Assistant Director, Manufacturing Technology (MT)
Natick, MA Operations & Manufacturing
Job Type

Reporting to the VP of Manufacturing, the Assistant Director, MT is a true people leader, motivating and managing a team of engineers and scientists, to drive fermentation development and process scale-up/scale-down activities. The Assistant Director will oversee the activities related to fermentation technology development and scale-up, delivering successful project outcomes in support of Kula Bio’s mission to create sustainable nitrogen solutions that help farmers improve crop yield and reduce environmental impact.


Essential Functions:

Business & Technical Operations

  • Direct fermentation process development, scale-up, tech-transfer, and process optimization activities providing technical, managerial, hands-on and strategic leadership within MT function.
  • Develop and manage small/mid-scale pilot fermenter operations ensuring success of scale-up/process transfer to routine manufacturing and record progress in process development reports, engineering test protocols, and simulation study reports.
  • Recommend improvements in process and equipment operation based on sound engineering and scientific knowledge to increase process robustness, efficiency and productivity.
  • Select and purchase equipment to validate processes, providing technical instruction on equipment capabilities.
  • Lead complex troubleshooting investigations and drive process improvement initiatives including but not limited to product impact assessments, change control assessments, CAPA assessments, and raw material qualification.
  • Drive activities related to evaluation of major deviations, root-cause-analysis, corrective action preventive action (CAPA) and change control processes with strong focus on quality, risk mitigation and regulatory compliance.
  • Oversee data management and analysis ensuring data-driven results by coordinating studies, reporting on process understanding, system capabilities and equipment performance, assessing opportunities based on trend analysis and advances in technology and controls. Present information to Sr. Management.

People Leadership

  • Cultivate a positive and engaged employee culture based on continuous performance feedback, through talent management activities including performance reviews, goal setting, individual development plans, and succession planning.
  • Clearly communicate and clarify performance expectations and job requirements, monitor outcomes and accountabilities.
  • Manage talent acquisition processes that build a well-rounded, diverse, and technically proficient team incorporating best practice into onboarding and orientation to ensure long-term employee retention.
  • Provide ample training on new technology, equipment, compliance, safety, and all other relevant topics to maintaining quality, productivity and a safe working environment at all times.
  • Empathetically manage performance improvement planning, disciplinary actions, and efficiently offboard personnel in effort to maintain team morale, fairness, and drive high performance.

Cross-functional Collaboration

  • Contribute to regulatory filings and/or inspections and support ISO9001 certification.
  • Collaborate with internal teams specially Manufacturing Science (MS) and Manufacturing (MFG).
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to maintain an open flow of information in support of strategic and commercialization activities related to current product lines and product development.
  • Provide process and technical support on the manufacturing floor.

  • MS or PhD in Biochemical Engineering, Fermentation Biotechnology, Microbiology, or related fields
  • At least 5-7 years of hands-on experience with bacteria fermentation process development and optimization in an industrial setting, after graduation.
  • At least 3 years of previous experience successfully mentoring PhDs, Engineers, and research associates in an industry setting required.
  • Three or more consecutive years of experience managing a team of MS and PhD level reports and demonstrated results of people leadership and mentorship capabilities where people development and training were a responsibility.
  • Ability to proactively communicate, actively listen, accept feedback, and recognize and deliver results.
  • Time management skills and the ability to manage competing priorities in a fast-paced start-up environment.
Salary Description
$115,000 - 125,000