to aim high, but remember that 70% rule. If you really don’t meet many of the criteria for a job don’t apply, you’ll just hack off the hiring manager, and they might just remember you for the wrong reasons when you apply for a job that you do meet the requirement of. Just because you can apply (usually with just one click) it doesn’t mean you should!

Hopefully you’ll find these useful, though as with most of the best advice in life, it’s just common sense.

And keep your options open, whilst 80% of our placements are currently in the storage sector, solar isn’t dead, and it will grow again, and there are many other clean energy technologies that might just be perfect for you.

Do your research… or did I mention that already?

DO YOU HAVE A CAREER OR A JOB?

Do you have a career or a job: a simple question? Perhaps not. Certainly it seems a question many people don’t seem to ask themselves, or maybe they’re just too busy to do so. It is an important distinction, though.

Neither is wrong or right. It’s what best suits you, as long as you are making the choice. The problem comes when you start out thinking you have a career… then, before you know it, you just have a job.

Having a job is fine, as long as you like that job or as long as it serves your purposes, pays the bills.

Maybe, for a variety of reasons, you just want to plod on: nothing too stressful, nothing too complicated, just a nice job that puts some money in your pocket and suits your life. Absolutely nothing wrong if that is your choice.

Time and again, though, I come across people who think they have career but they don’t. They have a job. And if they aren’t happy then they look for another job. And they call that a career. Changing job isn’t necessarily a ‘career move’.

Deal with new circumstances

Of course, there are times when situations dictate. If you’re made redundant, lose your driving licence, something changes and you just need another job to pay the bills and to suit or deal with the new circumstances.

But those times aside, how often do you think of, let alone plan, your career? A career is a journey, and like any journey you need a map, a plan, a destination in mind.

Like any journey, sometimes things change or the route ends up being different than expected, but you should always have the destination in mind and try to get there in the end.

The analogy works well: like a journey, your career needs to be planned and thought through if you are to be sure to get where you want to go, via the best and most efficient route.

Be realistic about timeframes: you can’t get from London to Madrid in half an hour, nor can you get from graduate trainee to CEO in two years.

Move on in the future

You may need to change companies along the way, you may need to get new skills, qualifications or experiences, and you may need to gain the experience you need to move on in future.

Most candidates we work with and place aren’t actively seeking a job. Most are aware of where they are, where they want to get to, and are open to opportunities that will help them to get there.

We work with our candidates as career coaches as much as search/recruitment consultants.

We take time to listen to your career plan, and often help consult and contribute towards that plan, and when the perfect opportunity comes up, we can help make it happen.

The perfect opportunity

Sometimes the perfect opportunity knocks at your door when you don’t expect it, or necessarily want it to, and sometimes it can take a long time to find.

We work with our candidates to define a career trajectory and then be on the look for those perfect opportunities, aware and comfortable that it may take week, a month, a year. So, have you got a career plan?

If not, you may want to sit down and have a think about what you want it to be, and how you want to get there.

If you are in the solar or renewables industry, our area of expertise, then we’d be happy to talk and see if we can help you on that journey.

 

Let us know what you think. Please leave a comment.