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  • Roslin
  • fulltime
  • ₤33000 - ₤47000 per year

Job Title:  Engineering Lead
Salary: negotiable based on experience
Position type: Permanent
Location: Easter Bush Campus, Edinburgh
Starting Date: November 2019

Beta Bugs - making better insects.  

We’re an insect breeding company that is laying the foundation of a new, sustainable and rapidly growing bioindustry. Our vision is to be the company creating high-performance insect genetics that will feed, fuel and supply our world's growing livestock and human population. Our current focus is on the Black Soldier Fly and its use as an animal feed, with a mission of doubling this industry's productivity, so that it can truly compete on price against soya and fishmeal.

Summary of the main duties and responsibilities

This position is for a key role in Beta Bugs, enabling delivery of our Innovate UK Funded breeding programme, “Operation HiPer-Fly”, which will develop high-performance breeds of Black Soldier Fly in collaboration with our academic partner, the Roslin Institute, centre of excellence in animal genetics and breeding. 

This is an exciting opportunity for you to break new ground in an interface intersecting industrial insect production and quantitative genetics. You will be building full-stack systems that can measure and report on the performance of Beta Bugs lines; building the foundations of our company’s genetic engine. Your actions, and the systems you design and develop, will directly impact our product and it’s rate of genetic progress. As the company progresses you will have the opportunity to further your role alongside it, establishing, leading and growing the engineering team as we hone and automate our breeding and genetic engine.


Role related responsibilities

  • Design and assemble insect cages with our project partners.
  • Design, prototype and assemble new systems for measuring data relating to Beta Bugs lines.
  • Work with the Colony Team, especially the KPI Entomologist, to develop and refine the above systems.
  • Develop other systems according to company requirement and progression.
  • Sourcing, installing and testing new equipment.
  • Establishing the company workshop and/or sourcing suitable fabrication partners.
  • Skilled hands on work and problem solving are an essential part of the role.
  • Developing and operating within budgets for engineering-oriented projects.
  • Project management to ensure that HiPer-Fly delivers to schedule. 


  • Assist in other areas of the operation as required.

Key Qualifications and Skills

  • Trained to technical, graduate or postgraduate level in a relevant engineering discipline.
  • Must be diligent and organised, with project management abilities and a positive work ethic.
  • Have an attention to detail and be a completer-finisher.
  • Able to work independently and within a team
  • Good written English and oral communication skills and a diligent attitude
  • Competent in MS office.
  • Qualified in CAD and product design software for prototyping and fabrication.
  • Strong project management, organization and reporting skills.
  • Willingness to learn and adapt - as the company progresses you will have the opportunity to grow your role alongside it.

Key Experience

  • Proven successful delivery of small-scale engineering projects in the life sciences, food or feed, manufacturing, pharmaceutical or like industry.
  • Experience in designing full-stack solutions, from ideating to prototyping to developing is essential.
  • Experience in computer vision and imaging is a distinct advantage.
  • Knowledge of agricultural or life science engineering, with applications in plant and animal phenotyping is a distinct advantage. 
  • Project management experience is a distinct advantage.
  • Experience in managing out-sourced fabrication and manufacturing is desirable.
  • Experience in building and leading a team is desirable.


  • Shows initiative
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Strong and willing communicator
  • Ability to work in a team and independently
  • Self-motivated
  • Attention to detail
  • Be receptive to feedback
  • Motivated, self-directing, takes the lead and maintains it.
  • Independent.
  • Rapid learner, adaptable.
  • Thinks outside the box.


  • Ability to lift up to 25kg is helpful.
  • Preferably holds a driving license.
  • Open to travel - some travel may be required to meet with our technology partners

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