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Director of Engineering

Travertine

Travertine

United States
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2024
About Travertine

Travertine is a Climate Tech start-up based in Boulder, CO that is rapidly scaling an electrochemical technology for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and sustainable critical element extraction. Our process takes carbon dioxide from the air and sources of waste sulfate to produce carbonate minerals, sulfuric acid, and hydrogen. The sulfuric acid is used in extraction of critical elements like lithium and nickel for EV batteries and phosphorus for fertilizer. The Travertine Process was developed by Prof. Laura Lammers at her UC Berkeley lab. Travertine was founded in 2022 to scale this process to gigatons of CDR and massively reduce industrial waste.

In 2022, we raised a seed round from the Grantham Foundation and Clean Energy Ventures, we were one of the first companies to receive pre-purchases of CDR from the new Stripe-led $1B Frontier fund, and we received a $2M grant from the DOE’s ARPA-E program. We were named C&EN 10 startups to watch in 2022, a Bloomberg NEF Pioneer in 2023, and are part of the RMI Third Derivative 1st Gigaton Captured program. We have recently closed a substantial convertible note round, received a state agency grant to build a Demo Plant, and are in engineering for the Demo Plant to be commissioned in mid-2025. We believe in developing practical approaches to solving the climate crisis.

The Role

We are seeking a highly experienced process engineer to take the lead on scaling our process from pilot to commercial scale. This role will lead engineering for the scale-up and commercialization of our process from our current in-house pilot-scale (10 kg/day of sulfuric acid production, TRL5), through our Demo Plant (0.4 TPD sulfuric acid), and ultimately to world-scale sulfuric acid production plants (1000+ TPD of sulfuric acid production). Our process is well suited to scale rapidly as it combines three industrialized unit operations in a novel way: salt-splitting electrolysis, hydrometallurgy, and caustic direct air capture of CO 2 with a cross-flow cooling tower. This is the perfect opportunity for a seasoned, ambitious, and creative process engineer to lead a team and rapidly take a technology from pilot to full-scale.

Critical to this role, will be working closely with our Electrolyzer R&D and Process Engineering R&D teams to identify areas for performance and operational improvement, develop experiments, and unit operation testing protocols and translate those results into engineering design. This role will also vet, select, and manage a variety of specialized consultants and EPCs to engineer our Demo Plant and first Commercial Plant.

This role will be responsible for scaling our process from pilot to commercial-scale. Specific responsibilities are listed below.

Key Responsibilities

  • Working with the company leadership to refine and then take the lead on executing a plan for process scale-up.
  • Define R&D priorities for performance and operational scale-up and oversee implementation of R&D initiatives in collaboration with R&D leads.
  • Translate results from R&D work into engineering design.
  • Review and refine heat and mass balance models with our process simulation engineers.
  • Review and improve PFDs, P&IDs, and Equipment Lists.
  • Drive efficiency, cost reductions, and value engineering across the entire flowsheet to ensure that CAPEX and OPEX are minimized.
  • Manage contractors executing FEED studies for potential sites and applications of our process.
  • Build new and manage existing relationships with consultants, vendors, and EPCs needed to scale-up.

Qualifications

  • Deep experience in chemical process engineering.
  • Experience taking novel technologies from the pilot to commercial-scale.
  • Degree in chemical engineering, process engineering or equivalent.
  • Experience in both a start-up or R&D environment and commercial operations is desired.
  • Experience in phosphate fertilizer production is a desired optional qualification.
  • Experience in the following industries are ideal: phosphate fertilizer production, chlor-alkali, electrolysis, and/or hydrometallurgy.

Benefits

  • Stock options
  • Health, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance
  • 401k with 3% match
  • Flexible time off policy

$130,000 - $180,000 a year

Salary is commensurate with and highly dependent on skill set and experience.