Director of Fermentation R&D

Posted: January 17, 2023


At Air Protein, we’re passionate about creating a new food system–one that pushes the boundaries of what anyone thought was possible and builds a healthy relationship between our food and our planet. This is a new era of sustainable production; we can use less and make more. We can feed the growing global population without destroying rainforests or warming the planet. Join our diverse team of passionate scientists, engineers, and business leaders working to create the future of food—meat made from elements of the air.

As an innovative food company, we are crafting the world’s first air-based meats to eliminate compromise between nutrition, taste and climate impact. Using novel technology inspired by NASA, we convert elements found in the air into protein. Air Protein’s process is carbon-negative by design, using less land and water, and is powered by renewable energy. It’s where cutting-edge science meets bold ambition to reinvent the way we eat.

Benefits & Perks:

In addition to the chance to work with a world-class team and cutting-edge technology to help combat climate change and address the impending food crisis, Air Protein employees also enjoy competitive benefits. We offer unlimited PTO, parental leave, 401K match, and compensation plans that include employee equity. Air Protein invests in employee development and the company culture is shaped by shared values:

  • Protect people & the planet
  • Play as a team and have a growth mindset
  • Do what you say you will do
  • Be the change you seek
  • Create a culture of belonging

We’re currently seeking a** Director of Fermentation** to join our extraordinary team!

  • Do you have expertise in mass transfer and kinetic modeling?
  • Are you an expert in gas fermentation? Do you have profound experience in a food/feed cGMP environment?
  • Are you knowledgeable in chemical reactions and engineering?

If you answered yes to these questions, WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

The Role:

The Director of Fermentation is an experienced chemical engineer, biochemical engineer, microbiologist, or related occupation that is responsible for overseeing the R&D efforts of Air Protein’s gas fermentation process used to make food grade protein, leading to improved economics for commercialization. This position is based in the Menlo Park, CA (SF/Bay Area) and requires candidates to live in commutable distance to our headquarters.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead and mentor a team of engineers, scientists, and research associates developing and optimizing Air Protein’s gas fermentation bioprocess to produce protein ingredients.
  • Develop and maintain a safe working environment.
  • Support continuous improvement of laboratory infrastructure, operations, workflows, and protocols.
  • Collaborate with other teams including engineering, pilot and scale-up operations, downstream processing, and product development.
  • Design, coordinate, and lead experiments to evaluate operating conditions, hardware changes, medium formulations, feeding strategies, and other process conditions to improve KPIs in small scale bioreactors.
  • Incorporate input from various stakeholders across departments in defining and executing experimental plans.
  • Apply scientific and engineering principles, research theories, models, and hands-on technical expertise to design and plan experiments and research activities. 
  • Perform data analysis to track key performance indicators and guide experimental planning.
  • Work with the food quality and safety team in the development and implementation of systems and processes to support the quality of fermentation processes and products.
  • Perform tech transfer from lab to pilot and production scales, providing hands on support as required.


  • B.S. or advanced degree in Chemical Engineering, Biochemical engineering, Microbiology, or a closely related field.
  • 10+ years’ experience in fermentation (R&D, operations, and/or engineering).
  • 4+ years’ experience leading/managing teams of engineers and scientists with demonstrated experience mentoring and developing team members.
  • Fermentation experience at the lab-scale, including the end-to-end operation of bioreactors and development of SOPs.
  • Results-focused project management skills.
  • Experience developing and optimizing robust, scalable industrial fermentation processes.
  • Must be on site at our fermentation facilities in the Bay Area.

Skills & Qualities:

  • Able to build and manage strong teams

  • Strong hands-on wet-lab and fermentation skills

  • Strong leadership in safety

  • Demands excellence in execution

  • Superb communicator at all levels across departments and up to the executive leadership team

  • Understand the use of technology as a competitive differentiator.

  • Excellent organizational skills 

  • Able to develop new systems / scale-up innovations

**Salary Range For The Position: **$170,000 - $230,000 USD

Air Protein is an equal opportunity employer.

At Air Protein, we are committed to providing equal opportunities. Because we want the absolute best people, we enthusiastically invite people of every race, color, orientation, age, gender, origin, and ability – or any other status protected by law – to apply to join our team. 

Research has shown that women and people from marginalized groups may not apply for a role if they aren't a 100% match.  Please don't hold back.  If you think you will excel in this role, but perhaps you don’t tick every box, we'd appreciate the opportunity to consider your application.

How to apply

Please Click On Link Below To Apply

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