Hyfé Foods

Process Development Engineer

  • Research and Development
  • Full-time
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted on May 11, 2024

Process Development Engineer 

San Francisco, CA - In-person, full time


We are looking for a process engineer that self identifies as a “builder” that is ready to turn chemical engineering designs into prototypes, and protypes into a pilot. You will play a vital role in development and scale-up of our core technology platform, producing fermentation feedstocks from food industry side streams containing lignocellulosic biomass. The role will come in during the research and development phase, and will be help design, building, commission, and operate our pilot system alongside process and mechanical engineers in the team. The process development engineer will be heavily involved in hands-on R&D, coming up with creative solutions to achieve our technical objectives, and will wear multiple hats in between.

Our ideal hire must be comfortable working in ambiguous and fast paced environments. They must demonstrate an exceptional ability to execute and take ownership over results, even if not directly related to the trade. We are a small team, so we do what needs to get done despite title. They must be able to effectively manage time and feel comfortable with accountability. This person must be able to readily pivot to new priorities on short notice and not be afraid to push for clarity when tasks/workstreams are not defined. Lastly, this person must be passionate about addressing climate change through biomanufacturing, excited about building a company from the ground up, and adept at thinking and communicating directly in a team. This position reports to our Associate Director of Process Development and works out of our Bay Area headquarters with some travel to partner labs.


  • Develop and optimize technical processes for converting lignocellulosic biomass into fermentation feedstocks, focusing on pretreatment and hydrolysis

  • Travel to partner labs to run experiments, developing expertise in our process

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

  • Operate, troubleshoot, and maintain equipment, including reactors, mills, filtration rigs, and evaporators

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

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

  • Thoroughly document experiments and results, implementing systems and processes for data management and process standardization

  • Contribute to development of safety systems and practices

  • Be comfortable both working with vendors



  • BS or MS in chemical engineering or equivalent

  • At least 5 years of industry experience in process R&D working with chemical reactions, separations, chemistry

  • Bonus if experienced working with lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment (Size reduction, chemical/physiochemical, etc) and enzymatic hydrolysis; experience with analytics also desirable

  • Prior startup experience

  • Appetite for a fast-paced, early-stage, “get your hands dirty” startup environment

  • Effective time management skills and demonstration of a high sense of urgency

  • Ability to travel up to run experiments at partner labs



  • Strong proficiency with modeling software tools

  • Exceptional organization, communication and collaboration skills

  • Highly autonomous, self-stewarding, solutions-oriented

  • Strong work ethic

  • Not afraid of the word “no” and always looking to push the bounds of what is possible

  • Deep understanding of (or willingness to learn) the waste-to-value, food waste, biomanufacturing, and fermentation space


How will we know, with measurable clarity, whether you are doing an A-level job? What will the results be, what will we have achieved? What will it feel like?

  • Design and scale process to TRL 3-4 within the first 4 months

  • Design and build a pilot per technical development timeline

  • Work with partner labs and Hyfé team to select inputs within the first 2 months


  • Competitive annual salary, commensurate with experience 

  • 401k plan 

  • 15 days of vacation, in addition to paid holidays, sick leave, and closed office the last week of December

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance 

  • Short-term & long-term disability coverage

  • In-office snacks & drinks 

  • Weekly team lunch


Hyfé is on a mission to enable the decarbonization of chemicals, materials, fuels and foods by using food waste to lower the cost of biomanufacturing feedstocks. Biomanufacturing uses microbes as mini factories to convert sugar into the same molecules that would otherwise come from carbon-intensive industries like petroleum or animal farming. Currently, the industry relies on carbon intensive and expensive crop sugars which have adverse impacts on biodiversity, soil health, water quality, and food security.  Alternative, cost-effective, low-carbon feedstocks are urgently required for biomanufacturing to reach viable unit economics and commercialize decarbonization solutions.

Joining Hyfé is a chance to be part of something extraordinary – it’s not just a job. We are pioneering a tangible solution that can make the promise of biomanufacturing a reality. And right now might be the most exciting moment in the company’s history to join. We are assembling a team of some of the most talented and motivated individuals across the country. Driven by our core values of being fired up, fast, exceptional, and clear, our team is determined to deliver on our mission to help biomanufacturing transform how we make things for the better.




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.