We’re changing the world. Let us start with yours.
First Solar’s research and development (R&D) department seeks candidates who believe in our mission of providing cost-advantaged solar technology through innovation, customer engagement, industry leadership, and operational excellence.
Technology is among the strongest levers for driving the overall cost of solar energy. Through innovation in both areas of module and balance-of-systems (BoS), the R&D team is driving an innovative photovoltaic (PV) system roadmap that will create a compelling and differentiated product for our customers. By investing significantly in advanced semi-conductor research, the R&D team has revolutionized our core cadmium-telluride (CdTe) thin-film technology. With the help of our R&D team, First Solar will continue to introduce new innovative products and solutions to increase solar penetration into the global energy mix. By co-locating R&D with manufacturing, we are able to transition technological advancements in the lab into production quickly and efficiently.
The R&D team looks for individuals who enjoy contributing to an innovative, forward-thinking team, are effective problem solvers, data and results-driven and continuously look for ways to improve processes to help us lead the world’s sustainable energy future.
Design, model, prototype, and test non-conventional solar modules
Develop performance- and cost-optimized solutions that may involve module-level electronics (microinverters, embedded power optimizers, others)
Closely collaborate with senior development-engineering staff in the development of novel solar-module architectures and building of prototypes
Coordinate external development work with domestic and international (Europe, Asia) consultants, research and development organizations, and universities
Experience and Education
The level of the role will be commensurate with the education and experience of the selected candidate. The minimum qualifications to be considered are as follows:
Bachelor Degree in an engineering discipline like electrical engineering, applied physics, mechanical engineering, electronics engineering or similar technical discipline, with 5 years of technical work experience as an Engineer or 2 years as a Development Engineer I with First Solar
Master Degree in an engineering discipline or similar technical discipline, with 3 years of technical work experience as an Engineer or 2 years as a Development Engineer I with First Solar
PhD in an engineering discipline with 2 years of industrial work experience
Design and performance modeling (efficiency, energy yield) of solar modules
Design and/or implementation of module-level electronic solutions (microinverters, embedded power optimizers, others
Hands-on experience with testing solar modules (efficiency, hot-spot detection)
Advanced characterization of solar modules (optical and electrical characterization, infrared imaging)
Deep knowledge and understanding of electronic circuits
Expert circuit modeler (PSPICE and similar tools)
Hands-on experience with electronics for solar-photovoltaic devices (microinverters, embedded power optimizers, others)
Self-starter who can work independently
Excellent communication skills with internal and external partners and customers
Proven organizational skills
Knowledge of MS Office software
Essential Functions & Responsibilities
Design, modeling, testing of solar modules with or without embedded active electronics
Management of external research and development resources
Participate in international scientific and engineering conferences
May train, mentor, and manage junior associates
Comply with the company’s Environmental, Quality, Safety or any other policies that have been enforced
Frequent domestic and international travel required
Will sit, stand or walk short distances for up to the entire duration of a shift
Will climb stairs on an occasional basis
Will lift, push or pull up to 27 pounds on an occasional basis
Required to use hands to grasp, lift, handle, carry or feel objects on a frequent basis
20/40 vision in each eye, with or without correction, is required
Must be able to comply with all safety standards and procedures
May reach above shoulder heights and below the waist on a frequent basis
May stoop, kneel, or bend, on an occasional basis
Ability to wear personal protective equipment is required (including but not limited to: steel-toed shoes, gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, protective jacket or apron, and arm guards)
All associates working on the production floor may be required to wear a respirator at any given time and thus, the ability to wear a respirator is a condition of employment and continued employment (requires little or no facial hair)
Please note: potential candidates will meet the education and experience requirements provided on the above job description and excel in completing the listed responsibilities for this role. All candidates receiving an offer of employment must successfully complete a background check, pre-employment drug screen, and any other test that may be required for the role.
Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:
First Solar Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) that values and respects the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce. It is the policy of the company to recruit, hire, train and promote persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We recognize that diversity and inclusion are driving forces in the success of our company.