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12 May 2021

Full-Time Director, Engineering

NovoNutrients – Posted by NovoNutrients San Francisco Bay Area

Job Description

NovoNutrients is transforming industrial waste carbon dioxide emissions into protein-rich food and feed ingredients through industrial biotech – building the circular bioeconomy with a focus on food, climate change, and sustainable biotechnology. Our investors include IndieBio/SOSV, the Stanford Graduate School of Business Impact Fund, and the engineering and construction firm, Black and Veatch.

Seeking a Director of Engineering to lead one of the two primary technology teams of the firm, taking responsibility for the bioprocess and systems that the firm designs, builds, orders to be made, and/or operates for experimentation and sample production. By taking NovoNutrients gas fermentation processes from floor-scale to near-term pilot to eventual commercial scales, we are creating low-carbon food sources for the planet.

The ideal candidate has demonstrated passion and success in leading and managing multi-disciplinary process development, from R&D through to commercialization, including novel fermentation processes and the adaptation of established upstream and downstream processing. This role will focus on developing and managing system and facility designs, from inception to completion, to commercialize our novel, core CO2 bioconversion technology, with a focus on food and feed ingredients. The Director will also work in concert with specialized consultants and external engineering and construction firms. The initial focus will be site selection, engineering, build site development, installation, and operation of a gas bioprocessing pilot plant using carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and oxygen. The Director will oversee technical support of one or more of the firm’s initial field facilities.

Ideal candidates have knowledge of some or all of the following:

  • Prior experience and demonstrated success in managing a team of engineers toward successful development, scale-up and deployment of fermentation production and downstream processes (e.g., purification)
  • Hands on experience with the design and development of bioprocesses, scale-up and process optimization, ideally including gas fermentation
  • Practical mechanical experience with pilot scale and larger bioprocess equipment.
  • Process safety experience, including gas handling (hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide) and experience working in an FDA GMP environment
  • BS in chemical engineering or similar field with 10 years of process development experience in industrial biotech (preferred) or biopharmaceuticals
  • Ability to perform mass balances, sketch block flow diagrams, write standard operating procedures.
  • Industrial site experience commissioning & troubleshooting fermentation plants
  • Familiarity with MS Office and G Suite, and Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) systems for bench experiments; ability to develop strategies for ELN use

You will be expected to lead the team of engineers, scientists, and technicians both technically and strategically, and foster an environment in which team members are able to grow and develop into future technical and strategic leaders. In this role, you will be the key hands-on manager supporting the development of NovoNutrients’ fermentation and bioprocess. You’ll love communicating how our process works with clients, leading design reviews, and collaborating with project teams, R&D, EPCs, and vendors.

Overall your responsibilities will help the NovoNutrients team’s effort to:

  • Produce and enable technical work plans around bioreactor design and gas fermentation control systems that bridge to commercial operations. 
  • Provide rigorous attention to detail in experimental execution to ensure the team develops scalable, cost-efficient processes across NovoNutrients product families, on the specified timelines
  • Leverage chemical engineering principles and familiarity with fermentation and biochemical processes
  • Contribute to identifying new manufacturing sites, and addressing capital project needs at external manufacturing facilities, as needed
  • Draft concepts as invention disclosures and contribute to the patent application process and support the grant writing team in the engineering domain for RFPs.
  • Develop preventative maintenance SOPs
  • Provide critical thinking with a strong external focus with awareness of technologies and customer-partner requirements

Environment/Work Conditions: 

  • Based out of NovoNutrients’ headquarters in the Bay Area
  • Willingness and ability to travel for operations support, including internationally, infrequently but potentially for more than two weeks at a time, while observing COVID precautions and restrictions.
  • Both desk and hands-on work in lab and pilot sites
  • Exposure to hazards such as toxic and/or flammable gases and substances when working in the lab. Possible exposure to industrial-scale hazards in the field
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds and work standing 25% of work day

A complete job description is available here: https://www.novonutrients.com/director-engineering 

How to Apply

An application form is available here: https://airtable.com/shrgC3u0jLujexcsl  Cover letter and resume can be uploaded in the application portal linked above.

Job Categories: Engineer. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: bioprocessing, bioreactor, and Gas Fermentation. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

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