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Automation Systems Engineering Intern, Bioengineering Applications

Our mission is to make biology easier to engineer. Ginkgo is constructing, editing, and redesigning the living world in order to answer the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, food, materials, and more. Our bioengineers make use of an in-house automated foundry for designing and building new organisms. 

We’re looking for talented Automation Systems Engineering Interns who are excited by the challenges of scaling and improving our foundry. Because it touches nearly every part of the foundry, the Automation Team is integral to Ginkgo’s vision for the future. The Automation Team is creating integrated robotic workcells, designing processes and building software platforms to operate walk-up robotic systems, improving how data is handled, working with scientists on scaling their processes, and much more. 

All the work we do is in service of increasing Ginkgo’s capacity in terms of the number of strains engineered and the diversity of species and products we can handle. It’s an enormous challenge and we need people who are eager to get started. You’ll be working hand in hand with biologists, software developers, and other engineers to co-develop the wetware, hardware, and software infrastructure that underpin the foundry.

To learn more about automation engineering at Ginkgo, take a look at this blog post:  Day in the Life: Kristen.

As an Automation Systems Engineering Intern, you will work hand in hand with Foundry scientists and Automation Hardware and Software Engineers to drive software, hardware and biological requirements for a new automation system. You will have the opportunity to contribute to the design, build and deployment of integrated robotic systems in collaboration with the Automation Software Engineering, Hardware Engineering and Lab Operations teams. While gaining hands-on experience on validating automated biological workflows on the Automation systems, you will also interact with users across various teams and have the opportunity to learn a lot about synthetic biology at Ginkgo and high throughput organism engineering operations. 

For bachelor's level candidates, possible projects could include developing a new automated biological workflow or a script for automated data processing of an Automation instrument. For master's level candidates, possible projects could include designing an integrated robotic system or a custom Automation solution to automate a biological workflow, or onboarding a new liquid handling technology.
This is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience with some of the most knowledgeable people in the industry, trying to solve increasingly complex problems. As a recognized leader in the Synthetic Biology space, the questions Ginkgo is trying to answer today have the potential to dictate the future for the entire industry. In this regard, Ginkgo Automation has deployed and operationalized one of the largest fleets of automated integrated systems for cell engineering and biological processes, including designing a fully automated facility. You will have the opportunity to learn about the various platforms that we have built and experience working in a highly cross-collaborative environment within the Foundry and Digital Technology divisions. 

The Ginkgo Bioworks Early Talent program is open to students who will return to their degree programs upon completion of their employment at Ginkgo. Candidates must be enrolled in a United States based institution and/or have work authorization in the United States to be eligible to participate.

  • Develop automated experimental workflows for genetic engineering processes, strain cultivation, sample preparation, and multi-omics analysis
  • Coordinate with Automation, software and scientific teams to design, deploy and validate new capabilities and lab automation solutions
  • Drive software, hardware and biological requirements as well as biological process parameters
  • Design and test methods on Integrated Automation systems
  • Perform software and hardware testing and validation on Automation systems
  • Work hand in hand with Bioengineers and scientists to perform biological validation and analyze run data

Minimum Requirements
  • Currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program (current sophomore or junior at the time of application) or currently enrolled in a master’s degree program
  • Majoring in automation, bioengineering, biomedical engineering, computer science, or mechanical engineering
  • Strong verbal and written interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills with high attention to detail
  • Made use of at least one major programming language, e.g. Python, C#, C/C++, or Java (including best practices for developing and maintaining the code base)

Preferred Capabilities and Experience
  • Prior wet lab experience such as cell culture, cell characterization or microbiology is a plus
  • Prior experience with Laboratory Automation instruments, or biological protocol development is a plus
  • Prior demonstration of limitless enthusiasm for synthetic biology, such as internships, co-ops or participation in iGEM, a plus
  • Desire to work on fast-paced projects

We also feel that it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. Our culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life.  

We’re developing a powerful biological engineering platform, so we must remain mindful of the many ways our technology can – and will – impact people around the world. We care about how our platform is used, and having a diverse team to build it gives us the best chance that it’s something we’ll be proud of as it continues to grow. Therefore, it’s critical that we incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.