Sanergy R&D Supervisor Job in Kinanie, Kenya


Job Vacancy: R&D Supervisor

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 600 active Fresh Life Toilets run by over 300 Fresh Life Operators. We have collected and converted over 7,800 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.

Sanergy’s Kinanie site is in a stage of continuous improvement and will undergo scale-up throughout the next 2 years. This role is needed to supervise and coordinate the team running trials, and ultimately support the NTCO R&D team in improving the facility and process performance. Additionally, NTCO will be providing ramp-up support to the facility; this role will be part of that supporting function.

Key duties and responsibilities


  • Works with the R&D team to understand the trial set-up and requirements
  • Participates in pre-trial surveys and post-mortems
  • Responsible for coordinating resources to set up and execute trials requested by the R&D team
  • Executes trials as planned by the R&D team
  • Coordinates knockdown and clean up of trials after completion
  • Ensures issues identified at any phase of the trial are communicated quickly to the trial lead
  • Ensures 100% completion of quality checks and corrective actions
  • Addresses any urgent trial or R&D operational issues. Escalates these issues.

Data collection

  • Ensures team consistently and neatly collects data in hard copy
  • Reviews data for consistency and highlights data that is surprising, unusual or problematic to trial leads
  • Enter all the data collected daily in the respective online workbooks. Creates comments where data is unexpected.
  • Cleans and uploads, where appropriate, data logger datasets
  • Where appropriate, cleans data and ensures any dashboards are reflecting the new data accurately
  • Meticulously stores and organizes original raw data. Keep a record of all data collection sheets used for each trial/R&D project until a trial is concluded.
  • Ensures operational team’s qualitative observations are captured and escalated to trial leads
  • Print out and make available to the operators, all data collection sheets and work instructions for each trial/R&D project.
  • Train new employees on R&D sampling and measurement techniques.

Team management

  • Coordinates R&D operators in Kinanie to execute trials, maintain any long-running capability processes, and participate in ramp-up activities supported by NTCO
  • Develop weekly shift plans, ensure that monitoring of all planned trials is scheduled, all tasks are allocated standard time and 95% allocation of all the work hours.
  • Develop daily work plans and assign all planned tasks daily to the R&D operators.
  • Participates in evaluating team performance with R&D manager
  • Monitor employee work habits and ensure tasks are completed on time.
  • Communicates company updates to team and helps team understand new changes or company strategies
  • Communicates team concerns or questions to R&D manager and NTCO Process Lead (Colony Maintenance)
  • Instruct operators to follow safe work practices, ensure all team members are wearing protective equipment and follow safety and work instructions

Material and site management

  • Respond quickly and practically to emergencies or unexpected problems during the work shift.
  • Keep project owners and managers apprised of daily operations with 100% escalation on issues immediately they arise.
  • Report any issues identified in relation to Safety, any unsafe acts, and unsafe conditions or general maintenance. Act to temporarily address and fix any safety issues immediately.
  • Maintain R&D equipment inventory and arrange for equipment repair on-site by the Maintenance department. Responsible for all equipment owned by R&D in Kinanie, and preventing damage or theft thereof.
  • Ensures materials required for trials (especially long-running capability trials) are maintained to avoid stockouts – including water, feedstocks, reagents, disposable PPE and equipment – and communicates promptly when issues cannot be resolved
  • Attend all scheduled meetings and company functions (Pre-trial meetings, daily scrum, weekly meeting with manager, All Hands etc.)
  • Ensure all R&D work areas are kept clean and tidy.

Staff supervision responsibilities

  • Kinanie operator team.

Key Qualifications

  • 2+ years of experience in Research and Development
  • Experience in insect rearing will be an added advantage

To Apply

To apply, please submit HERE a cover letter clearly indicating your available start date (include notice period), your interest in this role, and your resume / CV that includes a list of three referees by 15th November, 2020.

Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and therefore applicants are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience.

Kindly indicate your salary expectations.

Please note the role will be based in Kinanie (Machakos).

Community Development, Economics and Statistics, NGO and UN
Updated: November 10, 2020 — 11:28 am