DOWNSTREAM PROCESSING ENGINEERING SCIENTIST, BIOME BIOPLASTICS LIMITED

Biome Bioplastics is looking for a Downstream Processing Engineering Scientist to develop an optimal purification strategy. This position is a full time 2-year fixed term contract based at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham.

Biome Bioplastics Limited seeks to enhance its development of next generation, bio-based molecules to provide the company with a portfolio of high-value, high-performance sustainable polymers. These in turn will further strengthen the competitiveness of the company and contribute to the transition away from the fossil-based polymer industry. This Innovate UK project, in collaboration with the University of Nottingham, will use a microbial cell factory to produce target bioplastic monomers from agricultural waste at pilot-scale. The work uses advanced synthetic biology and state-of-the-art processing for the production of highly biodegradable, compostable and recyclable bioplastic polymers, suitable for flexible packaging applications. This project builds on previous work by the partners and has the potential to significantly contribute to the UK’s scientific and commercial position in the field of advanced bio-based and compostable packaging materials, allowing the UK to reach its 25-year environmental target.

Working for  Biome Bioplastics in a seconded role to the University of Nottingham to develop a bio-manufacturing process for the monomer 2,5-pyridinedicarboxylic acid (2,5-PDCA), the role entails the development and characterisation of a continuous downstream process entailing several integrated unit operations at large laboratory scale. Furthermore, the role will encompass integrated process development with the continuous bioreactor upstream processing. The primary aim of the position is to maximise the recovery and purity of 2,5-PDCA produced in the continuous bioreactor. During the project, you will work closely with metabolic and upstream processing engineers, contributing in a multi-disciplinary environment towards the design of a pilot scale manufacturing process.

Main Responsibilities:
Development of an optimal purification strategy through development and characterisation of several continuous and integrated downstream processing unit operations, maximising the recovery and purity of 2,5-PDCA produced in the continuous bioreactor. (60%)
Produce written progress reports and presentations; informal reports on a monthly basis and formal oral and written reports every 3 months.  Prepare conference presentations and journal publications.  Attend project meetings and conferences.  Liaise with Finance Department to monitor and report project expenditure, and produce financial forecasts. (15%)
Use scientific literature to develop research plans and interpret findings (15%)
Liaise with other members of the project team to ensure effective collaboration, and communicate important findings to project stakeholders by telephone or email when appropriate (5%)
Assist in supporting PhD students, good laboratory practice and safe working within the laboratory (5%)

Salary around £35,000 depending on skills and experience
Reporting to Professor Alex Conradie whilst at Nottingham, but Krisztina Kovacs-Schreiner of Biome shall have overall responsibility.

Due to the requirements of the UK Border and Immigration Agency, applicants who are not UK or EEA nationals and whose immigration status entitles them to work without restriction in the UK will be considered on an equal basis with UK and EEA nationals.  Other non-UK or non-EEA nationals whose employment will require permission to work subject to a resident labour market test may only be considered if there are no suitable UK or EEA national candidates for the post.  Please visit http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ for more information.

Details on how to apply can be found via the Biome Bioplastics website.