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Pilot Plant Manager

Company: University of Minnesota
Location: Saint Paul
Posted on: January 21, 2023

Job Description:

Apply for JobJob ID353396

LocationTwin Cities

Job FamilyResearch-Support

Full/Part TimeFull-Time


Job Code9354S2

Employee ClassAcad Prof and Admin

Add to Favorite JobsEmail this JobAbout the Job

Pilot Plant Manager of the Biotechnology Resource Center
The Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC) harnesses the power of microorganisms - such as bacteria, fungi, and algae - to fuel growth of biotechnology projects both in the University of Minnesota (University) community and beyond.

The BRC's facilities, located on the University's St. Paul campus, offer a pilot-scale biomanufacturing plant unique in the state that provides state-of-the-art microbial cell and recombinant protein production and process development services.

The BRC serves academic partners and industry clients from the fields of agriculture, biofuels, human therapeutics, industrial biotechnology, and veterinary medicine. Partners and clients come to BRC with promising ideas that have been tested in the laboratory. Then the BRC assists partners and clients in developing and expanding the scale of their work to make further progress, aid in testing, and further science, with the goal of product commercialization. BRC services are designed to provide partners and clients with process development expertise as well as a larger supply of either their desired microorganisms or the products (e.g., proteins or chemicals) those microorganisms make.

More than providing facilities, machinery, and instrumentation, the BRC offers expertise. BRC staff members are knowledgeable in process development, fermentation, and production and ready to help researchers and organizations take the next step toward optimizing and scaling biomanufacturing processes, producing novel drugs, and more.

BRC will be moving to a new facility on the St. Paul campus beginning in December 2023. The Microbial Cell Production Facility (MCPF) is currently under construction and will house an expanded BRC on the 2nd floor. It is located in the Northeast Biotechnology Partnership District, a 15-acre parcel of land earmarked in UMN's 20 year strategic plan for growth and development in biotechnology and related science/engineering disciplines. MCPF will provide a nucleus for commercial innovation and growth in the District. The District already houses the Cargill Building, home to research faculty from the College of Biological Sciences and the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences studying microbial and plant genomics.

Summary of Position:
The Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC) plant manager provides technical leadership and support for the BRC. The manager is responsible for overseeing all BRC plant operations including but not limited to: planning, scheduling, and implementing client fermentation and/or downstream processing projects; customer/vendor interactions; writing project reports, production Standard Operation Procedures, and quality system documents; equipment maintenance; laboratory safety and compliance; procurement and shipping; hiring, training and managing BRC staff; and conducting lab courses and demonstrations. The incumbent will also participate in ordering capital equipment for the new Microbial Cell Production Facility (MCPF) and managing vendor relations during equipment procurement and commissioning.

Essential Functions:
50% Leadership/Plant Management

  • Provide technical leadership for all BRC operational activities, including project and personnel scheduling, execution of client production runs, generation of production documentation, and equipment and plant maintenance as needed
  • Direct the execution of fermentation, purification, and other projects in the BRC based on partner and customer needs and research20% Client and Customer Relations
    • Serve as the main point of contact between clients and BRC employees
    • Collaborate with clients and BRC employees to define, plan and schedule projects
    • Facilitate communication to ensure transparency with the process and the timeliness of projects15% Budget
      • Identify and specify capital and other start-up equipment purchases for the MCPF
      • Provide accurate cost and time estimates for client projects10% Project Management
        • Ensure client projects are performed to the BRC's quality system Standard Operating Procedures, applicable external quality system guidance, and compliance with the University's Institutional Biosafety Committee and University Health and Safety requirements
        • Foster an environment that adheres to University standards and regulations regarding safety, environmental protection, and labor laws5% Employee Relations
          • Supervise hiring of key personnel for the MCPF and train personnel on plant operations and systems
          • Lead the development of a team to ensure high performance, talent succession planning, optimal staffing, and employee engagement


            Essential Qualifications:
            • Bachelor of Science degree in biotechnology, microbiology, chemical engineering or related field required
            • 8+ years industry experience in microbial fermentation and protein downstream process development and manufacturing technical operations
            • Demonstrated project management and supervisory expertise
            • Strong analytical problem-solving and strategic thinking skills
            • Able to sit, stand, walk regularly and lift up to 50 lbsPreferred Qualifications:
              • Advanced degree
              • Expertise in microbial physiology and biochemical engineering fundamentals as applied to fermentation process design, optimization and scale-up
              • Practical experience and expertise with a broad range of fermentation processes and organisms
              • Familiarity with multiple biotechnology industry sectors (e.g. biopharma; veterinary; agriculture)
              • Experience in a regulated manufacturing environment (e.g. cGMP; USDA; ISO)
              • Experience in project scope management and outcomes
              • Ability to negotiate, resolve conflicts, and influence decision-making both internally and externally
              • Experience in hiring technical personnel and developing personnel training programs
              • Understanding of general business and accounting operations and principles


                Working at the UniversityAt the University of Minnesota, you'll find a flexible work environment and supportive colleagues who are interested in lifelong learning. We prioritize work-life balance, allowing you to invest in the future of your career and in your life outside of work.The University also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes:
                • Competitive wages, paid holidays, and generous time off
                • Continuous learning opportunities through professional training and degree-seeking programs supported by the Regents Scholarship
                • Low-cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
                • Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts
                • University HSA contributions
                • Disability and employer-paid life insurance
                • Employee wellbeing program
                • Excellent retirement plans with employer contribution
                • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) opportunity
                • Financial counseling services
                • Employee Assistance Program with eight sessions of counseling at no costPlease visit the Office of Human Resources website for more information regarding benefits.

                  How To Apply

                  Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "My Cover Letters and Attachments" section. To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).


                  The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:

                  Employment Requirements

                  Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

                  Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to comply with the University's Administrative Policy: COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol by either providing proof of being fully vaccinated on their first day of employment, or complete a request for an exemption for medical exemption or religious reasons. To learn more please visit:

                  About the U of M

                  The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC)The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.

Keywords: University of Minnesota, St. Paul , Pilot Plant Manager, Executive , Saint Paul, Minnesota

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