Protocol Labs Network

Protocol Labs
Protocol Labs

Director of Engineering

New York, NY, USA
Posted on Sunday, November 12, 2023
About CowBell Labs:

We envision a world where inventors, researchers, and farmers can develop and validate agricultural climate solutions regardless of geography. We are working towards a liveable planet with sustainable production of food, and our mission is to build and demonstrate testing standards for agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, starting with methane. Culturally speaking, our team is optimistic about our climate future and centered in community action. We see the planet in the context of human efforts, and so we build infrastructure that supports systemic change. This project is funded in part by Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Schmidt Futures, and Spark Climate Solutions. These partners empower us with strategic relationships throughout the public and private climate innovation space.

Role Overview: We seek a climate-impact motivated Director of Engineering to join our founding team. In this role, you will lead all our engineering and software-enabled hardware product development efforts during this critical early stage of the organization. As the first engineering team member, you will build a fast-based R&D tools development organization through employees and external contractors. The engineering team will research and develop a cow wearable methane sensor and advanced open-source hardware and software testing tools for externally-developed methane sensors. These tools will make it radically easier to develop and validate new agricultural climate solutions.


  • Drive research engineering and hardware product development from prototype to production
  • Build from the ground up and manage the engineering team, including both hardware and software engineers, with a total headcount of up to 10 people
  • Own technical relationships with engineering consultancies, key vendors, contract manufacturing organizations, and external technical advisors
  • Support internal and partnered scientific research through tool development and engineering consultation
  • Help the organization strategically plan, towards accomplishing ambitious goals efficiently
  • Foster a success-oriented, accountable environment within the organization
  • Create a conducive environment for innovation and structured growth within a small, dynamic team, soliciting feedback from team members and external technical advisors


  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in technology leadership roles with hands-on development experience, with substantial exposure to startups or small team environments and research engineering
  • Expertise in scaling IoT/embedded sensing systems or embedded systems products and leading engineering efforts that combine both hardware and software
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment while creating order and structure for a team
  • Experience leading small teams, especially in a startup or innovative context
  • Willingness to travel up to 10% in North America for work-related activities

Preferred Requirements:

Familiarity with agricultural climate innovation or related domains.

What’s In It For You:

Foundational Impact: As a founding executive you have the rare opportunity to shape the ethos, vision, and future of CowBell Labs from its nascent stage. Your strategies and leadership will have a direct and lasting impact on our organization and the climate solutions space.

Professional Growth: Grow and evolve in stride with CowBell Labs. As we flourish, you’ll have room to expand your role, tackle new challenges, and make a name for yourself as a leader in a pioneering climate innovation organization.

Autonomy and Influence: Enjoy a high degree of autonomy to craft strategies and make pivotal decisions. Your insights and expertise will be instrumental in steering our strategic partnerships, and your voice will be vital in our high-level organizational decision-making.

Collaborative Environment: Work alongside a dedicated and talented team committed to creating a significant positive impact on the climate. The collaborative and open culture at CowBell Labs will enable you to share ideas and drive initiatives that could redefine our approach to climate solutions.

Global Reach: With a mission that transcends borders, your efforts will have a global footprint. The partnerships and strategies you forge will resonate across commercial and non-governmental sectors worldwide, amplifying the reach and impact of our climate solutions.

Purpose-Driven Work: Wake up every day to work that matters. Be at the forefront of addressing climate challenges by fostering partnerships and strategies that propel CowBell Labs and our mission forward.

Innovative Culture: Thrive in a culture of innovation that encourages continual learning, experimentation, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in climate technology.

Learning Opportunities: Benefit from the diverse experiences and backgrounds of your colleagues and our network, fostering a rich environment for professional and personal growth.

Community Engagement: Engage with a broad network of industry experts, innovators, and passionate professionals in the climate tech community, enriching your professional network and forging meaningful relationships that could last a lifetime.

Salary / Benefits:

CowBell Labs offers a competitive annual salary and a comprehensive benefits package including a 6% 401k match. We prioritize the well-being and future of our team members and provide support for a balanced, fulfilling work life. More details will be provided to candidates during the interview process.

The Company aims to help fill a structural gap in today's R&D system. We enable fundamental research that requires unusual levels of scale and coordination yet is not rapidly monetizable by industry. We’re bringing together top talent from academia, industry, and startups to build a new model for innovative R&D. As an incubator within the Schmidt Futures Network, we identify high-impact scientific or technical research and development opportunities, ultimately defining and launching these projects as Focused Research Organizations.

The Company is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable local, state, or federal law or Company policy. We strive for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibit harassment of any kind.