Director of Manufacturing - Fermentation

Job Description
The Director Manufacturing - Fermentation Operations will lead the transfer of Solazyme’s technology for novel, scalable and economical fermentation processes for oleaginous microbes from pilot to large scale manufacturing facilities, then direct and oversee ongoing fermentation operations at those facilities until fully established. In addition the position will be responsible for ensuring best practice sharing across all of Solazyme large scale fermentation operations and developing a framework for ongoing technical exchange across functions and facilities. The position will involve a relatively significant amount of travel (approx 50%). A strong ability to compile and analyze fermentation operational data in order to effectively monitor and maximize manufacturing performance is a requirement. A sound knowledge of laboratory scale through commercial scale aerobic microbial fermentation technology and fermentation equipment engineering design and operational parameters is essential. Experience with process control systems design, implementation and operation is highly desirable. The successful candidate will work on multiple multi-disciplinary project teams. Strong leadership, organizational and communication skills (written and oral) are essential. Previous experience with algae and downstream biomass processing is desirable but not necessary.


- Develop and implement technology transfer packages for transfer of Solazyme’s fermentation processes to Solazyme Manufacturing Plants and Contract Manufacturers as required.

- Direct and oversee ongoing fermentation manufacturing activities at contract manufacturers.

- Work with engineering teams and plant personnel to ensure timely execution of experiments, technical guidance, trouble shooting, engineering changes and completion of projects.?

- Working with plant Technical support teams, establish and monitor against Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), identifying gaps in performance and developing appropriate improvement programs.

- Working with plant Technical support teams develop plant continuous improvement programs relating to product quality; plant capacity, efficiency and unit cost.
- Work closely with Fermentation and Downstream Process Development teams to develop, troubleshoot, optimize and scale-up critical algal oil fermentation processes.

- Develop and implement fermentation operating strategies and process control strategies based on a strong understanding of biochemical engineering principles.

- Identify critical process equipment and systems needed for technology scale-up and full production.

- Serve as Solazyme’s primary contact with third party service providers and contractors to conduct fermentation process development experiments and trials at laboratory or pilot scale.

- Provide fermentation process design input into projects with Engineering Design firms for modification, upgrade, or new construction of manufacturing facilities.


- Strong working knowledge of aerobic, microbial fermentation processes, process control strategies, fermentation operating strategies, and related processing equipment and systems, especially at industrial scale.

- Experience in microbial nutritional requirements, media design, and statistical design of experiments.

- 8+ years of successful industrial experience in large scale operations, process development, process control and scale up from bench to commercial scale for microbial fermentation processes.

- Strong experience with bioengineering issues in fermentation equipment and plant design and operation such as mixing, mass transfer, heat transfer, aseptic design, sterilization, etc.

- Familiarity with pilot plant and demonstration plant design, build, and start-up.

- Ph.D. degree in Chemical or Biochemical Engineering or equivalent. Alternatively, a B.S. or M.S. degree with significant (10+ years) relevant experience would be acceptable.

- Team player that thrives in a cutting edge, fast paced, entrepreneurial environment.

The successful applicant for this position will have the ability, desire, and motivation to integrate their skill set into a dynamic technology program that includes pioneering metabolic engineering of microalgae, pilot scale and large scale microalgal cultivation and product extraction, chemical transformation of biofuel and biofuel feed stocks and delivery of biofuel material to commercial partners.

The position comes with competitive compensation and benefits package, 401(k) and pre-IPO equity participation. Solazyme is an equal opportunity employer. Please submit your resumes online through our careers portal


Solazyme, Inc.

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