Machine Learning Engineer, Satellite Coalition

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    commented on Machine Learning Engineer, Satellite Coalition 2020-03-06 17:51:06 -0500

    As our Machine Learning Engineer, you’ll be the second member of a team tasked with estimating power plant emissions around the globe. This radical project is part of the Google AI Impact Challenge, a prestigious, action-oriented collaboration between Google AI,, WattTime, and other notable partners. The impact of this work has already caught the attention of Bloomberg, CleanTechnica, Grist and Vox.

    It’s well known that fossil fuel emissions are the largest single driver of climate change, but less talked about are the millions of deaths each year from air pollution exposure. Although a few wealthy countries today currently track emissions with expensive continuous emissions monitoring systems, the vast majority of power plants worldwide are not continuously tracked, complicating environmental regulation and making advanced GHG control techniques impossible.

    Our solution will combine different types of satellite imagery, as well as atmospheric chemistry datasets and real-time grid operations to replace expensive, on-site power plant sensors with a global monitoring platform. With significant amounts of pollution going unreported, this work will combine a variety of different inputs, ML algorithms and AI techniques into a single project; satellite images will provide “eyes in the sky” to help ensure that power plant emissions have nowhere to hide.

    The project is significantly underway: we have completed a proof of concept, established a working relationship with our incredible partners, and engaged in user outreach. Nonetheless, this role will require an entrepreneurial mindset in addition to world-class ML and AI expertise.


    Build and maintain an AI framework that estimates power plant emissions and is built on AI principles such as deep neural networks to understand a combination of inputs including satellite imagery, atmospheric chemistry datasets and real-time grid operations.
    Collaborate and solve problems with a diverse team of analysts, engineers and project managers from WattTime, Google and partners.
    Execute sound judgement and critical thinking.


    WattTime headquarters in Oakland, CA. Remote location available for this role.
    Work hours must be compatible with a mix of U.S. timezones and GMT.


    BS and MS in engineering, mathematics, statistics, or a related technical field required. Preferred PhD degree in CS, Data Science, or a related technical field.
    5-8 years of work or educational experience in computer vision, machine learning or data science, including software development.
    Iterative, results-oriented “doer”; prefer experience in startups or small, nimble teams.
    Experience with one or more general purpose programming languages, including but not limited to: C/C++ or Python.
    Experience with convolutional neural networks and deep learning.
    Highly motivated, collaborative, action-oriented, confident, and respectful.
    Adept at learning new skills and collaborating with others.
    Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
    Bonus points: Prior experience working with satellite imagery, power grid, emissions and/ or energy data.


    We are practical, results-driven change makers. We believe nothing has more potential for fast, world-changing impact, than software. We embrace change. We are lean and rapid prototypers. We never confuse growth with impact. We are all personally, fiercely committed to our mission. We are quietly radical in unexpected ways. We have allies, not competitors. Our band of expert volunteers helps us punch above our weight class. We trust in data and everyone’s voice being heard. We know diversity is central to success. We consider respect non-negotiable: there are no jerks here. 

    Unlike most start-ups, our team is backed by a host of more than 200 volunteers who contributed to our founding and are happy to support us in terms of advice, networking and perspective. We also sit within the RMI family which brings additional upside in terms of support, industry connections and credibility.

    WattTime is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation or classification.


    WattTime is a nonprofit with a software tech startup DNA, dedicated to giving everyone everywhere the power to choose clean energy. We invented Automated Emissions Reduction (AER), which allows utilities, IoT device and energy storage companies, and any end user to effortlessly reduce emissions from energy, when and where they happen. Our cutting-edge insights and algorithms, coupled with machine learning, can shift the timing of flexible electricity use to sync with times of cleaner energy and avoid times of dirtier energy. We sell solutions that make it easy for anyone to achieve emissions reductions without compromising cost and user experience. WattTime was founded by PhD researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and in 2017 became a subsidiary of Rocky Mountain Institute.

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