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Analytical Chemistry Team Lead



Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2024

Terviva partners with farmers and communities around the world to harvest and grow pongamia, a regenerative, permanent tree crop historically used in Asia for reforestation. Dubbed a “super tree,” pongamia produces a bean with high oil and protein content. After more than a decade of innovation, Terviva has discovered ways to unlock the nutritional benefits of pongamia beans, as well as realizing pongamia’s potential as a sustainable source of fuel and feed.

We are looking for an Analytical Chemistry Team Lead to join Terviva and direct a group characterizing our next generation, pongamia-derived products. The job is an exciting mix of product development research, method development for new matrices and novel compounds, and scientific project management.

This role involves managing internal laboratory functions, ranging from method development and validation, compound discovery, identification/quantification, product development (e.g., formulation) to data management. Candidates will be responsible for ensuring that laboratory instrumentation is maintained, operational, and safe. The job will include managing outsourced data to third party labs, translating in-house assays to operator-friendly quality assurance laboratory protocols, and supporting the pongamia product teams through assay development and with technical advice.

The analytical chemistry group also conducts primary research, assay development and validation, and collaborates with pongamia product teams across multiple geographies and product platforms (fuel, feed, food and bioactives). The candidate is expected to answer bioanalytical questions relevant to product analysis, formulate scientific hypotheses, direct lab workflows, draft studies, synthesize findings and data, and generate conclusions and recommendations for research and commercial purposes. The role involves managing and mentoring junior scientists, setting team goals, and establishing the group’s priorities and projects.

This role will include periodic site visits to Terviva manufacturing locations in Florida, Hawaii, and India. The position reports to the Director of R&D and is on site and based in Alameda, CA, with some flexibility for a hybrid working schedule.


  • Manage a team of scientists responsible for researching the bioanalytical and chemical properties of pongamia beans, oils, and derivative products.
  • Develop, and where necessary validate, methods characterizing and quantifying small molecules, natural products, and proteins in complex pongamia matrices.
  • Interpret data generated by outsourced organizations to support product development.
  • Translate research lab methods to Terviva manufacturing sites and third-party vendors.
  • Design and execute experiments to understand the chemical composition and functional properties of ingredients and products.
  • Validate and implement standards for data analysis and reporting, ensuring accuracy and precision of results.
  • Manage and maintain laboratory instrumentation and equipment.
  • Work collaboratively with cross-functional teams, including research & development, operations, and quality, to ensure timely delivery of project results.
  • Act as a subject matter expert in analytical chemistry for the company.
  • Mentor junior scientists in a dynamic team environment and build a cohesive team.