Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Firmware Engineering Internship/Co-Op



Brisbane, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024

About Us

All across the world, from the azure pools of Turkey and Oman to the travertine terraces of Yellowstone, our planet quietly pulls carbon dioxide from the air and turns it to stone. For eons, Earth has relied on this process to balance its carbon cycle. What if it could be harnessed? What if we could do it faster, in larger quantities, and at a low enough cost to make it an effective tool in the fight against climate change?

At Heirloom, we are turning that into reality. We use the natural carbon capture properties of abundant minerals to pull CO2 from the air, and store it permanently underground. We come to work every day to slow climate change, and are united behind a single, common goal - to remove 1 billion tons of CO2 from the sky by 2035, and to not stop before we get there.

We bring together the precise recipe of science, technology, know-how, and strategy necessary to make low cost, high quality carbon removal a reality. If we’re successful, we will directly mitigate climate change, build a world we can proudly hand over to our children and grandchildren, and catalyze an industry that will rival the largest the world has ever seen. If you want to change the planet, come join us.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As temperatures continue to rise, individuals from marginalized communities will face the harshest impacts of climate change. We believe wholeheartedly that building a diverse company is critical to Heirloom’s success. To accomplish this, we’ve put recruiting, hiring and retaining individuals from underrepresented groups at the top of our priority list.

We encourage you to apply if you identify as Black, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Hispanic or Latino, LGBTQ+ – or with any other underrepresented group – even if you don’t tick all the boxes in the description below.

The Role

The Heirloom team is on a path to creating a sustainable, scalable, and economically viable carbon removal system.

Heirloom’s R&D spans from modeling and laboratory science, to device prototyping and site engineering. All of these facets combine to guide the success of Heirloom’s deployments. Much of this work requires custom and/ or remote embedded systems for device telemetry. This role supports cross functional teams in the deployment of microcontroller firmware for custom metrology and control systems.

A successful firmware engineering internship will observe the creation of new and efficient data structure systems or device modules that enable new capabilities and faster rates of learning at Heirloom.

The firmware engineering intern would own developing improvements to new or existing embedded hardware modules, firmware drivers, and/ or data structures that enable new capabilities on the technology team. There are a variety of projects the intern can own the development of based on interest and skill set. They would seek guidance and review from the software team and work in collaboration with the controls, mechanical prototyping, and research science teams.

What you will do:

  • Work on firmware for custom control and acquisition hardware that will be used in production and prototype carbon removal systems. Firmware may include classes, drivers, and state machines

  • Assist in component selection and PCB design for custom hardware

  • Develop efficient data structures for embedded systems and for use in larger company data architectures

  • Assist in device integration, calibration, and testing

  • Design experiments and test benches, collect data, and communicate experimental results through data visualizations and written reports

  • Present your work to larger audiences within Heirloom

  • Participate in team building activities with other interns from across the company

What you will bring

  • Working towards or recently completed a BA/BS or MS in Science/Engineering (Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics Engineering, Mechatronics, or Aerospace Engineering or other relevant degree)

  • 2+ year working with C++/ Atmel/ Arduino or equivalent microcontroller environments

  • 2+ year working with mixed signal acquisition or control systems

  • 1+ year working with IOT (wireless remote) embedded hardware

  • Capable debugging skills to produce functional microcontroller firmware

  • Experience working on multidisciplinary teams

  • Self-motivated and willing to learn and adapt in a fast-paced organization

  • Demonstrated ability to deliver results on time with high quality and attention to detail

  • Ability to understand the big picture and how many different pieces come together to make a functional system

  • Intuitive understanding of analog and/ or digital signal analysis

Bonus Points

  • Experience working in laboratory or industrial research environment, implementing acquisition systems

  • Experience with mixed signal electronics design, layout, fabrication, or analysis

  • Experience with power and battery management systems and system design

  • Experience with environmental sensing (i.e. particulate matter, gas analyzers, barometers, thermometers, humidity sensors, anemometers, accelerometers, acoustics, etc.)

  • Experience with Python, Go, and SQL

  • Experience developing server applications

You don’t have to have every listed requirement and skill to be a great fit - you may even teach us something about what we should be looking for! If you connect with our mission and this opportunity, and think you have the skills to succeed, please apply!

Our Principles

Radical Honesty means we are open, transparent, and inclusive in everything we do. We aren't scared to challenge each other, but bring clear motives and our best intentions when we do.

Persistent Optimism means we carry an infinite amount of optimistic energy with us on our journey, constantly chipping away at what may

seem insurmountable.

Maximize our learning rate means we're always in discovery mode. Compounding knowledge is our key to victory - we continuously hone our crafts, seek the fastest paths to new learning, and are quick to absorb new knowledge.

Why you should join Heirloom

  • We are solving the engineering problem of our generation. Climate change is an existential threat, and we need as many of the world’s motivated minds as possible to help. There is no greater challenge or opportunity than fighting climate change.

  • We have done this before. We’re engineers, scientists, and concerned humans from a variety of backgrounds and experiences who are pooling our knowledge and skills to collectively build a more equitable, prosperous future for all.

  • We are a united, resilient, and optimistic bunch. We are all here for the same reason - to slow climate change. We recognize the magnitude of the challenge ahead of us, and believe we can solve it. We can see a hopeful future where we eventually reverse climate change. It won’t be easy, but we won’t quit.

  • We are backed by the best climate partners in the world. We’re well funded by investors from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Ahren Innovation Capital, Carbon Direct, Microsoft, Lowercarbon Capital, ARPA-e and the National Science Foundation. Our early customers include Stripe, Shopify, and Klarna, and we’re building durable partnerships that enable us to tackle this decades-long problem.

Perks and Benefits

  • Robust health coverage. Excellent health, dental and vision insurance covered up to 100% by Heirloom. FSA option.

  • Generous parental leave. 16 weeks paid leave for all Heirloom employees, regardless of primary/secondary caregiver status.

  • Generous stock options.

  • Flexible time off. Unlimited PTO for exempt (salaried) employees & 80 hours for full time non-exempt (hourly) employees.

  • 401(k).

  • Stay healthy. Monthly health and wellness reimbursement.

  • Learn on the job. Robust annual education and conference budget, including airfare and hotel costs.