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Prelude Ventures
Prelude Ventures

R&D Lab Manager/Lead Technician



San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Lightship is the first American all-electric recreational vehicle manufacturer currently developing an aerodynamic, battery-powered trailer for the electric age. As the macro transition to an all-electric transportation ecosystem accelerates, Lightship is bringing the increased convenience and superior performance that electrification offers to a pastime enjoyed by over 11 million American families.
Honoring Diverse Perspectives
Lightship is committed to hiring and developing top talent from diverse backgrounds. We believe representing and supporting diverse groups is key to the success of our team members, customers, shareholders and the achievement of our mission and vision. We operate in a collaborative environment with a flat organizational structure and expect a high degree of integrity, autonomy and creativity from all members of the team.
About the Role
Our lab manager will be responsible for running a safe, effective, and flexible R&D lab here in our SF facility. This includes managing a small team of technicians, ensuring the lab has all the needed safety gear, equipment, and tools needed to develop the technologies in the most advanced RV on the market. The lab manager will also have individual responsibilities to build, troubleshoot, and test hardware and software in the lab from vehicle, power systems, and controls engineering teams.


  • Manage and mentor a small team of technicians in an R&D lab environment
  • Fill the role of a site safety lead to ensure safe operation of the lab and the SF facility. Implement safety protocols, proper training, and precautionary activities to ensure the lab runs safely and smoothly.
  • Work with engineering and design leadership to set priorities for the lab and the technician team.
  • Create training and usage protocols for the lab to facilitate accessible and functional use for all members of the engineering and design staff
  • Maintain all tools and equipment in the lab and continue to acquire and install new equipment to increase lab capabilities
  • Support and coordinate the fabrication and assembly of engineering test assets, vehicle bucks and prototypes including electronics assemblies (wire harnesses, PCBAs, power distribution modules), thermal systems and control modules
  • Set up and run engineering experiments, including safety tests, characterization tests, and field tests
  • Support marketing activities by ensuring marketing vehicles are in functional condition
  • Maintain test assets (vehicles, bucks, mules and test rigs) and prepare them for testing, evaluation and demonstration. Travel (including occasional weekend travel) will be required at times
  • Help with troubleshooting and failure analysis of components
  • Instrument test articles with sensors and aid engineering with data acquisition
  • Support development vehicle builds and testing in our CO facility as needed

Prior Experience & Qualifications

  • 3+ years of experience as a lab manager and/or leading teams of technicians
  • 10+ yrs experience working as a technician in the automotive/EV, cleantech, or aerospace industries
  • Experience with data acquisition systems - Dewesoft is a plus
  • Experience creating test fixtures and instrumenting test articles with sensors such as accelerometers, thermocouples, electrical sensors, etc
  • Experience creating custom wire harnesses
  • Experience soldering and instrumenting circuit boards
  • Experience troubleshooting software, CAN messaging and calibration testing of control algorithms a plus
  • Experience with one or more of the following systems is required: batteries, power electronics, power distribution and switchgear, electric motors, gearboxes or solar arrays
  • Familiarity with 5S methodology a plus
  • Lightship compensation consists of the yearly salary above plus equity, which gives you a stake in the company.
Employee Benefits & Philosophy - Applies to Full Time
- Healthcare, Dental, Vision (full time only)
- 401k
- Unlimited Paid Time Off that we actually want you to use! 3-4 weeks is common at Lightship.
-12 weeks paid parental leave
- $2,000 per year towards an RV trip of your own, we call this a LightTrip (full time only)
Lightship offers all of its employees and their dependents full benefits including health, dental and vision insurance and covers 100% of the insurance premium. We are on a mission to create a more healthful all-electric experience for a pastime that millions of families enjoy and believe strongly that our team should not have to worry about quality healthcare for themselves or their loved ones along the way.
Onsite/Hybrid Work
Most roles at Lightship require onsite work from our offices Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, though some roles may require all days in office. Speak to the hiring manager to learn more.