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Reliability Engineering Lead



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:

Vow is looking for an experienced individual with strong mission alignment and a ‘get s*#t done’ attitude. The Reliability Engineering and Food Safety Lead will be tasked with implementing robust engineering solutions, implementing a food safety plan, and developing a quality management system in a new manufacturing environment.

This leader will effectively balance risk and accelerated timelines & drive innovations across design, process, and operations that result in a step change improvement in product quality.

They will be the connective tissue in the manufacturing team, using data and intuition to drive design, process, and operations teams towards the best solution(s). With rapid factory expansion and upcoming global product launches across various markets, maintaining the highest levels of product quality and food safety is essential to the success of Vow.

Skills you should bring:

  • Experience building and implementing physical, chemical, and/or biological quality control processes that adhere to fluid/changing regulatory guidelines or food quality requirements (Eg. ATP swabs of critical surfaces, cell growth monitoring to predict key downstream product characteristics).
  • Experience solving hardware/mechanical issues and/or biological contamination issues. Experience developing manufacturing processes and verification methods.
  • Experience designing Quality Management systems from scratch and/or improving existing Quality Management systems.
  • Experience with (or the ability to quickly learn) about HACCP/HARPC food quality systems.
  • Experience investigating and resolving customer concerns.
  • Experience organizing internal and external audits.
  • Experience developing a document management system (Eg. compliance, approvals, change control).
  • Experience leading a team and/or experience managing a group of cross functional stakeholders.
  • Degree or qualification in engineering, food science, dairy technology, microbiology or a related discipline.

Attributes we are looking for:

  • Thrive in ambiguity. Experience developing structures and creating order to solve open-ended problems. Ability to develop a problem solving framework and work cross functionally to motivate teams & drive measurable results.
  • Comfortable balancing risk and accelerated timelines. Demonstrated ability to quantify risk, recommend solutions, and drive execution of deliverables with a high sense of urgency.
  • Scrappy mindset and experience developing fast & creative solutions that solve the fundamental problem and can be adapted for long-term program and company needs.
  • Data informed. Experience using quantitative metrics to understand the quality landscape and drive actions across the organization. Demonstrated ability to develop a metrics framework and introduce new data collection methods (Eg. instrumentation, software platforms) in a production environment.

Note: you do not need to satisfy 100% of the points listed above. If you have some of the skills and believe you could make an impact in this role, please apply - we want to hear from you!

What success looks like:

First Month:

  • Gain expertise in Vow's manufacturing processes, bioreactor operations, and food safety regulations.
  • Understand and assess the existing quality management system; develop a preliminary 3-month strategic plan.
  • Build trust and strong relationships with the team and cross-functional partners.

First Three Months:

  • Develop key processes and workflows to ensure Food Safety and Quality standards.
  • Own and implement technical solutions to minimize product risk and enhance manufacturing reliability.
  • Lead, develop and grow the team. Develop a strategy to tackle current and future challenges, including hiring top talent.

First Year:

  • Drive measurable improvements in key quality metrics (e.g., operator error frequency, contamination rates), enabling continuous factory operation and meeting production goals.
  • Implement systems for capturing quality metrics, both real-time and historical.
  • Helped ensure compliance with internal and external quality and food safety standards; establish documentation & rapid response mechanisms for quality issues.
  • Set internal standards and achieve positive outcomes in external audits, reinforcing Vow's high-integrity reputation as a food manufacturer.
  • Lay the groundwork for scaling the quality team across multiple sites in Australia and support future global expansion.


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.