Director of Pilot Engineering and Operations
Impossible Foods was founded to transform the global food system and reduce the impact of climate change by making the world's most delicious, nutritious, and sustainable meat, fish, and dairy - from plants.
Through the revolutionary work of our world-class R&D team, we're inventing efficient, sustainable ways to transform ingredients from plants into meat, fish, and dairy foods that deliver all the pleasures and nutritional benefits consumers demand, without the negative environmental or public health impact.
Our flagship product, Impossible™ Burger, uses 96% less land, 87% less water, and generates 89% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional beef from cows. And the burger is just the beginning. We're working on recreating every animal product, from chicken to fish, with plant-based ingredients that are vastly better for people and the planet.
Impossible Foods has experienced explosive growth over the last few years, and we continue to lead all aspects of the plant-based revolution - from discovery and innovation to commercial production and consumer education. We're building a rockstar team of brilliant, collaborative, mission-driven individuals who take pride in using their diverse skills to contribute to a better world. Our core values include leading with heart, thinking like scientists, and doing the right thing, and our employees embody these attributes in their work every day.
Want to join the movement? You can help us solve the most urgent, important challenge facing the world today (and have fun doing it). Check out our job opening below:
The Director of Pilot Engineering and Operations will lead and grow a department of talented process engineers, process development associates and technicians. This role is responsible for the process development and scale up of robust, high-yield fermentation-based processes to achieve both near term company objectives and long term strategic initiatives. Pilot plant safety, operational excellence and continuous improvement are critical elements to this job. This role reports to the VP of Downstream Process Development and works in close collaboration with our multidisciplinary R&D and Biomanufacturing teams. This role has the opportunity to support the buildout and oversee operations of additional Impossible Foods piloting facilities as we continue to grow and expand our in-house capabilities.
- Provide technical, operational and strategic leadership to pilot operations and process development engineering that aligns with company mission and business needs.
- Oversee a portfolio of scale-up and scale-down development projects to improve quality, productivity and/or COGS of fermentation-based processes with a focus on, but not limited to, milling, homogenization, centrifugation, tangential flow filtration, pasteurization and drying unit operations.
- Ensure that optimized and robust processes are delivered to manufacturing with a high degree of confidence in their performance at scale. Leverage process/product CAPEX and OPEX cost modeling to guide project prioritization and scale-up recommendations.
- Oversee pilot schedule, operations, new equipment install, maintenance and troubleshooting. Initiate and guide pilot improvement programs.
- Manage external vendors and third-party collaborators to deliver technical solutions.
- Manage, develop and inspire a 15+ person Pilot team. Provide technical guidance and prioritize career development. Lead with heart and put people first.
- Support pilot fermentation procurement and installation.
- Oversee routine fermentation operations to both scale-up and validate strain and fermentation process changes as well as supply broth for pilot downstream process development.
- PhD in chemical engineering, biochemistry or related fields and 12+ years of experience in post PhD in bioprocess development. At least 16+ years of experience without PhD considered.
- 10+ years of experience in pilot plant or manufacturing operations (pharmaceutical, biochemical and/or food) in a leadership role including managing and developing a team.
- Experience managing and allocating resources across multiple projects simultaneously to meet key timelines and deliverables.
- Must thrive in a fast-paced environment; quickly and efficiently redirect resources in response to changing priorities.
- Deep technical knowledge of biotech and/or food processes and systems, pilot-scale equipment, downstream process scale-up, scale-down and troubleshooting.
- Six sigma green/black belt and knowledge of DOE preferred.
- Experience with techno-economic modeling is a plus.
- Must have a proven track record of efficiently tech transferring robust, well-characterized process improvements from pilot to commercial-scale manufacturing.
- Knowledgeable about food GMP requirements and safety regulations including CIP protocols for pilot plant operations.
- Fosters collaborative and inclusive relationships with both internal partners and external stakeholders.
- Ability to lead, develop and grow a diverse, dynamic team.
Impossible Foods Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.
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