Director, R&D

  • Brooklyn, New York, United States

About Air Company

AIR COMPANY is  the world’s leading carbon utilization company, creating consumer and industrial products from carbon dioxide (CO2). The company’s patented and proprietary Carbon Conversion Reactor mimics photosynthesis, using only air (CO2), water and sun (renewable energy) to create carbon-negative alcohols and fuels from CO2.

With three consumer products (AIR Vodka, AIR Hand Sanitizer, and AIR Eau de Parfum) brought to market thus far, AIR COMPANY is moving towards world-scale impact with its latest innovation – CO2-derived sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The company’s AIRMADE SAF will be certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC). Amongst a number of accomplishments, AIR COMPANY has received $40MM in venture capital funding to date and won an incredible amount of highly acclaimed awards: TIME Best Inventions, Fast Company World Changing Ideas, the NASA CO2 Conversion Challenge, R&D World’s R&D 100, and most recently, the Keeling Curve Prize, among others. AIR COMPANY is the future of carbon technologies. It is redefining what a regenerative future that works with nature, rather than against it, could look like. 

The range for this role is $200,000-$230,000. Exact compensation may vary based on the market, experience, skills and technical expertise


We are looking for a Director, R&D to join our team. This role will report to our CTO, and be responsible for driving success throughout AIR COMPANY’s R&D program, and will be expected to represent AIR COMPANY in various external facing activities. This position will manage a team of researchers, engineers, and scientists to develop R&D goals and strategies, oversee management of technology development programs, and lead scale-up R&D, closely communicating and collaborating with various teams in the company to define and develop strategies for maintaining a technical competitive advantage. 

At Air Company we value employees for their unique perspectives. We are an inclusive Equal Employment Opportunity employer, we consider applicants without regard to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disabled or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. 


Job Requirements

  • Lead Air Company’s technology scale-up activities to transform laboratory-scale technologies into commercial applications.
  • Develop and oversee the R&D department’s operational deliverables for both existing product enhancements as well as new product development in-line with overarching business objectives.
  • Manage multiple teams from the functions of pilot plant testing, reaction engineering, to process development and design. Provide scale up design models and tools for new technologies developed at Air Company
  • Work closely with CTO and other Directors of R&D to deliver technical and chemical innovations to support Air Company’s mission of being the world’s leading carbon technology organization.
  • Ensure quality and consistency in R&D project outcomes and deliverables.
  • Develop and oversee strategic partnerships with key external partners to support R&D development and scale-up..
  • Work collaboratively with senior leadership throughout the business, engineering, R&D, and lead the development of an overarching technology roadmap for AIR COMPANY. 
  • Mange and direct R&D strategy and communicate with business units to understand technical development requirements and facilitate cross-functional collaboration.
  • Partner closely with product management and engineering to identify and execute on an agile R&D agenda.
  • Manage rapid design, prototyping, and testing cycles to rapidly evaluate technology concepts, for catalyst and process development.
  • Coordinate with leadership to align with the company’s long term goals and establish project objectives, milestones, and success criteria.
  • Develop strategies to quantify competitive positioning and highlight advantages of AIR COMPANY’s technology in the market, including life cycle analysis (LCA) and support of techno economic analysis (TEA).
  • Oversee analysis of existing technical solutions in the market and in literature to drive continuous innovation and improvement of AIR COMPANY’s technology.
  • Collaborate with engineering and commercial teams to manage the technology development projects through the stage gate system. 
  • Translate understanding of technology, economics, and emerging markets into strategic recommendations for R&D department.
  • Hire, develop, and lead a world-class team of engineers and scientists to achieve these outcomes.

Preferred Skills

  • BS degree in chemical engineering, Advanced degree preferred
  • 15+ years of industrial working experience in chemical, petrochemical, refining, and energy industries, or an EPC company 
  • 10+ professional experience in a  leading R&D organization that have scaled up and commercialized multiple process technologies
  • 5+ years of leadership experience with managing 10+ scientists and engineers in R&D environment, a R&D senior manager or above with your current job
  • Technical expertise and experienced people manager capable of owning all functions and aspects of the execution
  • Demonstrated track record of leading innovative cross-functional teams to deliver results against tight timelines and budgets, often requiring or involving significant invention
  • Proven track in leading complex chemical/energy/fuel process technology scale up and commercialization
  • Willingness to work in a fast-paced environment with constant change
  • Team player, extremely organized, attention to detail, and strong ability to multitask across various workflows
  • Solution oriented, passion for developing and implementing solutions 
  • Brooklyn, New York, United States