Process Engineer or Sr. Process Engineer - Peoria, IL
Solazyme - Peoria, IL

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Solazyme is a renewable oil production firm. We are the leader in algal biotechnology, harnessing the power of microalgae to renewably produce clean and scalable fuels, chemicals, food oils and health and wellness materials.

We are searching for a Process Engineer or Sr. Process Engineer to join our Engineering team. The ideal candidate will have strong experience in unit operations such as dewatering, drying, solvent extraction, and vegetable oil refining. This position will be an essential part of our process engineering staff, and as such will play a key role in the development and implementation of the company’s renewable oil production technology. This position is located in Peoria, Illinois.

Solazyme seeks a Process Engineer or Senior Process Engineer to design and scale up economical processes for microalgae production, and the recovery, & purification of oil from microalgae. The position will involve design of large-scale facilities and implementation of processes to produce demonstration and commercial scale quantities. Establishment and refinement of processes at demonstration and production scale is the main focus of the position. The successful candidate will work on multiple multi-disciplinary project teams. Very strong leadership, organizational and communication skills (written and oral) are essential. Previous experience with algae is desirable but not necessary. Experience working with manufacturing and fermentation process groups, and the ability to work as part of a highly functioning team in a dynamic environment are essential for this position.

Work with the Engineering team to optimize and commercialize critical oil recovery processes.

Develop P&ID’s and Layouts for the Solazyme process

Size equipment and develop equipment data sheets

Prepare bid RFPs and evaluate bids for technical correctness

Gather and maintain plant operations information in order to establish a corporate data base that will be used to set up SPC programs, provide troubleshooting information, and continually improve Solazyme’s product performance

Assist in the preparation of Operations manuals including process system descriptions, review of operational & control descriptions

Establish project technical requirements, including preparing and maintaining design basis documents, document list, project distribution, technical evaluation protocol and formats, and project procedures

Identify process equipment and systems needed for technology scale-up and full scale production.

Interact with outside partners / third-party service providers / process equipment manufacturers / contractors to conduct downstream process development trials at demonstration scale.

Work with an engineering team to design and build processing systems to produce commercial scale volumes at competitive costs. This includes design, cost estimation, build, and startup of pilot and demonstration plants, as well as full scale commercial processing facilities.

Design, plan, schedule and execute experimental programs to develop maximum efficiency and purity.

Report (both written and oral) on plant experiments and engineering progress.

Scale-up processes from pilot plant to manufacturing for commercialization of new products for biofuels, fats and oils, and nutraceutical markets.

Review detail design drawings for technical correctness and for operability

Analyze results using chemical engineering fundamentals, mass and energy balances and unit operations.

Act as a conduit between Process Development and Manufacturing.

Identify opportunities for improvement in the manufacturing of both prototype and existing products.

Travel to both company and client manufacturing sites as required.

Organize and maintain databases of manufacturing plant experiments and results.

Participate in multifunctional project teams.

Take a leadership role to insure safe work practices are followed in the demo and manufacturing plants.

Other tasks as assigned by the Director of Engineering

Very strong knowledge of process unit operations such as fermentation, material handling, dewatering, drying, solvent extraction, and/or vegetable oil refining.

BS or higher degree in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering with 6+ years experience in commercial or pilot plant operations, preferably in fats and oils, biofuels, wet milling, or dry grind ethanol.

Computer competency and the ability to quickly learn software such as ChemCAD or Aspen. Previous MS Office, AutoCAD and ChemCAD knowledge desirable.

Ability to perform physical work required in demo and manufacturing plant.

Demonstrated ability to work both independently and within team environments.

Team player that thrives in a cutting edge, fast paced, entrepreneurial environment.

Solazyme is in a rapid growth phase and is seeking to add key members to its Engineering team. The successful candidate will have the ability, desire, and motivation to integrate his/her skill set into a dynamic organization that includes pioneering metabolic engineering of microalgae, pilot-scale and large-scale microbial fermentation, hydrocarbon extraction, chemical transformation of biofuels and feedstocks, and delivery of biofuel material to commercial partners. The position comes with competitive compensation, a full benefits package, and stock option grants.

If you are interested in this opportunity and meet are requirements we encourage you to apply. Please submit your resume online through our careers portal at

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