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Laboratory Operations Associate

Alameda County, California, US
Closing date
Nov 26, 2021

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About Terviva

Terviva is a food and agriculture company committed to transforming the food and agriculture industry by making food production more accessible and equitable to farmers, and more sustainable for our communities and our planet.

We do this by cultivating a non-GMO, sustainable tree crop called Pongamia that produces beans with dramatically higher yields than other oilseed crops. Through our extensive R&D, we have developed proprietary bean processing technology that enables us to produce tasty and nourishing plant-based oil, flour and protein food ingredients.

Our Pongamia trees not only produce beans for sustainable food ingredients; they also restore farmland to productive use, helping farmers feed people while taking care of the planet.

We value diversity of thought, culture and biology. We strive towards diversity and inclusion as an essential part of who we are. We recruit teammates from all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives because we know our diversity makes us stronger.

Learn more at


Based in Terviva's new Alameda, California Technical Center, the position will support ongoing product development projects for the company's portfolio of Pongamia derived food ingredients. The Laboratory Operations Associate will manage prototype product sample inventories and will perform a variety of technical and quality assurance duties in a fast-paced research and development environment. The role will support multiple internal stakeholders to assure accurate and timely availability of commercial prototype ingredients for business development and sales. In addition, the role will support overall Technical Center operations by managing chemical inventories, ordering supplies, maintaining SDS's, and serving as document manager for the laboratory occupational health and safety program. Further, as time allows, the person in this role will assist in a variety of laboratory projects including process development and/or analytical chemistry experiments involving edible oil, flour and protein characterization.

This position reports to the Team Lead, Research & Development, in a highly matrixed organization with multiple internal customers.

Job Responsibilities:
  • Maintain prototype product sample inventories, fulfill prototype sample requests, and communicate relevant information to internal stakeholders, including Process Engineering, Research and Development, Quality Assurance and Commercial teams.
  • Assist in prototype sample preparation and/or manufacturing, which will include laboratory coordination with Quality Assurance testing and quality documentation.
  • Maintain laboratory equipment and supplies, including the routine cleaning of general-use equipment, overseeing maintenance contracts, and requesting repairs/replacement parts. Examples of equipment include water purification systems, centrifuges, HPLCs, GCs, microscopes, freezers, pipettes, and others.
  • Manage laboratory ordering system, maintain SDS records and serve as the document manager for the laboratory occupational health and safety committee program.
  • Conduct process development and laboratory experiments with Pongamia ingredients using methods to include: solvent distillation, rotary evaporation, benchtop analytical chemistry, various separation methods such as HPLC, GC, protein gel electrophoresis, and others.
  • Serve as a liaison between the Research & Development, Process Engineering/Manufacturing and Commercialization teams to ensure effective communication.
  • Additional responsibilities as assigned.

Preferred Skills, Competencies & Experience
  • Experience with laboratory management systems for inventory, chemical supplies, SDS programs and LIMS.
  • Ability to manage procurement systems and equipment maintenance contracts.
  • Familiarity with analytical chemistry methods such as HPLC, GC, spectrophotometry, SDS-gel electrophoresis, and others.
  • Experience with Quality Assurance systems in food, drug or agricultural settings.
  • Competency or experience in aseptic technique or sanitary handling of materials.
  • Experience working in a regulated Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) environment will be viewed favorably.
  • "Fluent in" Google Apps and MS Office, especially Google Sheets and Excel, as well as familiarity with productivity apps (e.g. Slack,
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience in collaborative projects.

Education & Background
  • Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Food Technology or related field with 5+ years experience in a laboratory-based research and development environment.

Working at Terviva offers you:
  • The opportunity to make a difference in a fast-growing, mission-driven company that

intends to make an impact on climate change and inequality by partnering with farmers to plant millions of trees to feed billions of people!
  • Competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience.
  • Potential annual bonus.
  • Stock options, commensurate with role and experience.
  • Medical and dental, vision and life insurance (employee premium fully paid by Terviva).
  • Generous leave package.

COVID-19 Recruiting Process in Place:
  • Remote interview process will be followed.
  • Personal protective equipment will be provided according to current safety guidelines
  • Temperature screenings will be required for all in-person interviews
  • Social distancing guidelines will be implemented.
  • Sanitizing, disinfecting, or cleaning procedures are in place.
  • Terviva requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before reporting for work.

Next Steps:

To apply, please respond to the company position below.

Please include your resume and a cover letter telling us about yourself, your experience and why you are well suited for this job with Terviva.

Terviva is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based on race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation or any other legally protected status or characteristic. Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy and all employment decisions are made based on qualifications, merit and business need.
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