Head of Formulation & Process



Hackney, London, UK
Posted on Monday, June 17, 2024
The Role

At Notpla, we create disappearing packaging carefully engineered for a healthy planet. Founded on the belief that nature knows best, we’re an innovative, ideas and action-oriented scale-up developing and manufacturing packaging solutions from seaweed and plants that disappear naturally.We are currently looking to bring in a Head of Formulation & Process to lead our Formulation and Process Development groups. This is a senior role, with full remit over the developing our existing and next generation of products, leading the scientific arm of the business.

At Notpla, we strongly believe in our mission and our employees' ability to help us achieve our goals. We encourage everyone who joins us to develop and grow and take responsibility for your domain without micromanagement. Our objective is to foster a fantastic business culture that is reflected in our working policies and environment.

Besides offering exciting roles and a great working environment, Notpla provides competitive salaries, the potential for EMI Share Options, a zero-carbon pension scheme, discounts with local businesses, and subsidised social activities. Our flexible working policy allows you to work at your own pace.

We are a social business with regular clubs and events, and we are proud of how our diverse workplace has created a community that is all pushing towards the common goal of making plastic disappear.

As the Head of Formulation & Process, you will be part of our newly formed Technology and Operations group. This multidisciplinary team is responsible for bringing new formulations from the lab to the market by scaling up manufacturing processes to deliver cost-competitive packaging solutions. You will lead both the Formulation group, focusing on continuous development and improvement of formulations, and the Process group, which identifies suitable manufacturing techniques and scales up formulations to industrial production. Your role will include standardising processes to ensure high-quality, cost-efficient production and collaborating closely with the Supply Chain and Operations team to transition products to continuous production.

Your profile

We are looking for a multi-disciplinary technical leader with a grounding in chemistry or material science. You must have experience in leading large technical groups, being able to contribute to the day-to-day scientific progress of the products but also the development and growth of those in your team. As you will be leading not just scientists but engineers and technical experts, a strong understanding of these disciplines is also incredibly important. You will need to have demonstrable experience in scaling up a technology from initial concept, to Pilot scale to full commercial scale, in order to succeed in this role. A strong understanding of natural polymers and compostable materials as well as more conventional polymeric materials and extrusion technologies is also a must.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead and manage a multidisciplinary team of 10 people, fostering a collaborative and innovative environment.

  • Develop and optimise material formulations to meet performance and manufacturability requirements.

  • Identify suitable manufacturing techniques and partners, standardising processes to deliver high-quality, high-throughput, cost-efficient production capacity.

  • Build strong relationships with relevant manufacturing partners and manage complex industrial stakeholders.

  • Oversee the scale-up of material formulations from lab-scale to industrial-scale production, ensuring successful trials and implementation.

  • Work closely with the Supply Chain and Operations team to hand over production once products have been scaled up and are ready for continuous production.

  • Manage scale-up timelines and develop strategies to reduce time to market

  • Own the cost optimisation efforts to ensure that our packaging solutions are not only sustainable but also economically viable.

  • Collaborate with the Innovation Director to ensure that new innovations get smoothly integrated into the technology pipeline.

  • Work closely with the Science Board of Advisors, review latest scientific literature and technology breakthroughs to ensure that Notpla remains at the forefront of the natural polymer space.

  • Represent Notpla at external events, including panels, conferences, and industry gatherings.

  • Mentor and develop team members, supporting their personal development plans and career growth.

  • Act as a scientific and technical authority within the business, using your knowledge to up skill the team and guide project progress.

  • Support the Senior Leadership Team in understanding the science behind our products, enhancing their external communications with clients and suppliers.

  • Work with the commercial team to create a technically savvy sales team, directly impacting the immediate revenue of the business.

  • Manage the lab and process development space, contributing actively to the management of Notpla’s IP portfolio.


  • Advanced degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, or a related field.

  • Proven experience in formulation development, process optimisation, and having scaled-up a technology from laboratory to industrial manufacturing.

  • Strong leadership and management skills, with a track record of successfully leading technical teams.

  • Excellent problem-solving abilities and a strategic mindset.

  • Strong understanding of sustainable materials, natural polymers, and compostable materials.

  • Experience with conventional polymeric materials and extrusion technologies is important.

  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, dynamic environment with cross-functional teams.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

About us

We’re hard to define because what we’re doing hasn’t been done before.

Notpla is a sustainable packaging start-up founded in 2014. A combination of designers, chemists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. We create advanced packaging solutions made from seaweed and other natural materials as an alternative to single-use plastic.

We received multiple awards and grants from Innovate UK and the Ellen Macarthur Foundation for our innovative product “Ooho” – an edible and fully biodegradable sachet. Our portfolio has now extended with multiple innovation solutions.

We're committed to creating a working environment where every member of our team can bring their full self to work regardless of their race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability or age.