Using microorganisms to build mineral binder

Our client, an innovative start-up based at EPFL, is revolutionizing the field of mineral binders, starting with the problem of consolidating unstable soils. It has succeeded in cultivating solutions based on microorganisms which produce calcite. Through soil injections into unstable soils a natural process is stimulated which solidifies the soil, transforming it into rocky material. The results are impressive, and many Swiss and European civil engineering firms, geologists and railway companies are beginning to call on this technology of the future. This start-up is set for significant growth, first in Switzerland and Europe. Having successfully produced this soil-injectable liquid in the laboratory in batches of 1,000 liters, our customer is now scaling up this process in a new 400m2 plant with a line of two 5,000-liter bioreactors and filtration systems controlled by an automation system. This unit will be able to produce up to 40,000 liters per month of this product, which is destined to be used on many construction sites. To make a success of this exciting project, the start-up asked us to look for a

Head of Manufacturing (m/f)

This very interesting and forward-looking position will allow you to participate in the growth of a leading company and to be a key player in its evolution. You will also participate in the results of this promising company and work closely with the CEO and the Head of Technical Ops.

Main responsibilities
  • Manage the entire process of ramping up production in a new 400m2 plant and guarantee the smooth running of production flows in terms of quality, costs and deadlines
  • Implement the industrial manufacturing process on the basis of a pilot plant
  • Manage the sourcing of equipment and commodities
  • Supervise commissioning of installations (bioreactors, filtration systems, process automation, energy, water, etc.) by suppliers
  • Start production and manage the supply chain for all products needed for the production process and installations; estimate costs and prepare budgets for running production lines and consumables
  • Set up the structure and processes needed to guarantee production quality, deadlines, and costs; monitor production to resolve issues
  • Liaise with other managers to formulate objectives and understand requirements
  • Supervise and evaluate performance of production personnel (quality inspector, workers, etc.)
  • Determine amount of necessary resources (workforce, raw materials, etc.)
  • Approve maintenance work, purchase of equipment
  • Establish and enforce health and safety (HSE) precautions
  • Participate in the implementation of future plants in Europe (technology transfer)

Your profile
  • You are an engineer or scientist, with solid experience in water treatment or in the production of enzymes, bacteria or other microorganisms
  • At ease with manufacturing in general, you know how to manage production flows, forecast purchases, define and monitor a production plan, manage costs, and organize a quality system that complies with current standards 
  • You are familiar with the production of industrial volumes of by-products from the cultivation of micro-organisms, such as beer brewing, medical biotechnology or the production of biochemical compounds
  • You ideally have experience in scaling up biochemical production facilities, including equipment supply, and can produce clear process documentation for suppliers commissioning automation systems
  • You are familiar with water filtration systems or ultrafiltration of biological liquids in an industrial mass-production context
  • You are an excellent organizer and know how to set up and optimize preventive maintenance operations
  • You are a team player, result-oriented and a positive person
  • You know how to make people grow around you
  • You are fluent in English and, if possible, French; further languages would be an asset

The selected candidate will have the chance to grow in a promising start-up. Do you like this job description, and do you recognize yourself in this profile? Then send us your confidential file or call me if you need more information.
  • Job title
    Head of Manufacturing (m/f)
  • Sector
  • Occupational group
    Marketing / Sales / Product Management
  • Region
    Lake Geneva region
  • Reference number
  • Your consultant
    Eric Chatelain
    Eric Chatelain -
    18, avenue d’Ouchy
    CH-1006 Lausanne
    +41 21 613 70 00
Eric Chatelain
Eric Chatelain