Head of Engineering
United Arab Emirates
Engineering + Construction
Who we are
Pure Harvest is an agri-tech start-up based here in the UAE. We develop tech-enabled, controlled environment farms to grow and sell delicious plants in the local markets where we operate. We supply a range of elite restaurants & hotels and supermarkets, and our products are selling out across the UAE. Our brand is associated with delicious produce, and we are quickly building a loyal and vocal customer base. We are now expanding into new crops (strawberries and leafy greens) and new geographies (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait). Technology, data, and innovation are core to our ethos, and our mission is to revolutionise agriculture in the region. We are passionate about what we do and are committed to resource efficiency and overcoming the challenges associated with food import dependence, water scarcity, and sustainability.
Pure Harvest Smart Farms is a UAE-based, high-tech agriculture start-up. We develop and operate high-tech, climate-controlled farms to grow a variety of crops and sell our products directly into the markets in which we operate. In early-2018 we successfully deployed our first-ever farm in Nahel, Al Ain growing a wide variety of flavourful tomatoes that “Taste Like They Should TM”. Our products are selling-out at major retailers in the UAE and are consumed at an assortment of elite restaurants & hotels. Our brand is associated with incredibly tasty produce and we are quickly building a loyal and vocal customer base. We are now expanding into new crops (strawberries and leafy greens) and into new geographies (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait). Technology, data, and innovation are core to our ethos, and we aim to redefine the Middle Eastern agricultural sector. We are passionate about what we do, and we are believers in the growth potential of the company. Our team is multi-cultural (American, European, African, Middle Eastern, South Asian), and our backgrounds diverse (horticulture, engineering, private equity, management consulting, retail, marketing, etc.). Never a boring day at Pure Harvest.
In recognition of regional vulnerabilities associated with food import dependence, water scarcity and sustainability, Pure Harvest is committed to resource efficiency and to overcoming climate challenges to affordably deliver premium quality fresh produce to the Middle East.
Who you are
You are responsible to manage the technical authority within the company. Your responsibilities include: managing design and engineering of new high-tech greenhouse projects; consolidating the know-how and standardization within the company’s “book of knowledge”; managing interface coordination between all Pure Harvest technical resources, consultants, and contractors; audit operating facilities and support technical troubleshooting; oversee testing & commissioning of construction projects; manage R&D and innovation within high-tech greenhouses. Your role is truly dynamic and demanding – you are a key member of the company’s management team and work closely with the executives to overcome existing challenges and build a successful business. You will work cross-functionally with the production and operations & maintenance teams to deliver projects as per required specification on time and budget.
You enjoy challenges, are flexible, hard working, and you can deal with ambiguity/ ever-changing demands on your time & productive capacity. You want to be an owner (stock options/ long-term incentive compensation) and you are eager to learn and develop in a fast-growing start-up. Lastly, you hold a valid drivers’ license in good standing (commute to farms, regular travel required), and you are willing to travel between project locations globally and spend time on-site as needed.
You will be supported by our small but enthusiastic team of ‘’technical go-getters‘’ and by a network of consultants and technology providers which can be considered as representing the best in the agritech industry.
Relying on a thorough knowledge of the Company’s objectives and goals and together with the direct support of VP Engineering & Construction, your duties revolve around the following four main functions:
- Project design & engineering management:
- Manage existing technical resources within Pure Harvest to deliver existing planned projects;
- Manage feasibility stage design development, working closely with production and operations team to identify pain points and translate those into project specifications;
- Review & provide final sign-off on technical recommendations;
- Ensure technical compliance during CAPEX procurement process;
- Structure and oversee inspections, testing and commissioning efforts of new facilities;
- Assist in determining realistic project development and execution planning. Able to identify and assess the ‘’Critical Path ‘’.
