Lead Calcination Engineer

  • Heirloom
  • San Francisco, CA
  • May 26, 2021

Job Description

Heirloom’s mission is to accelerate our planet’s transition to a carbon negative society. We will capture 1B tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2035 (equivalent of ~60M Americans’ annual emissions today), and build a multi-billion dollar business along the way. The problem we are solving is that according to IPCC, billions of tons of CO2 need to removed from the atmosphere (in addition to decarbonizing the entire economy) by 2050 to keep global warming to 1.5 °C, but current technologies are too expensive and not scalable to the volume necessary.
Unlike traditional engineered removal solutions, our Nature published technology combines the natural properties of minerals (carbon mineralization) with engineering to provide a low cost path to $50/tCO2 for Direct Air Capture (DAC), the cost at which carbon removal will be transformative. 
Our early customers are corporations and other entities that need to reduce and offset their carbon emissions to meet compliance requirements or carbon pledges. Our go-to-market strategy allows us to be unit profitable from day one, and reach >$1B in revenue just from existing markets and pledges. Our $100B opportunity lies with carbon markets set for creation in the EU, US, and other markets. 
Over the next 18 months, we will de-risk our cost estimates, build our first deployment, and validate the commercial viability of this technology.
About the Role
The Heirloom team is on a path to creating a sustainable, scalable, and economically viable carbon removal system. This technology - which requires a unique blend of geology, chemistry, industrial engineering, and process engineering -  doesn’t yet exist at the scales necessary to make a difference, so we need to build it ourselves. We are looking for dedicated and driven process engineers to help us design, optimize, and build our carbonate regeneration process. 
We are looking to hire our lead calcination engineer, who will be responsible for building out and managing our calcination team, focused on regenerating our carbonate material under optimal conditions. You and your team will determine viable calciner configurations, optimize calcination process parameters, determining ideal process feedstock, and test new ideas and designs. As we scale, you and your team will help integrate the regeneration stage into the large carbon removal process, as well as develop a research program aimed at increasing the efficiency of the regeneration process and maximizing system learning. 

What You Will Do

  • Lead a team focused on optimization and scale up of the thermal regeneration step.
  • Design and lead experiments to test major calcination process steps, working directly with a team of scientists and engineers. This will include the design of thermochemical systems, materials characterization, and process optimization and integration. 
  • Lead development of processes to deliver best performance at lowest cost giving due regard to safety, operability, maintainability and legal compliance.
  • Study the thermochemical process to determine the impact on material properties. 
  • Work as a part of a team of world-class scientists and engineers to execute on our development plans, with an urgency rooted in the importance of our mission.  
  • Work with our engineering team to figure out how to scale from grams to kilos to gigatonnes of CO2.

Minimum Qualifications

  • ≥ 5 years of relevant work experience in an applied field with expertise in thermochemical processes, process engineering, and materials engineering/science. Preferably including work directly related to calcination.
  • Bachelor's degree in Engineering (such as Chemical or Process engineering, or a related field), Applied Science (Geology, Chemistry, Physics, or related field) or equivalent practical experience.
  • Experience with experimental design and scale-up to achieve cost targets. 
  • Experience with critical problem solving and complex engineering systems.
  • Previous experience leading high output teams

Desired Qualifications

  • Knowledge of chemistry/geochemistry/physics, particularly with an advanced degree Experience or familiarity with cement production technologies, such as calcination.
  • Expertise in materials characterization and processing, including surface characterization, carbon content, and reactivity studies.
  • Knowledge of the landscape for carbon removal technologies

Organization Type


Organization Size



Carbon Removal & Utilization Engineering