Test Engineer (Chicago, IL)

| Chicago
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We're Tovala, a food-tech company completely reinventing home cooking to save consumers time. Through an innovative combination of hardware, software, and food, we give our customers a way to enjoy really good, good-for-you meals without sacrificing time to do whatever matters to them. We've amassed a loyal, rapidly growing following in just a few years, radically changing the day-to-day lives of people across the country and successfully creating a new model for the food industry. We're looking for great people to join our team of hard-working, food-loving nerds.

Job Description
We test and iterate on packaging concepts and components for both thermal and mechanical performance in an ongoing effort to improve what we ship to our customers. We also test the oven’s cooking accuracy, repeatability, and uniformity as we make cost and quality changes to the oven’s hardware and software. As a Test Engineer at Tovala, you would operate the testing lab where these tests are conducted.

Packaging and oven testing is more than just running tests; it often involves quick prototyping and a fair amount of creativity. In addition to executing the test plans, you would be responsible for actually designing those experiments, fabricating fixtures necessary for conducting them, and reporting their results to the team, as well as maintaining and improving our growing inventory of test materials and instruments.

Depending on your level of skill in mechanical and electrical analysis, the oven-related portion of your role could involve root-causing quality issues and designing custom sensors and circuits for testing.

Work out of our R&D and prototyping dream shop at The Product Manufactory (www.theproductmanufactory.com) in Urbana, IL.

Fundamental day-to-day focus areas

  • Manage and make recommendations on inventory of test materials such as data loggers, thermocouples, fixtures, and sensors
  • Drives continuous improvement activities through team participation, project reviews, and result analysis
  • Support new product design and quality assurance teams through test development, data analysis, and competitor benchmarking
  • Use robust statistical methods to interpret performance data and make formal recommendations to product design teams
  • Operate a variety of cooking appliances in representative conditions
  • Conduct diverse and complex mechanical and electrical tests to ensure product conformance to internal specifications and Regulatory requirements
  • Provide updates to management and project teams as required
  • Continuously review and interpret tool sensor data to ensure the accuracy of testing
  • Work directly with project teams to design highly detailed appliance and thermal tests
  • Exercise responsibility for thoroughness, timeliness, and accuracy in preparing technical reports on tests performed
  • Prepare these reports utilizing a PC with word processing, database, spreadsheet, and statistical/graphical software

Required skills

  • 3-5+ years of test equipment, procedures, and mechanical/electrical principles
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Electrical, Mechanical, or similar)
  • Knowledge of test concepts in the design and development of products and components

  • Standout skills
  • These relevant skills, while not required to take the position, would be nice to see in a new recruit. If you don’t have them, you should be willing to learn them on the job as needed.
  • Six Sigma knowledge and/or certification
  • Basic understanding of thermal, electrical, and mechanical engineering
  • Electrical fabrication: soldering, wiring, building custom instruments
  • Data analysis and visualization using spreadsheet tools, Python, R, or other similar tools

Compensation & Benefits

  • Tovala uses market data, geography, and placement of internal employees to determine appropriate salary. Additionally, we offer all employees real ownership in the company in the form of a competitive equity package.
  • Unlimited paid time off (with a minimum of 15 days off you HAVE to take)
  • Comprehensive healthcare coverage we really invest in
  • 401k with match
  • Free Tovala Smart Oven and discounted Tovala meals 
  • Paid holidays and our winter holiday office shutdown where the offices and facilities close for a week around Christmas and New Years
  • Various other perks - recognition programs, continued learning stipend, casual dress code, in-office coffee, snacks and drinks, and Tovala swag

The values we hold dear

Put the team first
We put what is best for the broader team ahead of what is best for ourselves or our immediate department.
Get s#!t done (well)
We celebrate people at all levels for delivering high impact work that expands the bounds of what we’re able to do.
Connect the dots
We engage with curiosity to learn how our work impacts others so that we can problem-solve holistically and work collaboratively.
Be Direct
We share our perspective openly and directly, even when it feels difficult to do so.
Embrace the obstacles
We rise to meet challenges with a sense of urgency, resolve, and optimism.
Champion the customer
We consider and prioritize our customer in all of our decisions 

At Tovala we‘re committed to building a workplace that represents a variety of backgrounds, skills, and perspectives and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. Everyone is welcome here!

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We have a large, open-plan office in the West Loop, within walking distance from the UIC-Halsted Blue Line stop and several CTA Bus lines.

An Insider's view of Tovala

How would you describe the company’s work-life balance?

At Tovala, one of our core values is leading full lives. We work hard, but also strive to create an organization that is “about time” and encourages people to prioritize their health, family, and life.



How do you collaborate with other teams in the company?

The Data Team at Tovala abides by these principles: 1. Be a person, not your job - Respect, kindness, and levity increase the success rate of collaborative projects. 2. Best answer wins - We care about the quality – not the source – of ideas. 3. Over-Communicate - We meticulously communicate progress, blockers, and changes – though we don't nag!

Mohammad Naveed

Director of Data

How does the company support your career growth?

I have grown with Tovala from packaging meals at one of our facilities to now analyzing data on the Ops team to ensure that our customers receive their meals on time! Over the past 3.5 years I have been promoted four times. I have had the opportunity to take on increasing responsibility, understand the business, and grow immensely!


Operations Analyst

What's something quirky about your company?

I know it sounds like a cliche when people say that their company is like a family, but truly Tovala is like my family. There’s so much care and respect among team members that motivates me and everyone always jumps right in to help. I’ve also had the privilege as an early member to see this team grow quickly and maintain the same caring culture.


Senior Director of Business Ops

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