Food Production Project Manager

Job description

As a successful candidate, you will be responsible for managing many R&D projects related to Food Production (scope, schedule, cost, technical requirements and implementation). You will be responsible for assessing existing technologies and developing independent systems to satisfy specific and complex criteria.

As a Food Production Project Manager, you shall:

  • Lead the integration of multiple sub-systems into a complex system. You shall have multiple fields of knowledge and expertise such as aeroponics, hydroponics, aquaponics, control system
  • Be familiar with solutions design and development and shall have a proven record of experience in the management of complex interfaces to adapt to the plants’ specificities.
  • Identify and implement optimal technologies to transform a concept into an applicable, efficient and operative/working solution
  • Have a good knowledge of the different systems that are essential/mandatory for the whole plant’s life cycle (seeds selection, germination, plant growth, roots management, etc.)
  • Have an excellent knowledge of all the different plants’ needs and requirements (light spectrum, energy, air composition, temperature, humidity, etc.)

In addition, you have a proven record of successfully leading R&D efforts through design and verification stages.

Finally, you are used to solution development and understand procurement processes. You have participated as a project leader in programs from concept to implementation. You are also familiar with evaluating competitive products and make “Make/Buy” decisions for strategic products.

Work environment

Earth Space Technical Ecosystem Enterprises SA (ESTEE SA) is a young Swiss company based in Lausanne, Switzerland. ESTEE SA is developing systems that combine emerging cleantech and biotechnology and operates in closed loop. Associated applications of such systems include sustainable building, food production and wastewater treatment.

Prototyping, testing and operations are conducted in a facility located in the north-western part of Lausanne, while the company headquarters are located in downtown Lausanne.

A relevant interest in some of the following topics will be an asset: agricultural and food engineering (particularly automation, robotics, system control), composites materials, space architecture, as well as resource management, wastewater treatment, waste management and air purification.


  • Perform analytical studies and technical reviews of the existing and emerging solutions and technologies for food production focused on higher plants and microalgae cultures
  • Analyse the needs and requirements of the sub-system to be integrated
  • Define technical specifications to satisfy the sub-systems needs and requirements (inputs and outputs) and the management of their interfaces
  • Define and elaborate experiments to validate new concepts
  • Understand and participate to the definition of the project’s mid-term and long-term needs and requirements
  • Play a key role in the development and management of project timelines, priorities, risks, budget and resources in order to create and maintain reliable plans for ongoing projects
  • Adjust the scope and priorities based on the company’s strategy evolution
  • Establish and maintain integrated project schedules to enable accurate project timelines and financial analyses, and ensure accurate functional input provision into business planning processes
  • Develop the new products with state-of-the-art engineering and project management tools (CAD, risks analysis…)
  • Produce, collect and control, in a timely manner, the necessary documentation and reports across the projects
  • Participate in the agenda preparation for project team meetings: organize meetings, prepare slide decks and give inputs to minutes and action plans
  • Communicate and follow up on decisions and action plans involving the full project team
  • Implement project management procedures and contribute to the company’s organisational assets, and report to the upper management
  • Prepare and facilitate decision-making processes with the review committee
  • Raise critical issues to the upper management; propose and lead resolution planning;
  • Meet financial objectives by forecasting requirements; help to prepare an annual budget, schedule expenditures, perform variance analysis and initiate corrective actions



Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Agronomy, Agricultural, Biotechnology, Food, etc.)

Preferred: Master’s Degree

  • Proficiency with common project management practices, methodology (i.e. Six Sigma, Lean) and tools is required
  • 5 to 10 years of project management experience for product development programs related to new technology development, clean tech, prototyping, engineering or construction;
  • 2 to 5 years as project manager in charge of multi-disciplinary projects
  • Strong knowledge and experience in greenhouse development
  • Proven record of system design including dimensioning of structure elements
  • Demonstrated analytical planning, problem-solving and organizational skills
  • Exceptional attention to details and ability to consolidate complex information in a clear and straightforward manner
  • Ability to work efficiently with cross-functional teams in a matrix organization with geographically dispersed and remote teams
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with key stakeholders
  • IT skills: MS office, MS Project, ideally including some experience in using 3D modelling tools (Solidworks, Catia V4 or V5, AutoCAD, Pro-Engineer, Rhinoceros, Sketchup)
  • Fluent in English (preferred: additional fluency in French)


Percentage attendance at work 60-100% in 2017, 100% from 2018 onwards

Starting date of the contractual relationship 01.07-01.09.2017

Note: Benefits and proposed salary to be negotiated.
If you are interested, please apply on