Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Director of Pilot Plant Operations

Windfall Bio

Windfall Bio

San Mateo, CA, USA · San Mateo, CA, USA · California, USA
Posted on Friday, July 5, 2024

TITLE: Director of Pilot Plant Operations

LOCATION: San Mateo, CA, hybrid

SALARY RANGE: $170,000 - $280,000 a year


Windfall Bio is a nature-based technology company that harnesses methane-eating microbes (mems) to transform harmful methane into organic soil nutrients on site. Windfall’s proprietary microbes are capable of consuming dilute methane from various sources such as landfill gas, coal mine vent gas as well as low-quality concentrated methane streams such as raw biogas from anaerobic digester, vented gas and flared gas from upstream oil well operations, etc. The resulting biomass is a nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer. Mems represent a potential low capex opportunity for increasing the revenue potential of decentralized methane production by providing a high value, locally consumable product. In particular, the organic fertilizer produced by the mem process can serve as a domestic source of fertilizer for nearby local communities, improving soil health and local water quality, increasing local food security, and creating high-paying local jobs and industry.

We are looking for candidates with exceptional management and technical skills and with hands-on experience in operating pilot and industrial scale fermentation systems to lead the operations of our pilot plant and the commercial deployment team. Join our team and build the future with us.


  • Responsible for the operations of a fermentation pilot plant to convert methane to organic fertilizer
  • Provide technical leadership to long-term partners and commercial contract organizations (CMOs) to produce mems
  • Manage and deliver technical program for the fermentation pilot plant to support field trials at customer’s sites, process scale up, new market development and production of mems
  • Build and develop a team of fermentation scientists and process engineers
  • Lead team to develop KPI improvement program and implement process changes to improve production rate, yield and efficiency.
  • Build internal technical capability and external research partner network
  • Influence internal stakeholders and lead coordination with cross functional teams (engineering, microbiology, analytical, regulatory, business development) to ensure goal delivery across multiple projects.


  • PhD (preferred) or MS or BS in chemical engineering, bioengineering or related field of study.
  • 10-15+ years of relevant experience in large-scale fermentation operations
  • In depth technical expertise in fermentation processes and downstream processing (DSP) at pilot and/or manufacturing scale
  • Proven track record of leadership and management and development of technical teams is essential
  • Experience in methanol and gas fermentation and industrial scale DSP would be an advantage
  • Ability to influence and collaborate in a senior cross-functional team across technical and commercial departments
  • Strong technical and analytical proficiency, self-motivated, creative, and flexible with the mindset to succeed in a fast-moving ‘start -up’ environment.


  • Significant travel to domestic and international locations might be required to support field trials.