Hyfé Foods

Director of R&D / Manager of R&D

  • Full-time
  • Berkeley, CA

2023-08-31 22:58:17 UTC

About Hyfé:

Biomanufacturing offers a path to decarbonize key industrial sectors such as foods, fuels, materials, and chemicals, and is forecasted to mitigate at least 3 GT of carbon emissions annually by 2030. However, it’s difficult for the sector to compete with incumbent processes that depend on fossil resources, animal agriculture, and deforestation. Cost and supply of sugar feedstocks used to power bioprocesses is a major obstacle towards achieving price parity and the glucose needs of the bioeconomy are forecasted to outpace supply over the next 10-20 years. It is critical for the feedstocks that will power that growth to come from underutilized waste carbon streams that are cost effective, non-competitive with food, and avoid disruption of biodiversity and agricultural systems. 

Hyfé creates the future feedstocks of biomanufacturing from nutrients lost in trillions of gallons of food processing wastewater, an abundant and untapped source of carbon. Our technology enables water reuse and lowers the cost of wastewater and water management at food manufacturing facilities while enabling abundant and underutilized waste streams to fuel the growth of the bioeconomy. Hyfé was founded by ExxonMobil and LanzaTech engineers in 2021 and we are backed by investors like Synthesis Capital, The Engine, Refactor Capital, Supply Change Capital, and Chain Reaction Innovations, the entrepreneurship program at Argonne National Laboratory supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

We are building a solution that addresses a fundamental bottleneck for the bioeconomy just as it’s reaching an inflection point. This historic moment is as pivotal as the invention of the steam engine, the age of science and mass production, and the rise of digital technology. We are building a team of exceptional people that are obsessed enabling the success of the bioeconomy and striving to leave a legacy that will protect people and the planet.

The Role:

As Director/Manager of R&D, you will play a vital role in leading development and scale-up of our core technology platform, producing fermentation feedstocks from food industry wastewater. Ideal candidates have 5-20 years of industry experience spanning bench, pilot, and preferably commercial scale. This role will be responsible for driving execution all feedstock-related R&D and preparing for pilot scale demonstrations. This position reports to our CTO and works out of our Bay Area headquarters. Occasional travel (<10%) may be required.

You are:

Ambitious, talented, and incredibly passionate about our mission. You think strategically, move swiftly, and take ownership over results. You are a great teammate who cares about others and works hard. You are comfortable encouraging others to think bigger about the impact we want to have on the world. You are excited to roll your sleeves up and help build a company from its early stages. You are ready to leave a legacy.


  • PhD or MS in bioengineering, chemical engineering, or equivalent; BS with deep industry experience considered for exceptional candidates

  • 5-20 years of industry experience in technology development at bench, pilot, and ideally commercial scale in bioprocessing, ethanol fermentation, wastewater treatment, oil & gas, or similar

  • Familiarity with unit operations including membrane separations and enzymatic digestion of starch and/or lignocellulose; experience with evaporation, in-line analysis, and/or blending also desirable

  • Comfortable executing in a fast paced, startup environment; experience working at an early stage (pre-seed through series B) startup strongly preferred

  • Proven leadership capability, building and managing high-performing teams

  • Strong project management skills; results-focused with impactful execution and follow-through; highly detail-oriented

  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills and ability to work effectively with personnel at all levels

  • Sound judgement when faced with uncertainty and ambiguity

  • Highly self-motivated and solutions-oriented

Duties and responsibilities: 

  • Lead R&D program, developing core technology platform to produce fermentation feedstocks from food industry wastewater and delivering on company milestones

  • Develop strategy with respect to R&D, scale-up, and commercialization

  • Provide thought partnership and hands-on support to team in laboratory and potentially in field

  • Contribute to the development of data architectures, engineering process models, and technoeconomic models

  • Work with engineering, fermentation, and business development teams to advance technology commercialization, prioritizing business goals in experimental design and project deliverables

  • Understand key challenges associated with scale up, and communicate opportunities and areas for improvement to broader technical team and leadership

  • Contribute to development of safety systems and practices

  • Mentor/manage engineers, scientists, research assistants, and interns


  • Competitive salary and equity

  • 401k plan

  • 20 days of vacation, paid holidays

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance

  • Short-term disability coverage

  • Parental leave


At Hyfé, we’re looking for people with passion, ambition, and resilience. You’re encouraged to apply even if your experience doesn’t precisely match the job description. We’re expecting your skills and passion to stand out—and set you apart—especially if your career has taken some extraordinary twists and turns.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Hyfé is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability status, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Successful applicants for this position must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Vaccine verification will be required prior to the start of employment.