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Senior Thermal Research Engineer



San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, April 26, 2024

Join us at Gradient, where our purpose is to revolutionize home comfort while championing environmental sustainability. Our mission is to combat the escalating challenge of climate change by redefining how homes are heated and cooled. Today, the environmental impact of heating and cooling systems surpasses that of the entire transportation sector, and without intervention, this trend is set to escalate drastically. At Gradient, we believe that ensuring comfortable living spaces shouldn’t come at the cost of our planet. We envision a future where every individual can enjoy the luxury of a comfortable home without contributing to carbon emissions. Our high-efficiency, low-carbon heat pump is just the beginning of our journey toward fully decarbonizing buildings. By joining Gradient, you’ll be at the forefront of a movement to make sustainable living accessible to all, ensuring healthier communities and a brighter, greener future.

As a Senior Thermal Research Engineer, you will design and select thermal components and develop thermal control algorithms that lead to products with high reliability and industry-leading performance. You will be expected to understand the effects of component and subsystem behaviors at the system level and balance considerations of performance and user thermal comfort. You will collaborate with designers and engineers to drive continuous improvement in our line of products.

The estimated salary range for this role is $139,500-$172,000 USD per year + equity. Individual salaries vary on a number of factors including but not limited to geography, skills, education, experience and unique qualifications where applicable.

This role is required to be in our San Francisco office 5 days per week.


  • Develop thermal systems for heat pumps with novel form factors to cut carbon emissions and expand access to healthy, comfortable buildings
  • Design thermal algorithms that meet product and performance requirements
  • Design, source, and qualify heat pump components
  • Design and run tests, process and understand results, and identify paths forward
  • Use modeling techniques to understand thermal phenomena
  • Collaborate with designers and engineers to deploy improvements into new and existing products

Desired Qualifications:

  • BS in Engineering or Physics and 5 years of experience in thermal engineering OR MS/PhD in Engineering or Physics and 3 years of experience in thermal engineering
  • Strong expertise in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and/or heat transfer
  • Skilled in data-driven analysis and decision-making
  • Hands-on experience building/assembling/troubleshooting thermal and/or mechanical systems
  • Capable of developing data acquisition software (e.g., LabVIEW)
  • Proficient in creating physics-based models using Matlab, Python, or similar
  • Ability to communicate technical concepts to cross-functional audiences with broad experience levels

Bonus Qualifications:

  • 3+ years of heat pump, AC, or HVAC design experience
  • Previously launched products
  • Experience designing for thermal comfort
  • Reliability test experience