Process Engineer Upstream

PAQUES Biomaterials produces PHA, a natural alternative to plastic. We are leading in our technology to produce PHA from second and third-generation feedstocks. The first full-scale plants are already under development on three different continents. This is the start of a global, new circular chain to produce a biobased plastic that is fully biodegradable in all natural environments without leaving harmful microplastics behind.

We could certainly use your help with developing this new circular chain to produce a natural alternative to plastic. That’s why we are looking for a bold …

Process Engineer Upstream (full-time)

Summary of the position we offer you
As a Process Engineer, you will play a pivotal role in the development and optimization of a waste(water) treatment system tailored for the production of PHA. In these plants, organics present in the waste(water) are used as feedstocks for PHA production by mixed bacterial cultures in open cultivation systems. The plants will not only include the bioreactor systems for PHA production by bacteria but also the dewatering and drying of the final material, a dry biomass rich in PHA.

You will collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of engineers, scientists, and project managers to ensure the successful design and implementation of this new generation of PHA production plants worldwide. The position involves a wide spectrum of activities related to the development and implementation of these plants, giving you the opportunity to be part of all different development phases. From concept to running PHA production plant.

Qualifications & Experiences you bring with you

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, or a related field.
  • Proven experience in process engineering, preferably in wastewater and/or organic waste treatment or fermentation processes.
  • Familiarity with fermentation processes coupled with dewatering and drying is a plus.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills.
  • Knowledge of regulatory requirements related to wastewater treatment and environmental protection.
  • Willingness to travel to and from offices in the Netherlands (headquarters is in Balk).
  • Willingness to travel to external locations in and outside the Netherlands to support new plants at partner’s industrial sites.

Roles & Responsibility

Process Design and Optimization:

  • Develop and optimize processes for the conversion of wastewater into PHA, ensuring efficiency, scalability, and environmental sustainability.
  • Conduct rigorous analysis of waste(water) composition via lab analysis or mining existing data.
  • Perform laboratory or pilot scale trials to improve and define design parameters of the PHA production process for specific feedstocks.
  • Prepare concise reports for the activities performed.

Technology Evaluation and Integration:

  • Stay abreast of the latest advancements in wastewater treatment and PHA production technologies.
  • Evaluate, propose to the team, test and integrate innovative technologies into the plant design to create bold solutions that improve overall performance.

Equipment Selection and Procurement:

  • Identify and specify equipment required for the wastewater treatment process, considering factors such as durability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
  • Collaborate with procurement teams to ensure timely acquisition and installation of necessary equipment.

Process Monitoring and Control:

  • Implement robust monitoring systems to track key parameters in the wastewater treatment and PHA production processes.
  • Develop control strategies for PHA plants to optimize performance and address deviations from set parameters due to waste(water) composition variability.

Plant engineering and start-up

  • Play a central technical role in all development and implementation phases of PHA production plants: design studies, basic engineering, detailed engineering, building and start-up.
  • Work pro-actively with an dedicated internal team and external engineering/building partners.
  • Organize design information into internal design tools.

Regulatory Compliance:

  • Collaborate with regulatory agencies to ensure that the wastewater treatment plant adheres to environmental and safety standards.
  • Prepare documentation and reports for regulatory submissions and compliance assessments.

Collaboration and Communication:

  • Work closely with cross-functional teams, including other engineers, scientists, laboratory technicians, and project managers.
  • Boldly collaborate and communicate with external partners, such as industries with waste(water) and equipment suppliers.

Ready to apply?
Are you the bold Process Engineer we are looking for, or do you need more information? Please send your questions or your application letter with motivation, vision, and experiences to João Sousa –