Capro-X Hiring Research Development Lead

Shared by alumnus Juan Guzman, PhD ’17, CEO and Co-Founder of Capro-X, who indicated he would be happy to chat with anyone who would like further information or can suggest applicants.

Capro-X is searching for a Research Development Lead to join our team in Ithaca, available immediately. The ideal person for the role is a MS or PhD grad/soon-to-be-grad with a degree in biological, chemical, civil, environmental, or mechanical engineering, or food science, environmental science, or microbiology, with direct experience with fermentation, biorefining, bioenergy, and/or wastewater treatment. This Lead would manage our in-lab R&D efforts; performing wet-lab analysis (GC, HPLC, water testing); and assist with building and operating scale-up plants.

Interested candidates should submit application materials to with the following tag in the subject line: [CPRX RD Lead 2020].

About Capro-Xlogo Capro-X

Capro-X, is a sustainable ag-tech startup, spun out of Cornell, with labs located in downtown Ithaca. We are focused on scaling up our WheyAway fermentation technology, which upcycles dairy waste and byproduct streams into clean water and green alternatives to unsustainable palm oil chemicals. Today, Capro-X is focused on treating acid whey, a problematic byproduct from Greek yogurt production. We are currently optimizing our bioprocess in the lab, operating a pilot system at a local Greek yogurt plant, and scaling 20x to a demonstration scale system later this year. We’re largely grant funded (NSF Phase 2 and EPA Phase 1 SBIRs), and have also won key pitch competitions in the ag-tech space that are fueling our growth (FoodBytes! by Rabobank and Grow-NY).

Location: Downtown Ithaca, NY
Employment type: Part or full-time employment (20-40 hours / wk). Available immediately.
Experience: MS/PhD graduate in biological, chemical, civil, environmental, and mechanical engineering; food science and microbiology.


The RD Lead will be responsible for leading fermentation bioprocess evaluations in the lab, and assisting in the field with our scale-up systems. A strong candidate should feel comfortable performing bench-scale bioreactor operations and wastewater-type water quality tests, analyzing and optimizing bioreactor mass flows, constructing bespoke bioreactors, and operating and maintaining key lab and analytical equipment (bioreactors, GC, HPLC). Our ideal candidate will have hands-on construction and operation of scale-up fermentation equipment; research experience through the entire operations and analysis spectrum of fermentation studies; clear and effective communication skills; and an ability to multitask across varying and dynamic project demands.

In this fast-growing startup, the RD Lead will be given significant responsibility leading a small research team, gain first-hand experience driving research on a novel technology in a challenging and dynamic environment that is actively being implemented at the large-scale – we are quickly growing our team and seek new members with a “get it done” attitude, and share our ambition to bring greater sustainability to the world.

  • Focused on fermentation R&D; work managing R&D team, operating and analyzing performance of bench-scale bioreactor systems
  • Perform reactor samples analysis (wet lab, enzymatic, GC, HPLC, OD, pH, COD, BOD, VSS)
  • Evaluate reactor performance (conversion efficiency, mass balance, optimization)
  • Perform R&D operations on client-site scale-up systems
  • Propose and review R&D plans with leadership, outline equipment/space/staff needs
  • Improve lab organization and processes (organization, data analysis, SOPs)
  • Perform maintenance on analytical and bioreactor equipment
  • Construct fermentation components at the bench and pilot-scale (bioreactors, pumps, piping, control and power systems)
  • Hands-on experience in wet-lab environment, in particular with a fermentation, microbiology, and wastewater background
  • Direct research experience developing fermentation or wastewater technology, from daily operations to project-wide data analysis
  • Construction and maintenance experience with hydraulics and electricals (pumps, liquid flow, PID controls, DC/AC wiring, power and hand tools)
  • Experience with engineering documents and professional software (AutoCad, LabView, MS Office)
  • “Anything is possible” approach to work – able to learn on your own, seek out knowledge
  • Strong writing and presenting skills to communicate with team
  • Excitement to join a fast-growing startup
Education and experience level
  • Seeking experienced MS/PhD in a relevant engineering or science field (for example: biological, chemical, civil, environmental, and mechanical engineering; food science and microbiology)
  • Work and/or academic research experience are required (thesis-level research, internship, consulting)
  • Experience with design, construction, and operation of large fermentation systems a plus
Equal employment opportunity statement

Capro-X, Inc. is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and welcomes all qualified applicants. Applicants will receive fair and impartial consideration without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic data, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or other legally protected status, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law.

Applicants must be eligible to work in the US without restrictions for any employer at any time. As a condition of employment, all selected candidates will undergo Capro-X’s standard pre-employment checks, which include but are not limited to a background check regarding criminal history, driver’s license, education, and employment.

Capro-X will not accept unsolicited candidate referrals or resumes / CVs from third-party vendors, including recruitment agencies; we will not be responsible or liable for any fees or costs associated with such unsolicited submissions.

CPRX R&D Lead 2020 v200423
116 W. Green St., Ithaca, NY 14850 4/23/2020 2