Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Mechanical Technician

Natel Energy

Natel Energy

Software Engineering
Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 22, 2024

R&D Mechanical Technician

Natel Energy is seeking a creative, self-motivated, and problem-solving Mechanical Technician to join our team and assist in research and development activities related to fishsafe hydro turbine development. This role involves the fabrication, assembly, and operation of scale model hydro turbines and other test equipment, as well as participating in performance and fish passage testing operations. You will also help maintain a machine shop, aquaculture system, and warehouse space located in a historic hangar in Alameda, CA. The successful candidate will have a strong background as an engineering technician with hands-on experience in fabrication and assembly, be highly motivated and organized, have excellent communication skills, and excel at solving complex problems independently and as part of a team.


  • Fabricate and assemble innovative scale model hydro turbines and test equipment according to specifications and engineering drawings.

  • Conduct inspections and other quality control checks to ensure accuracy and functionality of components as well as assemblies and test systems.

  • Participate in equipment design cycles to provide design feedback for manufacturing, access, operations, and service. Propose and develop solutions that enable Natel to implement testing needs quickly and efficiently.

  • Collaborate with engineers to identify and resolve any fabrication, assembly, or operational issues as equipment is commissioned and operated.

  • Plan, stage, and participate in performance and R&D testing utilizing our laboratories and equipment.

  • Perform maintenance and repairs on existing hydro turbines and test apparatuses as needed.

  • Maintain and monitor an aquaculture system, ensuring proper functioning of pumps, filters, and other equipment; conduct regular water quality testing and implement necessary adjustments to maintain optimal conditions for aquatic organisms.

  • Maintain, troubleshoot, and upgrade machinery and other shop equipment.

  • Organize and maintain warehouse storage of equipment and supplies.

  • Ensure that Natel’s shop operations are conducted in a safe, efficient, and professional manner.

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • 2-5 yrs experience in mechanical fabrication, assembly, and testing operations in an R&D/prototyping environment.

  • Strong knowledge of mechanical principles and manufacturing processes, working with a multitude of materials, processes, and resources.

  • General knowledge and proficiency of mechanical and electrical shop equipment and tools.

  • Proficiency with manual machine tools (Mill, Lathe, drill press, etc.)

  • Strong safety mindset and contribution to building a healthy safety culture.

  • Excellent problem-solving skills and attention to detail.

  • Effective independent time management and organizational abilities.

  • Strong communication and teamwork skills. Ability to work closely with team mates spanning multiple disciplines.

Optional preferred skills:

  • CNC operation.

  • MIG/TIG welding.

  • CAD/CAM software (Siemens NX, Fusion 360).

  • Engineering Drawing Interpretation with a good understanding of GD&T.

  • Quality Assurance and part inspection.

  • Experience with forklift and crane operation, rigging, lifting and positioning of heavy equipment.

  • Experience in maintaining and operating aquaculture systems and caring for fish.

We are proud to offer great benefits like 4 weeks of paid vacation and trans-inclusive health insurance plans (along with dental, vision and life insurance). We want our team to live full lives outside of work. In addition to competitive salaries, we offer equity to new employees and other incentive compensation for overall team performance.

Starting pay for the successful applicant will depend on a variety of job-related factors, which may include job-related knowledge, skills, and experience.

Compensation range for on site CA applicants is $26-$46. This range may be modified in the future.


Alameda, California. We conduct business using technologies like Slack and video conferencing. We have an office and R&D facility in Alameda, CA, which is where many of our hardware team works in-person on a regular basis. We get together for occasional in-person gatherings to work, bond, and celebrate our successes.

Travel. As needed to provide support at field sites to maintain Natel Energy’s operating projects, though nearly all work is expected to take place at Natel’s Alameda facility.

Our hiring process

Natel Energy is committed to building, supporting, and growing a diverse team. We have a standardized interview process designed to reduce individual bias, and have structured pay scales to prevent inequity. We don’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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