- Technical center of excellence:
- Develop, consolidate and maintain company technical “book of knowledge” through learnings during project delivery and post-commissioning operations to optimize the company’s growing systems;
- Provide technical decision making based on existing “book of knowledge” information and prior experience;
- Continuously work on standardizing processes and facilities to drive down cost and shorten time from “ideation” to “planting”;
- Develop and drive modularisation
- Facilities auditing:
- Understand and analyse company technical operational data and sensors/instrumentation to develop insights on system performance;
- Support operation and maintenance teams in technical troubleshooting;
- Lead defects rectification taskforce for any works beyond the scope or capability of the maintenance team;
- Intellectual Property:
- Develop and maintain company’s technical strategy roadmap and R&D portfolio;
- Conduct required analysis to develop specifications or challenge existing assumptions;
- Closely guard the company’s IP and develop strategies to maximize its value creation;
- Problem solving
- Ability to frame complicated problems/ situations.
- Mastery over large datasets and ability to leverage information to derive insights.
- Ability to dig deep into a problem and invest time and effort to fully understand.
- Make decisions based on data-driven rigorous analysis.
- Ability to think creatively “out of the box” with a track record of providing and executing solutions technically and commercially acceptable.
- Strong sense of logic and sanity-check.
- Coordination and project management:
- Ability to manage multiple stakeholders of across different industries and skill levels.
- Extremely organized and attentions to detail allowing for work to be easily audited and reviewed.
- Master communicator and team player. Regularly update working groups with latest developments to keep everyone in synch.
- Ability to simplify and map out vague/complex processes into actionable workplan and manage/iterate on workplan through-out execution.
- “Scrappy”; able to develop and work out solutions with a minimum of information. No task is beneath you.
- Measured risk taking and admitting when you fail (along with the reasons why). You then learn from failures to improve your performance & decision-making and you acquire respect.
- Task-to-project ownership
- Complete ownership over your work and ability to work independently without the need for regular supervision. You are known for being resourceful.
- Owning up to problems despite not being your fault.
- Highly self-motivated. You prioritize aggressively and stay focused on the few things that will have the biggest impact on the business.
- Outcome oriented. You do not stop with roadblocks, you ensure that you’re delivering on the desired outcome.
- Sensitive to time pressure and able to judge what is “good enough” to be delivered immediately versus striving for perfection.
- Strong character able to stand-up for both yourself and the organization. You do what’s right first and you don’t take ‘no’ or ‘inshallah’ for an answer.
- A force of positivity for your team and for the company.
- Humble character and team-player.
- Preferred leadership style: lead by example
- Intellectually curious, eager to learn and grow.
- Demonstration of commitment to the company’s success, willing to go the extra mile.
- Strong ability to work under pressure.
- Minimum 15 years' experience in engineering, technical consulting, or construction.
- Experience in large CAPEX, multi-disciplinary electro-mechanical projects is required. Experience in industrial engineering, instrumentation, IoT, robotics is a plus.
- Proven experience in core electro mechanical competencies e.g: thermodynamic modelling, mechanical design development, electrical engineering, utilities and authority engagement
- Advanced degree (Bachelor's or higher) in engineering.
- Willingness to travel & spend time on construction sites sometimes with harsh climate conditions.
- Fluent in English, other languages: Arabic, French, Hindi, Urdu is a plus.
- Mastery of MS Office (Excel, Power Point, Project).
- AutoCAD required, other tools like Revit/BIM, MS Project, Primavera, MySQL, and Tableau a plus.
Please note before applying: our people define our success and we take hiring seriously. Interviewing with Pure Harvest may include video and phone interviews and/or off-site interviews. We request that you submit a cover letter that outlines the key attributes of your candidacy & demonstrates that you understand and are qualified for this unique/ challenging role. Also, we complete both formal and informal reference checks for all hires. Please be prepared to submit references upon request.
Although we are unable to follow-up with each-and-every applicant, we do our absolute best to conduct a systematic hiring process for candidates with whom we identify a potential fit.