Sanergy Research & Development Assistant Job in Kinanie, Machakos, Kenya

Job Title: Research & Development Assistant 
Contract type: One year fixed term contract

Start date: January 2017      

Location: Kinanie (Machakos)    

Sanergy is an award-winning social venture that builds healthy, prosperous communities by making hygienic sanitation accessible and affordable in Africa’s urban informal settlements. 


Our systems-based approach to solving the sanitation crisis involves five key steps: we build a dense network of low-cost, high-quality waterless sanitation facilities – called Fresh Life Toilets. 
We franchise the toilets to community residents, who run them as commercial toilets; landlords, who offer them as a value-added service to their tenants; and schools, to ensure children always have access to a safe sanitation option. 
We provide critical support services – such as access to finance, business analytics, training and aspirational marketing and branding. We collect the waste regularly and safely remove it from the community for treatment. 
We convert the waste into valuable end products, such as organic fertilizer and insect-based animal protein, which we sell to Kenyan farms.

We launched our first toilet in November 2011, and we now have a network of over 800 active Fresh Life Toilets run by over 400 Fresh Life Operators. 

We have collected and converted over 9,000 tons of waste. At the same time, we have built a team of over 250 people. For our work, we have been recognized by Fast Company as one of the 10 Most Innovative Companies in the World Doing Social Good and one of the 10 Best Companies in Africa.

Job Purpose Statement: Black Soldier Flies (BSF) larvae efficiently assimilate nutrients in biodegradable wastes (including fecal sludge) into insect biomass rich in high quality protein and lipids. 

Our focus over the next few months is the construction of a larger processing unit and increasing the size of our BSF colony in order to upscale production volumes while establishing optimized production methods.  

We are looking for an R&D Assistant on 12-month contract, supporting the BSF R&D team in testing new equipment and carrying out experiments to address bottle necks and challenges faced in our insect production facility in Kinanie.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Working closely with the BSF production team, analyzing production data, identifying and prioritizing bottlenecks in production, and developing potential solutions
  • Conduct literature reviews and compile relevant references for assigned research projects and related topics
  • Develop research protocols for laboratory and field experiments for feedstock testing, optimization of egg production, hatching and larvae yield
  • Collaborate closely with BSF production team, incorporating feedback into experimental design and provide clear instructions and training on field experiments
  • Follow all safety policies and ensure that the required level of occupational health and safety is observed while conducting experiments
  • Provide reports and regular progress update on experiments following the standard reporting template including data analysis, interpretation and recommendations
  • Take samples and conduct routine laboratory analysis (i.e. moisture, pH, EC, microscopic images) for feedstock, insect samples and end products
  • Record data, follow up on field data collection, laboratory results as well as external results.
  • Carry out data entry and analysis, update relevant data sheets accordingly and share results with all relevant stakeholders
  • Close collaboration within BSF team, across teams and with external stakeholders during site visits and research projects
  • Attend all scheduled meetings and company functions as required
  • Undertake other assigned duties and projects as required
Job Requirements
  • Minimum of Second Class Upper Division Bachelor’s Degree in Entomology, Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences or equivalent from a recognized university
  • Proficient in all Microsoft Office Applications.
  • Basic laboratory skills.
  • Knowledge on HACCP, six sigma and DOE will be considered an advantage
  • Experience in lab work and conducting research projects; an added advantage
  • Experience in insect rearing is an advantage.
  • Demonstrated capacity for self-organization.
  • Innovative, great interpersonal skills, team player and able to work with minimum supervision.
  • Detail oriented and strong in analytical thinking.      
  • Willing to work in remote area.        
More qualitatively, we are looking for someone who has the desire to take on a new challenge in a pioneering context.  
We believe that we are on the cusp of transformative change and we seek people who believe their knowledge and skills will bring about that change. 
How to Apply
CLICK HERE to apply online

Application Deadline: 15th December, 2016

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