Biomaterials Engineer – Alternative Protein Development @ Aqua Cultured Foods

About the job


Aqua Cultured Foods is an innovative food technology company disrupting the alternative protein space with the world’s first whole-muscle cut seafood alternative created through the process of microbial fermentation. Our novel technology produces a sustainable complete protein source using only a fraction of the resources required by traditional agriculture. As our global challenges with overfishing, climate change and feeding the world’s expanding population grows, our mission is to create delicious, nutrient-rich foods to feed our growing population and protect our oceans.

We are presently seeking a seasoned, passionate, driven, and ambitious Biomaterials Engineer to join us as a full-time team member.

Join a team where your contributions will make an impactful difference!


Reporting to our Director of R&D, the successful candidate will be responsible for characterizing, engineering and optimizing biomaterial for the growth of microbes – including filamentous fungi and yeast cells. Individual will also define and deduce optimal mechanical properties to create quality alternative seafood products (squid, shrimp, finfish, etc). This is a high-impact position within a fast-paced and growing company. I

Individuals with hands-on experience in genetic engineering for microbial product synthesis are encouraged to apply.


  • Characterize the mechanical properties of our raw material compared to a representative seafood species to emulate a comparable eating experience
  • Identify, study, and recognize ingredient interactions on a molecular level to direct the optimization of texture and other properties
  • Determine and implement plans to increase porosity, manipulate fiber density and diameter, and production processing steps to enable these modifications
  • Coordinate and manage contract research organizations
  • Define work plans, conduct experiments and write project reports
  • Drive knowledge of the structure-function relationship of our raw material in novel alternative seafood products to propel product innovation
  • Work closely with leadership team to evaluate new materials, including development of manufacturing processes to support pilot and commercial production.


  • Preferred 2+ years materials engineering experience, food industry experience preferred
  • Research experience involving materials characterization using techniques such as spectroscopy, confocal microscopy and imaging techniques
  • Advanced knowledge in starch/fiber systems and functionality along with protein functionality
  • Extensive experience in culturing microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, algae)
  • Prior experience with synthetic biology and strain engineering techniques
  • Extensive experience incorporating living systems into materials.
  • Experimental design knowledge and an ability to communicate verbally and written, with technical to non-technical team members.
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced environment and able to adjust scientific approach based upon changing priorities.


  • Team Building/Relationship Building – Develops relationships with people throughout the facility
  • Communication – Speaks and writes effectively, and keeps people up to date with information. Maintains lab notebooks and testing documentation
  • Innovation – Generates innovative ideas and solutions to problems and stimulates others to continuous improvement


In order to maintain a safe work environment, employees will be required to provide proof of vaccination on or before first day of employment.


Selected candidate will work on-site with our team in our office located at 213 W Institute Place, Suite 703 Chicago, IL, 60610. Remote work is not available for this role.


We offer a robust benefits package including paid time off, medical, dental and vision benefits.


To express your interest, please provide a short cover letter telling us why you’re perfect for this role, along with a resume detailing your experience.

Qualified Applicants will not require employer sponsored work authorization now or in the future for employment in the United States.

At Aqua Cultured Foods, we are committed to building a diverse, respectful, and inclusive workforce. We take being an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer seriously and do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act), or any other applicable characteristics protected by law.

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Keith McAleer