Sr. Director, Process Development

Job Description
Solazyme seeks a Senior Director to develop scalable and economical downstream processes for recovery & purification of oil from microalgae, and to develop feedstock processes to enable microalgae oil production from a wide variety of carbohydrate sources. The position will involve development and implementation of processes to produce kilogram to multi-ton quantities. Establishment and refinement of downstream processes at lab, pilot and production scale and management of process development projects and personnel are the main focus of the position. The successful candidate will work on multiple multi-disciplinary project teams. Very strong leadership, organizational and communication skills (written and oral) are essential. Previous experience with algae is desirable but not necessary. Experience working with R&D, fermentation process development, and manufacturing groups, and the ability to work as part of a highly functioning team in a dynamic environment are essential for this position.


Provide leadership to Feedstock Processing and Recovery Process Development Team personnel.

Work with R&D, Pilot Plant, Process Development and Manufacturing teams to identify, develop, optimize and commercialize feedstock and recovery processes.

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

Interact with outside partners / third-party service providers / process equipment manufacturers / contractors to conduct process development experiments and trials at laboratory and pilot scale.

Work with an engineering team to design and build processing systems to produce commercial scale volumes at competitive costs. This includes design, cost estimation, build, and startup of pilot and demonstration plants, as well as full scale commercial processing facilities.

Design, plan, schedule and execute experimental programs to develop maximum efficiency and purity.
Report (both written and oral) on laboratory and pilot plant experiments.

Scale-up processes from lab to pilot plant and to manufacturing for commercialization of new products for biofuels, fats and oils, nutraceutical, and cosmetics markets.

Make prototype batches to provide samples to customers.

Analyze results using chemical engineering fundamentals, mass and energy balances and unit operations.

Act as a conduit between R&D and Manufacturing.

Identify opportunities for improvement in the manufacturing of both prototype and existing products.

Travel to both company and client manufacturing sites as required.

Organize and maintain databases of pilot plant and laboratory experiments and results.

Lead and participate in multifunctional project teams.

Take a leadership role to insure safe work practices are followed in the pilot plants and labs.


Very strong knowledge of chemical engineering process unit operations such as dewatering, drying, solvent extraction, filtration, and ion exchange. Experience preferred in food-grade or other sanitary operations

BS or higher degree in Chemical Engineering with a minimum of 12 years experience in commercial or pilot plant operations, preferably in fats and oils, biofuels, or dry grind ethanol.

Computer competency and the ability to quickly learn software such as ChemCAD or Aspen.
Previous MS Office, AutoCAD and ChemCAD knowledge desirable.

Ability to perform physical work required in pilot plant and lab.

Demonstrated ability to work both independently and within team environments.

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

Solazyme is in a rapid growth phase and is seeking to add key members to its Process Development team. The successful candidate will have the ability, desire, and motivation to integrate his/her skill set into a dynamic organization that includes pioneering metabolic engineering of microalgae, pilot-scale and large-scale microbial fermentation, hydrocarbon extraction, chemical transformation of biofuels and feedstocks, and delivery of biofuel material to commercial partners. The position comes with competitive compensation, a full benefits package, and stock option grants.

If you are interested in this opportunity and meet are requirements we encourage you to apply. Please submit your resume online through our careers portal at


Solazyme, Inc.

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