Process Engineer – Advanced Materials

The Role

Semarion is a dynamic, early-stage spin-out company with a technology platform at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary innovation. The next 24 months for Semarion will be focused on application development for the SemaCyte® platform. This will span work around our three main application areas for our first three product types – adherent assay-ready cells, cell-line multiplexing, and primary cell assay miniaturization. A key goal of the company is to develop an in-house manufacturing process for our materials platform that will be ready to deploy for commercial production. We are looking for a driven engineer to be an early member of our Advanced Materials team to drive manufacturing process development for our platform. Excellent foundational understanding and experience of semiconductor fabrication and processing is essential for this role, as well as a capability to rapidly prototype new processes. We envision this role growing in scope and responsibility as Semarion evolves.

Date job posted: 20th February 2022
Application closing date: 1st April 2022

Start Date:

April 1st 2022 (flexible)


We offer a competitive compensation package including share options, subject to experience.

About Semarion

Semarion operates at the edge of the physical and life sciences by using microchip industry materials and techniques to transform cell-based research. The rate of data output during drug discovery work is often limited by the adherent nature of cell models. Our solution is simple: keep colonies of cells attached to a surface, but now bring this surface into suspension. We make this possible with our SemaCyte® cell assaying microcarrier platform. These materials are ultra-miniaturized, steerable wells which turn adherent cells into liquid reagents. With our SemaCytes we can accelerate, miniaturize, and multiplex cell assays to drive 10x gains in drug screening applications such as SAR studies, cell panel screening, or patient-derived cell work. Our platform can seamlessly integrate with existing workflows, while also enabling novel assay methodologies. Our mission is to revolutionize in vitro research on cell models to help create better medicines, faster.

We were founded in Cambridge, UK in 2018 by Jeroen Verheyen (CEO and a clinical neuroscientist), Tarun Vemulkar (CTO and an applied physicist), and Prof. Russell Cowburn (NED and Professor of Experimental Physics). Semarion secured a £250k pre-seed investment in 2020 with the Cambridge based healthcare accelerator StartCodon and has closed a seed round of funding in December 2021 of £2.14M. Post successful alpha trials of our technology platform in 2021 we are now expanding our operational team. We are in an exciting phase of product and application development with a focus on creating our first market ready product in 24 months.

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Your responsibilities in the role

  • Work with Semarion’s CTO to create an in-house rapid prototyping and manufacturing suite of tools and accompanying processes for pilot scale production of our materials platform
  • Manufacture SemaCyte® materials at the scale needed for internal use and any partnership projects
  • Optimize manufacturing processes, and develop new ones as the need arises
  • Identify key process bottlenecks, establish process windows, and develop a manufacturing QA/QC protocol
  • Track and develop a model for per unit costing of SemaCyte® materials
  • Work with our cell-biology team to incorporate end-user feedback into production processes
  • Update the Executive Team on process developments, bottlenecks, and key innovations as appropriate

The qualities we are looking for

  • Scientific curiosity and creativity: ability to identify interesting scientific results and build experiments to further explore them
  • Evidence focus and open communication: strongly evidence based in approach and thrives on open discussions to solve challenging problems
  • Integrity: live by our company values of exploration and inclusiveness
  • Reliable: Delivers against agreed objectives
  • Independence and teamwork: an ability to reliably execute deliverables within a broader context of communication and collaboration
  • Dynamic: ability to thrive in the dynamic work environment of a small company that is in the early stages of product development
  • Willingness to learn: stay professionally relevant, network, enjoy learning and setting ambitious goals for yourself and others
  • Self-Awareness: understand how others perceive you; know your strengths and know your weaknesses
  • Thrive on feedback: understand that receiving feedback well and providing it constructively is a vital part of building a team that makes progress

The background we are looking for

  • Masters degree in a Materials Science, Electrical Engineering, Physics, or related area or equivalent experience in semiconductor fabrication at the pilot process scale
  • A strong understanding of semiconductor manufacturing processes
  • Experience in producing 6 inch or larger wafer scale devices for commercial clients is preferred
  • Experience in developing microfluidics devices is preferred
  • Experience in working in interdisciplinary project teams is preferred

Working at Semarion

Semarion works at the University of Cambridge Department of Physics with a combination of hot-desking space at the Maxwell Centre and cell culture facilities at the Physics of Medicine Centre, both based at the West Cambridge Site. We offer a flexible, diverse, and inclusive working environment that considers your individual needs and believes in maintaining a sustainable work-life balance.

You will be part of Semarion’s first set of hires and work closely with our Founders/Executive team and Directors. We are happy to help you develop your own skills as you join us on our journey to build Semarion. Our working environment is extremely collaborative, and we believe that the key to our company’s development lies in the professional growth, development, and job satisfaction of the team that drives it.

We want Semarion to be the place that allows you to fulfil your professional aspirations while challenging yourself in new ways. We hope you can help us build a dynamic environment of support and encouragement that pushes the scientific and technological boundaries in drug discovery.

Application form

Please fill in the fields below and submit your CV for review.