Mechanical Engineer Agri & Food

Location: Wageningen Campus
Type: Full-Time Position
Start: 2023

Function Description

SAIA is a startup company which has been working since 2017 to fundamentally change the automation of greenhouses for a sustainable production of fresh fruits and vegetables for the future. We do that by reinventing how plants grow and in such a way that our robots can optimally harvest the fruits and pick leaves. We are a small team of highly skilled and motivated people who love robots, plants, sharing a pizza together and have a good time. Our robot prototypes must now be made ready to go to market and we need your help and expertise to achieve that in the coming two years. For this, we are looking for a horticultural engineer/designer to join our team to make our technology a reality.

SAIA is looking for an engineer with experience in horticultural engineering or has worked in the agri-food sector, who can take a technological concept and transform it into a market ready product. We want someone who can help us with things like selecting the right production techniques, materials, design for safety and practical on site testing and implementation of your machine design. Aside from this, we are looking to expand our network to outsource part of the engineering or design processes. If you can help us with your network of material and tech suppliers, that would be a great benefit.

At SAIA you will be joining a close-knit, young and ambitious interdisciplinary team that is innovating the indoor farming sector. In our team, responsibility and ownership of your work are key. We need someone who looks beyond the tasks at hand to recognize future bottlenecks and to look for knowledge and expertise outside of SAIA. Individual, critical thinking and effective communication is highly valued and respected. You will be working alongside junior colleagues and seasoned engineers and in changing team compositions depending on the challenges that you are working on.

As our new engineer, you will be closely working together with the CTO, an engineering expert in horticultural robotic end-effector design as well as a mechanical engineer who keeps busy with designing conceptual implementations for SAIA technology. You will then interpret and refine these concepts into products and contact suppliers/production companies to get the ball rolling towards a market ready product.

You will jointly develop market ready machines for plant mobility and automation. Help to find and select potential technical partners to accelerate our product development for the market. Cooperate & communicate with external parties about engineering and product development. Work with a multidisciplinary and young team of engineers (A.I., Robotics & Plants). Plan and organize your work with our R&D manager and present your work to colleagues and partners.

We have a workshop at Wageningen Campus where we work on our machines. Next year, we will have extra offices on campus for we will expand our team rapidly with plant-, software- and electronic engineers. And, what we are most looking forward to, is to build our own greenhouse nearby where you will test your machine designs in the near future.

Every Monday starts on site with the whole team planning the week; who will do what and how can we help each other to achieve the goals for the coming week(s). During the week you can work from home when this suits you, though presence is appreciated at team gatherings which we have every Wednesday and Friday.


  • Bachelor or Master level education in engineering
  • Proficient in English, proficiency in Dutch a plus
  • 5-10 years of industrial engineering experience in horticulture
  • Skilled in 3D CAD, SolidWorks is preferred
  • Knowhow in data communication and designing for market applications (user experience, CE markings etc.)

Our Offer

  • Salary: 3500-4500 bruto per month
  • 25 days paid time off
  • 8.33% holiday pay on top of your year salary
  • Compensation for equipment for working at home, PC / laptop and software
  • Yearly team outing
  • Commute reimbursement
  • Opportunities to further educate yourself
  • Private pension fund

Interested? Let us know by filling in the contact form below, or give us a call!