Goncalo, Jan and Chris

Director of R&D, ParticleOne

Guelph, Ontario

ParticleOne uses science to create safe spaces, complete with healthy air and designed to limit the spread of infectious disease.

We’re looking for a passionate R&D Director to run our team.

ParticleOne is a part of RWDI Ventures, a startup studio from a global engineering firm that is the industry leader in building science and climate engineering. We have already secured a strong SaaS revenue base from a set of globally recognized clients who are using our software to make operational decisions to keep their businesses running and people protected. Our mission, however, is far bigger than COVID-19.

ParticleOne is building the technology stack needed to help organizations manage the risk of all infectious diseases for their people, supply chains, and operations. Our platform has the further potential to expand beyond human pathogens, pushing into environmental contaminants of concern, enabling our tool to be game-changing in terms of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), and Healthy Buildings as a key component of ESG.

Your role

You will be the Director of ParticleOne’s R&D team, bridging the key functions of R&D, risk modelling, aerosol (infectious biological and environmental) experimental design and analysis (chamber model scale and real-world scale), and applied R&D exploring real-world application of our science fundamentals. As a leader you will also have a key role interfacing with sales & marketing teams, product and software development, and operations. 

The R&D Director will report to the General Manager of the organization. You will lead a small team with expertise in particle risk, particle movement in active air spaces and experimental work. While a small team, you have access to RWDI resources and capabilities where needed.

  • Particle Risk: ParticleOne has developed a method to estimate the risk of infection from an airborne pathogen in a specific building that can be trended over time to account for changes in case counts, vaccination status and dynamic-bespoke spaces and places. That risk is then turned into an actionable outcome through a single metric, a SARS CoV-2 Risk Index and associated Rating. This tool is developed and in market, but will evolve over time to add additional pathogen, track, and represent dynamic pathogen characteristics, new risk mitigation, and eventually IAQ and IEQ factors. This work is a hybrid of epidemiological science, infectious disease science and ventilation aerosol and fluid dynamics. You will lead further development and scientific standing of the risk management engine.
  • Particle Air Movement and Experimental Work: ParticleOne has developed two aerosol chambers and run experiments to release, capture, and measure pathogen and/or pollutants under varying concentration, duration and ventilation schemes using multiple air capture and analysis instruments (3rd Party Samplers, Filters, Impingers, PCR and Metagenomic Analysis). While the risk management engine works in the theory and probabilities of infection, this area of R&D works to enable real-time, or near real-time monitoring of pathogen such that risk management can be complimented with measurement, monitoring and KPI reporting.
  • Applied Science:  At the intersection of Particle Risk, and Experimental Work, is applied science and customer experience.  Leveraging the two formers, this area of practice helps shape how we go to market, what is the best approach to measuring or monitoring risk, and how can this be made “easy” but “scientifically rigorous” for our clientele. This area of R&D explores real-world solutions in all their potential and pitfalls to make the client experience a success.

While the above focus areas will ask you to think and act strategically, ParticleOne is still a small team, and you’ll be relied on to roll up your sleeves and act as a player-coach, be it in assisting on designing and conducting experiments, working directly with software developers, sales personnel, and general management.

You will be responsible for developing the budget and tracking financial performance across the R&D department.

Your work style

ParticleOne is not for everybody. We are looking for a specific type of scientific and entrepreneurial leader. You’re not “just” a scientist. You’re a scientific entrepreneur that can lend a hand wherever the fires are burning and you enjoy learning on-the-fly.

You’re passionate about helping to build a company that truly is helping to solve a massively important problem.

While ParticleOne has enjoyed strong initial growth and won key clients, it is still very much a startup in other ways. You’re comfortable with the early stages of a startup that are often messy and changing quickly. You also know that high-growth startups aren’t a place for people that don’t enjoy digging in on tactical challenges. While you are a strategic thinker and team builder, you’re also willing to “sit on the floor” and do the grunt work that exists in every startup.

ParticleOne is well supported by RWDI, a team of advisors, and Board members who have a deep understanding of the business and relevant sciences

The ParticleOne team is remotely based across Canada and the United States. A key quality of yours will be the ability to work with, and lead, a team from a remote setting.

Your past experience

We’re a team that is obsessed with learning, but there are some things that we hope you’ve already experienced in past roles and you will bring that wisdom to the team.

  • You have a track-record of performing risk modelling, experimental design and analysis, and applied science in a commercial setting (experience beyond academia).
  • You have strong project management and communication skills.
  • You have authored several publications, white papers, or relevant commercial or academic publications and presentations.
  • You have significant expertise in certain epidemiological data: incidence and prevalence counts, vaccination effectiveness, and pathogen dynamics (transmissibility etc.).
  • You have significant expertise in airborne infectious disease and associated risk management practices.
  • You have some understanding of aerosol and ventilation sciences.
  • You have some understanding of other modes of pathogen transport and infection.
  • You have some experience in airborne contaminants from the environmental quality spectrum (CO, CO2, PM, O3, TVOC, etc.)
  • You have experience designing, leading, and performing experimental work.
  • While not a software developer, you have seen elements of your work integrated into software-based tools and platforms.
  • You have experience managing a team budget and P&L.
  • An ability to understand complex scientific topics at a post-graduate university level.
  • You are a highly proficient user of Microsoft tools and are willing to learn additional operational tools (e.g., Airtable, Monday.com, etc.) where need to support the organization.

You have a Masters degree, but we are open-minded to the discipline, so long as you exhibit a natural understanding of both the sciences described and the expectations of a for-profit startup.

Thank you in advance for your application. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.


  • Competitive salary
  • Annual bonus program
  • Group health benefits
  • On-site gym (Guelph location)
  • Fitness spending account
  • RRSP matching

Apply now

Salary commensurate with experience. RWDI and ParticleOne endorses and practices the principles of equal opportunity employment. We are committed to diversity and inclusion. Accommodations are available during all stages of the recruitment process in accordance with AODA and the Human Rights Code.

Nehal Kanetkar

The Ventures team has an awesome blend of people who can get work done while also being respectful, open and honest. It’s a great combination and one that I think makes us very successful.

Nehal Kanetkar, Software Developer, RWDI Ventures