Hyfé Foods

Sr. Mechanical Engineer

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

Posted on May 11, 2024

Sr. Mechanical Design Engineer 

Emeryville, CA - In-person, full time


Hyfe is seeking a mechanical engineer who self identifies as a “tinkerer.” We are looking for a builder that is ready to turn chemical engineering designs into prototypes, and protypes into a pilot. The role will come in during the research and development phase, and will be responsible for designing our process prototype, and building, commissioning, and operating our pilot system. The Sr. Mechanical Design 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.


  • Work closely with process engineers to develop a fully integrated process that converts various waste streams into product that meets target specifications

  • Lead vendor relationships, understand equipment capabilities, obtain necessary equipment on time

  • Design prototype with modeling software, size parts, spec out material and metallurgical requirements

  • Design and build pilot system

  • Using CAD to design, prototype, and spec out components for fabrication within aggressive timelines

  • DFX, FMEA, vendor selection, fabrication documentation, GD&T

  • Excelling in both numerical analysis and creation of test setups to empirically quantify performance, reliability, and failure modes of new system components

  • Collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to communicate requirements, design intents, and test procedures for these components

  • Lead design and development work from concept through commissioning and operation of pilot system

  • Develop and lead the design of experiments for validation of component functionality & robustness

  • Consolidate and parameterize component designs for both ease of configuration and scalability in the field

  • Be comfortable both working with vendors and working in a shop environment for quick turn prototyping and iterating on designs



  • B.S. degree or higher in mechanical engineering or relevant fields.

  • 5-7 years of mechanical engineering R&D

  • Experience with CAD or equivalent modeling software

  • 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



  • Strong proficiency with modeling and design software tools

  • Exceptional organization, communication, and collaboration skills

  • Highly autonomous and self-stewarding

  • 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 prototype a process that can run continuously within the first 6 months

  • Design and build a pilot per technical development timelines



  • 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.