Technology Development Director

Nova Pangaea
Northeast UK – Teesside
Competitive – reporting to CEO
02 Oct 2019
01 Nov 2019
Contract Type
Full Time


Nova Pangaea Technologies Limited                                                     1st October 2019

Technology Development Director

Location: Northeast UK – Teeside

Salary: Competitive – reporting to CEO

Key words: Chemistry; PhD; development management; biomass; biofuels; bio-based chemicals; pyrolysis; process experience; patents; grants; commercial; teamwork

Contract type: Permanent; full-time

Company website:

Address: Lealholme Building, Wilton International, Middlesbrough, Teesside TS10 4RG

Application: cover eMail application plus CV to


This growth phase SME with a revolutionary biomass waste-to-sugars technology, is looking for a Technology Development Director to drive its future scientific development.

With experimental, pilot and demonstration plant facilities located primarily at Wilton International, Teesside. NPT is developing a revolutionary fractionation technology Refnova® for conversion of waste biomass into valuable 2nd Generation sugars. Continuous and based solely on thermo-chemical principles, the process uses no enzymes or bacteria to obtain monomeric C5- and C6-sugars and a lignin char. These can be further processed into base-chemicals to replace conventional fossil derived counterparts.

With the completion of its Wilton demonstration plant imminent, the company is seeking a Technology Development Director (TDD) who will lead all aspects of the technology development activities within NPT. Reporting to the CEO, the TDD will be responsible for the continuing fundamental development of the technology at laboratory and pilot scale and support implementation of the technology at demonstration and commercial level. The successful applicant will be able to conceive, plan and test process improvements and prioritise development objectives. A hands-on approach is expected thus leading the development effort by example. On a day-to-day basis the TDD will conduct and supervise experimental trials at laboratory and pilot level and feed experimental results into the techno-economic model of the process. The role will require knowledge of the fundamental chemistry and engineering principles at the heart of the Refnova® biomass fractionation process. The TDD will develop and manage a diverse team of research chemists and engineers within the interdisciplinary area of organic chemistry and process engineering. As an integral member of the Executive team, the TDD is expected to contribute within business development, customer and investment pitches, budgeting, staff management and evaluation and to lead research-based collaborations with external partners.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Provide and progress the process definition of the novel physical and chemical systems which underpin the Refnova® technology
  • Head the technical development team for the continuing improvement of the process technology to enhance yields, economics and operability of the Refnova® technology
  • Technical leadership of design, commissioning and operational activities for the Refnova® pilot and laboratory plants; provide technical support as required for the operation of the demonstration and commercial plants
  • Identify, co-author and manage new grant projects to support the ongoing technology development, with assistance from the Commercial Director when required
  • Develop and maintain up-to-date information about related and competing technologies
  • Protect new innovations and the existing company know-how by filing and maintaining patents
  • Management of partners for research and development activities
  • Explore opportunities within downstream products
  • Provide regular reports to the Board on Technology matters affecting the company externally and internally
  • Development of accurate mass and energy balances; support techno-economic process modelling
  • Support other Directors with collaboration and presentations to third parties including external research, governmental or industry organisations, funding organisations and potential process adopters
  • Attendance at conferences and provision of presentations and technical papers
  • Provide regular reports to the Board on technology matters affecting the company externally and internally
  • Participate with the CEO and Executive Team in the development of overall business plans

Ideal key skills/experience/specifics:


  • PhD within the area of chemistry, chemical engineering, process engineering or similar preferably related to biomass utilisation or sustainable chemistry
  • Hands-on experience with pyrolysis technology would be a considerable advantage
  • First degree in chemistry
  • A self motivated individual keen to work in a start-up developing transformational green technology
  • Commercially orientated with experience in recruitment, team building and management in an R&D organisation
  • Experience in patenting of R&D results and managing a patent portfolio
  • Ability to coordinate and closely liaise with external organisations, especially research institutions, including in grant applications and management
  • Willingness to travel internationally
  • Based in the Northeast UK -site location Teesside

Reporting & Remuneration

  • An attractive benefits package enabling participation in company results as NPT enters a commercialisation and growth phase of development. In addition to a competitive salary this includes a bonus scheme, contributory pension, and a performance based share option scheme
  • Reporting to the Chief Executive, this position also carries the potential for appointment to the board based on performance.

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