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Process Development Scientist/Engineer



Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posted on Monday, March 18, 2024

About us

Vow is a food company - a very different one. We’re creating real meat products from animal cells instead of the animal itself.

We’re bringing together cutting edge innovations in science, engineering, culinary and design to make sustainable food that’s both irresistible and available to billions of people worldwide.

The role:

We’re looking for a Process Development Scientist/Engineer with experience scaling new processes to pilot/demo factory scale to join our rapidly growing food company.

You’ll work directly with operators/scientists and other technical team members to drive and coordinate the implementation of scalable & efficient processes to produce cultured meat. You’ll also be involved in the design, execution and interpretation of experiments to develop and optimise new processes, or existing processes for new products. You will serve as a technical resource to the manufacturing facilities to provide input and direction on important product & quality issues from a process perspective, and support continual process improvement.

You will get to work on processes developed using a range of kit at different scales, from ambr15, to 2L stirred tank reactors, to single-use 200-2000L stirred tank reactors, to stainless steel 200-15000L stirred tank reactors.

Making sustainable, abundant and irresistible food requires the brain power of a diverse group of people. In this role you will have the opportunity to work alongside incredible mechanical, automation, software, hardware engineers, process development scientists, procurement and supply chain specialists, designers and culinary specialists who are relentlessly passionate about food and creating a better future for our planet.

The ideal experience you will bring:

  • A qualification in cellular biology, microbiology, brewing, biomedical / chemical / biochemical engineering, or equivalent experience
  • Experience scaling cell culture processes to a pilot plant, at a minimum volume 500 litres
  • Use of scale-down systems for modeling processes, such as cell growth, tissue culture and solid/liquid phase separations
  • Using statistical methods and tools (e.g., design of experiments (DoE) in JMP or similar) for optimisation of processes

Bonus if you have:

  • cGMP experience
  • Stainless steel bioreactor operation experience

You will:

  • Oversee the scale up of processes from laboratory scale to pilot and demo scales (200L to 15000L)
  • Support development of robust and scalable processes for different cell lines at laboratory (<25L) scale.
  • Troubleshoot biological (e.g. cell growth inhibition), chemical (e.g. pH regulation) and physical (e.g. oxygen mass transfer) process problems during process design and scale up
  • Perform statistical analysis on lab/pilot/production performance and communicate performance trends
  • Forecast industry trends, challenges, and opportunities, and translate these into impactful projects and strategy to drive continuous process improvement
  • Optimise processes to improve costs, speed and quality
  • Follow process data and quality after scale up. Evaluate and troubleshoot problems that may arise in newly transferred processes.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of new technologies for next-generation biological manufacturing processes, including the application of process development to manipulate product characteristics e.g. texturisation, protein content, etc
  • Mentor and coach junior scientists, engineers and technicians

What success looks like:

  • First month: You will work within our process development team to learn the ins and outs of our laboratory process development, and our pilot- and demo-scale facilities. You will develop a deep understanding of technology and manufacturing goals at a company level, and will be able to suggest approaches to achieve these goals.
  • First three months: You will have worked closely with our technology and manufacturing teams, and you will have taken technical ownership of one or more process development projects and be training junior scientists and technicians.
  • First year: You will have significantly contributed to implementing scalable processes for a number of different cell line and media combinations. You will also have leveraged your deep knowledge of bioprocess to introduce new product characteristics via process changes/manipulation, resulting in new & delicious product prototypes. You will also have contributed to shaping what Vow’s production process looks like beyond pilot and demo scales. You will have helped train, mentor and grow a team of operators to rapidly drive process development and optimisation.

Who we are and why join:

  • We are building a diverse, mission-led dream team of “Vowzers.” Our mission is to make food products for everyone. To do that well we need a workforce that’s representative of the people we serve. We celebrate multiple approaches and points of view - so we’re building a culture to match. Be yourself and come as you are.
  • Work on cutting-edge technology. We’re bringing together cutting-edge innovations in science, engineering, and food, to recreate the world’s most tantalising and unique culinary experiences. All without compromising on ethics or our planet along the way. Since our inception in 2019, we have held the title of being the first startup to cultivate meat from the cells of an undomesticated animal, and have served up our exotic meats ranging from kangaroo dumplings to alpaca sliders in tastings with world-renowned chefs.
  • Work with and learn from the best. Our team includes some of the world’s top scientists, innovators, operators, and creatives with decades of industry experience. Despite our experiences though, we all strive to build, break, learn, and repeat. We see the impossible as temporary and strive to learn and support our company and fellow Vowzers' growth as much as possible.
  • We’re fully funded and ready to go. We are a growing Aussie biotech start-up backed by Blackbird Ventures, Square Peg Capital, Grok Ventures, Tenacious Ventures, P7 Ventures, Toyota Ventures, and PeakBridge VC.

Vow perks and benefits:

  • Everyone is an owner. In addition to competitive base salaries, each and every ‘Vowzer’ owns equity in the company so we can all benefit from our hard work and future success.
  • Generous paid parental leave. We offer 8 weeks of paid caregiver leave and an additional 8 weeks paid leave for the birth giver.
  • Generous relocation budget & support. Support for interstate or overseas team members and their families (including pets!)
  • Flexible working hours and location. We value work-life balance. While we’re mostly back in the office, you’re free to choose the best way for you to work.
  • Unlimited personal leave. At Vow we recognise that sometimes you need time off to recuperate, look after your mental health, or simply deal with an emergency. We put unlimited personal leave in place to empower you to truly bring your best self to work every single day and you are always paid for days taken off as personal leave.
  • Heaps of tasty samples from our culinary centre. Our fantastic "food inventors" on the Vow team are always cooking up new product prototypes, and all Vowzers are given the opportunity to taste, give feedback, and learn from their culinary prowess.
  • An awesome converted warehouse “campus” in Alexandria. Complete with a glass-walled lab, manufacturing line, free snacks, a culinary centre, and professional-grade coffee machine in our cafe, as well as a DIY workshop for all hands-on projects.
  • Human and dog friendly office! An inclusive community and culture, in a welcoming office, complete with friendly “Vowzer” dogs!
  • A variety of social clubs. We encourage all our Vowzers to build the culture with us and share what you love by creating social clubs across the business. From book clubs to hiking groups, we’re always looking for ways to learn and engage with our team.

You don’t have to have every listed requirement and skill to be a great fit - you may even teach us something about what we should be looking for! If you are passionate about this opportunity and think you have the skills to succeed, please apply! If not, but you know someone who might be interested, please share this post.