Downstream Process Engineer

Chicago, IL /
Engineering & Manufacturing /
/ On-site
Nature’s Fynd is a groundbreaking food tech company born out of NASA-supported research on extremophiles in the geothermal pools of Yellowstone National Park. Our novel fermentation technology produces a sustainable source of complete protein using only a fraction of the resources required by traditional agriculture. As the challenge to feed the world’s expanding population grows, our mission is to create amazing foods and materials that provide sustainable choices and nurture the planet.

We’re looking for passionate, driven, and ambitious people to join our fast-growing team.

As a Downstream Process Engineer at Nature’s Fynd, you will be a key member of the Pilot Plant team serving as a subject matter expert for process and technology  development and optimization of  the downstream process for production of our FY™ protein based on our unique fermentation technology. You will be responsible for scaling down our current processes and optimizing them, as well as scaling-up new ideas, technology, and equipment. You will also act as a subject matter expert and resource for the Process Engineering and Technology Team. A vast majority of this job will be on site. This position will be based in Nature’s Fynd Pilot Plant facilities.

Duties & Responsibilities:

    • Serve as downstream process engineering subject matter expert (SME) and provide technical support for optimization of current downstream processes. Propose and lead implementation of initiatives that optimize the manufacturing process, and scale down current processes to produce reliable optimization support. Experience with washing, dewatering, filter presses, belt presses, centrifugation preferred
    • Work cross-functionally with R&D, Product Development, Manufacturing, and Data Science teams to develop test plans / design of experiments and lead/perform equipment trials to determine key process parameters for optimal operating conditions. Support process development, scale-up and technology transfer activities from lab benchtop, to pilot plant, to industrial scale
    • Scout and develop technology for downstream processing of unique fermentation process to enable consistent production of high quality products based on FY™
    • Partner with external consultants and vendors to develop engineering design packages for production and utility systems, including equipment specifications, process control descriptions, and capital cost estimates. Participate in development of factory and site acceptance criteria, and the commissioning, validation, and startup of production lines

Role Requirements:

    • 4+ years of processing engineering experience in food, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or specialty chemical industries, downstream processes (separation, purification, water reduction, packaging) preferred
    • Master’s Degree (preferred, Bachelor’s accepted with experience) in Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering or related engineering discipline (i.e., Biological / Food Engineering)
    • Strong competency in the biotech or food process development and optimization and extensive knowledge of equipment technologies and unit operations, including fluid and solid transport, heat and mass transfer, extraction, separation / filtration, drying, etc
    • Experience with hygienic design and sanitary construction, good manufacturing practices (GMP) and cleaning, sanitization, and sterilization processes

Preferred Qualifications:

    • Experience performing process simulations and hydraulic modeling
    • Knowledge of process instrumentation, monitoring and statistical process control 
    • Knowledge of commissioning and new equipment handling
    • Knowledge of running small scale projects and cap cost estimates

Personal Qualifications:

    • Comfortable working in a startup environment, entrepreneurial mindset, and enthusiasm for innovation
    • Emphasis on personal transparency and accountability
    • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently & with a team
    • Ability to manage workflow for multiple projects and tasks
    • Detail-oriented, organized and capacity to meet deadlines
    • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, across organizational functions
    • Exhibit a strong sense of professional and personal integrity
    • Inherent curiosity and creativity in solving problems to understand how things work
    • Ability to handle and maintain the confidentiality of highly sensitive information
    • Versatility, flexibility, and willingness to work enthusiastically within changing priorities


    • Participation in Employee Stock Ownership Program
    • 100% paid employee benefits (medical, dental, vision)
    • Generous Parental leave policy
    • Opportunity to join a company with an aggressive growth trajectory that will revolutionize multiple industries
    • Engaging and dynamic work culture full of innovation and collaboration with your fellow Fynders

Commitment To Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, And Belonging:

    • Nature’s Fynd views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values

EEO Statement:

    • We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law