Scientist- Data Research and Development USA

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First Solar reserves the right to offer you a role most applicable to your experience and skillset.

Basic Job Functions:

This position supports large scale statistical design and analysis to evaluate innovative ideas on thin-film processes. You will join many disparate data sources to compile an integrated story of discovery, within and across experiments, projects, and people. You will apply an advanced knowledge of statistics and data science techniques to recognize patterns and create insights in multiple state-of-the-art R&D solar fabrication facilities. Design, develop, and evaluate experimental models that point in the direction of maximum success. Serve as lead statistician for project teams, providing expertise, oversight, and guidance on analysis efforts. Provide support, training, and direction to all Advanced Research Engineers on DOE, statistical analysis, and modeling. Help your colleagues build a world and workplace that is just, sustainable, and equitable.


  • Candidates will have a Master’s Degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Physics, Computer Sciences, Actuarial Science, Engineering, or related field as well as 4 years of industry experience in experiment design and statistical analysis.
  • Preferred candidates will have a PhD in Statistics, Mathematics, Physics, or similar field of study.

Required Skills/Competencies:

  • Deep understanding of Design of Experiments.
  • Linear Algebra: Matrix Algebra and eigenvalues/vectors.
  • Meta-analysis and systematic research review.
  • Data forensics and partitioning on large data sets.
  • Data Wrangling: preparation, mapping, and transformation.
  • Structured and unstructured data sets.
  • Executive level storytelling with data visualization.
  • Impart clarity when communicating complex data relationships.
  • Passion to learn new areas of study (device physics learning will be intensive).
  • High emotional intelligence.
  • Bravery to speak a dissenting opinion or present evidence against current belief.
  • Skilled in a structured problem-solving method (such as DMAIC, A3, 5 Whys, etc.).
  • Extensive understanding of Probability and Inferential Statistics as well as visual display of these concepts.
  • Expert at building predictive models and utilizing advanced statistical analysis, including generalized linear models, decision trees, PCA, logistic and multivariate regression.
  • Deep knowledge of statistical and modeling software tools and scripting languages such as JMP, SAS, Python, SPSS, or R to manipulate data and draw insights from large data sets.
  • Experience with Microsoft environment: Windows OS, Office 365, Teams, SharePoint, etc.

Essential Responsibilities:

Development Program Statistical Research & Meta-analysis (70%)

  • While assigned to a Development Program, serve as statistical expert and work with Technical, Operations and Process Engineering Teams to achieve program goals via research, modeling, experiment design and analysis.
  • Gain deep understanding of program objectives, learning the physics behind the processes to know current and predict future Program Team needs.
  • Help Team define an experiment’s statement of intent, reviewing previous responses and assuring factor estimability is understood.
  • Systematic review of prior experimentation to find relevant, high-quality data, while accounting for variability in study approach, sample size, execution, environment, etc.
  • Standardize and weight prior research to build new predictive models to guide Program experimentation.
  • Understand experimenter’s needs and develop custom experiment design to efficiently create insight.
  • Exhaustively evaluate experiment design and resulting model.
  • Work with Program Partners to define and prepare datasets for modeling.
  • Monitor many data streams and feedback data quality to Program Teams.
  • Be the data forensics Program Lead, data mining root cause of un-intended processing artifacts.
  • Explore data using a variety of statistical (e.g., data mining, regression, cluster analysis, partitioning, PCA) techniques to answer research questions and guide future experiments.
  • Synthesize independent experiment findings into overall treatment effects.
  • Prepare testing scenarios and test model performance against new results, subsets, etc.
  • Clearly and concisely communicate analysis and modeling results to business partners, supporting socialization and adoption of results into business activities and decisions.
  • Perform Program meta-analysis, putting the newest experiment in context with history, highlighting key abnormalities, consistencies, and correlations.

Data Science & Statistics Subject Matter Expert (30%)

  • Define data structures and systems that will institutionalize improvements and lower the bar for analysis across the organization.
  • Hone and proliferate the craft of cross-experiment meta-analysis in Research & Development.
  • Assist in development of standard analytical approaches and methodologies for the department.
  • Apply advanced statistical techniques, including analysis of variance, t-tests, factor analysis, regression, multivariate analyses, PCA or simulation, to analyze the effects of experimentation.
  • Provide guidance and direction related to statistical analysis to less experienced Research & Development staff as needed.
  • Provide peer review related to analytics methods and results.
  • Work closely with Development Technical Teams to identify and answer critical questions.
  • Identify and scope new opportunities for statistical analysis applications and scripting.
  • Proactively research and leverage new statistical techniques and technologies to apply and teach.
  • Develop and lead training sessions for advanced Data Science & Statistics concepts.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Job description subject to change at any time.

Reporting Relationships:

  • Reports to Analytics Manager.
  • This position may have direct reports.


  • No travel is required.

Estimated Salary Range:

  • $88,400 - $120,000 Annually

US Physical Requirements:

All positions in our office require interaction with people and technology while either standing or sitting. In order to best service our customers, internal and external, all associates must be able to communicate face-to-face and on the phone with or without reasonable accommodation. First Solar is committed to compliance with its obligations under all applicable state and federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. In keeping with this commitment, it attempts to reasonably accommodate applicants and employees in accordance with the requirements of the disability discrimination laws. It also invites individuals with disabilities to participate in a good faith, interactive process to identify reasonable accommodations that can be made without imposing an undue hardship.

Potential candidates will meet the education and experience requirements provided on the above job description and excel in completing the listed responsibilities for this role. All candidates receiving an offer of employment must successfully complete a background check and any other tests that may be required.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement: First Solar is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values and respects the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce. It is the policy of the company to recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a driving force in the success of our company.