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Director of Thermal Systems

  • Full-time
  • Cambridge, MA

Posted on May 8, 2024

Company Overview

Pascal is a technology company commercializing solid refrigerant heat pumps and air conditioners. The HVAC sector currently accounts for 40% of global energy usage while also directly emitting 2 Gton CO2 eq. of greenhouse gas refrigerants to the atmosphere. Pascal’s solid refrigerants undergo solid–solid phase transitions in response to pressure, and can operate within the same pressure and temperature ranges as standard gas refrigerants. Pascal’s technology eliminates the direct emission of refrigerants to the atmosphere, and offers a pathway to more efficient, more sustainable, and cheaper heating and cooling systems.

Originally spun out of Harvard, we are in the process of developing a full-scale heat pump prototype to demonstrate the commercial viability of our technology. In the long term, our technology positions us to lead a fundamental shift in the HVAC industry, revolutionizing the way we provide heating and cooling today. We are a small, founder-led company looking for motivated, talented people to join our team.  For more information, visit

Benefits Overview

Health, dental, 20 days PTO, 11 holidays, unlimited sick days, 3 month parental leave, stock options and more

Job Overview

Pascal is seeking a Director of Thermal Systems who will lead the development of the company’s first full-scale solid refrigerant systems. To date, Pascal has validated its core solid refrigerant technology in the laboratory and now seeks to develop a kW-scale heat pump prototype. The completion of this prototype requires the design and testing of several thermal and fluidic subsystems, integration of the solid refrigerant into an overall thermodynamic cycle, and modeling of the thermal and fluid flows within the system. The ideal candidates will understand this system design and scale-up process exceptionally well, ideally from their own experience building an advanced prototype and scaling it to a commercially viable system.

In this role, the Director of Thermal Systems will work closely with the company’s Chief Technology Officer to develop and maintain an efficient connection between Pascal’s engineering and materials development team, overseeing the prototype design, development, and deployment. An ideal candidate is an experienced technology leader who can translate the company’s multidisciplinary R&D efforts into subsystems, components, and fully integrated systems that are critical to the company’s strategic goals. Beyond direct work on the prototype, the Director of Thermal Systems will also engage in technological development in line with the company’s technical roadmap and participate in technical and strategic problem solving with the leadership team.  

Given the executive function of this position, the Director of Thermal Systems must be well-aligned with our company's values and overall mission to decarbonize the HVAC industry.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Lead development of full-scale solid refrigerant systems, including all support systems 

    • Lead the design, integration, and testing of solid refrigerant systems

    • Develop and enhance in-house machining, simulation, and materials testing capabilities

    • Work with contractors to specify functional requirements for the various subsystems

    • Coordinate with leadership on budgets and resource allocation at various stages of development

  • Oversee current projects demonstrating core technologies in subscale systems 

    • Develop heat transfer enhancement strategies for solid refrigerant prototypes 

    • Create process flow diagrams, thermodynamic models, and simulations for the prototypes 

    • Design and optimize processes needed to ensure efficient operations of solid refrigerant systems

  • Coordinate between subprojects and the materials development team to ensure best knowledge is being utilized

    • Use simulations and experiments to identify optimal materials parameters for the materials science team and validate design modifications for thermal concerns

    • Communicate status, ideas, plans, and challenges with company leadership to find solutions

  • Participate in building and growing company culture and values

Preferred Qualifications

Research suggests that qualified people from historically marginalized groups may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage individuals who might not meet the exact requirements, but who believe they have the skills necessary to thrive to apply for this role.

  • Deeply motivated by the climate crisis and its downstream impacts

  • Mechanical Engineering degree (Masters/PhD), Chemical Engineering degree, or similar experience, plus significant industry experience 

  • Strong background in heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics, and thermal system design 

    • Specific experience with heat and mass transfer enhancements, caloric materials, phase change heat transfer, vapor-compression systems, thermal management/storage, absorption/adsorption processes, or cryogenics is a plus.

  • Exceptional organizational, leadership, and communication skills 

  • Experience translating technologies from prototypes into commercial-scale systems 

  • Experience with budget forecasting, particularly as it relates to project management 

  • Extensive project management experience and expertise in specific methodologies

Why work at Pascal?

  • Decarbonizing the HVAC industry has been identified as one of the single most impactful actions we can take to fight climate change. We have an opportunity at Pascal to solve this problem. Come join us! 

  • Work in the heart of one of the most innovative places in the country and a thriving hub for clean tech 

  • This position has high leadership and growth potential. You will be joining the company at a critical stage and we are backed by leading venture capital firms with strong momentum. 

  • We provide competitive salary, benefits, and equity package.

Pascal does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

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