Systems Architect Project Lead

Posted: 7th February 2019

Closing date: 28th February 2019

Fixed-term full-time contract: 18 to 24 months

Salary: £25,000 to £34,000 per annum commensurate with experience

Grobotic Systems is a startup engaged in the design of innovative, controlled-environment plant growth chambers for plant science research. Formed in early 2018, we were recently awarded an Innovate UK grant to fund development of an Advanced Growth Chamber for the Rapid Optimisation of Vertical Farming Systems (AGROVERSE). AGROVERSE is a highly-instrumented plant growth chamber with state-of-the-art data collection and environmental control systems that will let farmers optimise plant growth conditions to maximise productivity and profitability. We are the lead partners in this two-year funded project, together with colleagues from the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, Stockbridge Technology Centre, and the University of Sheffield.  

The successful candidate will join Dr Alexis Moschopoulos (plant geneticist and managing director) and Richard Banks (electronics engineer and chief technical officer) at the Grobotic Systems lab at Fusion@Magna in Rotherham. The successful candidate will lead the design and implementation of the cloud architecture for the AGROVERSE project, implementing data collection, storage, filtering and manipulation, as well as design and specification of appropriate APIs. These will link existing and new low-level microcontroller systems, via a data processing and storage system, to a user-oriented web frontend. The successful candidate will work closely with colleagues at Grobotic Systems and our consortium partners in defining detailed system specifications, and will then be responsible for implementing these objectives on time and within budget. The candidate will lead at every stage of the systems architecture design process from specification acquisition, modular systems architecture design, iterative prototyping (including collaboration with microcontroller systems designers), through to deployment of a customer-facing system by the end of the two-year project. Clear and effective communication, experience in project management, and a track record of implementing projects from conception to completion are skills essential to this role, and the successful candidate will be hardworking, methodical, and imaginative.

The successful candidate will have a profound impact on the growth of Grobotic Systems, and will play a key role in establishing our company as a leader in plant growth chambers for plant science research. While currently offered as a fixed-term position, we are working to grow a sustainable business, and would therefore expect to retain and expand the role as our business grows. We are seeking to fill the position in March 2019, and by April 2019 at the latest.


Person specification

  • Responsible, independent, and self motivated

  • Excellent in oral and written communication

  • Ability to work under pressure and to strict deadlines

  • Keen attention to detail

  • Skilled at understanding and implementing new ideas

  • Ability to analyse and solve complex problems

  • Both academically minded and practically-oriented

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Excellent organisational skills

  • An interest in continuous professional development

Skills and experience

  • Study and application of enterprise-class cloud storage technology

  • Study and application of IoT technologies, with an emphasis on security

  • Strong understanding of scalable architecture for content delivery

  • Proven record of successful project management

  • At least one year industrial experience (can be through gap year or as part of undergraduate course)

  • Practical experience in developing systems to balance the needs of business and security/regulatory compliance


  • Educated to degree level in a relevant discipline (or be able to demonstrate this level of learning and development through experience)

  • Legally able to work full-time in the UK


Person specification

  • Motivated by working in an exciting and collaborative startup environment

  • Comfortable in an international working environment

Skills and experience

  • Relevant industrial experience

  • Experience in managing junior engineers/interns

  • Knowledge/experience of microcontroller technologies

  • Interest/knowledge of process control

  • Familiarity with ISO 27001

  • Interest in agricultural technologies


  • MSc or PhD in relevant discipline

How to apply:

Please send a CV and cover letter to detailing why you are the ideal candidate for this position.  

For informal questions about the position, please feel free to contact