DSM – Director Of Operations / Illinois USA

The Challenge

Bio-based Products & Services (BP&S) is part of the DSM Innovation Center. It is one of DSM’s Emerging Business Areas. Its objective is to lead in the field of biomass conversion and demonstrate the commercial viability of sustainable, renewable technologies in collaboration with strategic partners through our expertise in yeast and enzymes. Once commercially demonstrated, DSM’s strategy is to license its technology and expertise to bio-based entrepreneurs, enabling them to convert feedstock in a commercially viable and sustainable way. One of our key markets is bio-ethanol.

Within DSM BP&S, we have a vacancy for: Operations Director Elgin, Illinois, USA

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The PositionThe position reports to the President of BP&S and is a key member of the BP&S Leadership Team. The Operations Director will have a team of approximately 10 direct reports.

Goal of the position is to develop, implement and realize the Operations strategy for BP&S. The Operations Director leads a team of professionals and creates the right environment for them to be successful.

Your key accountabilities include:

  • Set-up and implement the BP&S Operations strategy; contribute to the development of the BP&S business and organization strategy.
  • Responsible for Operations and Engineering activities in BP&S for ongoing projects and running activities.
  • Build, lead and grow a high-performing team; ensure development of capabilities (knowledge, skills and competences) in the team in order to ensure optimal staffing and utilization of full potential of people and their development.
  • Understands and translates business needs and market developments in order to have fit-for-purpose Operations development plan; make recommendations related to Strategic Operations (investments, acquisitions, tolling, partnering).
  • Contributes to setting-up and developing partnerships.
  • Selection of sites to construct plants, design & construct plants, start-up plants and organize the operational processes to ensure smooth operations according to agreed specs and KPI’s.
  • Establish basic functions to support emerging commercial activities (procurement, packaging, storage, etc.); manage effectively supply chain and operations once established.
  • Deliver input to the R&D strategy/portfolio of BP&S; ensure flawless hand-over of R&D projects to Engineering/Operations.
  • Responsible for Program and Project management in BP&S consistent with the DSM policies; provide project management guidance to multifunctional process and product development activities of BP&S.

Ensure that the BP&S operations and services comply with applicable laws and regulations, certifications, as well as SHE policies and proceduresThe Ideal

  • Bachelor (or MS) Degree in Chemical, Process, or Industrial Engineering.
  • Broad knowledge of and track record in Operations/Manufacturing/Engineering; minimum relevant working experience 15-20 years.
  • Experience in, or at least affinity with, fermentation processes.
  • Must be strategic and creative, but also strong execution and operational capabilities are critical for success to be able to manage and direct both operational and strategic/project-driven activities.
  • Easily connects to people and creates a direction and pathway that inspires them to do the best they can.
  • Has hands-on engineering and operations experience in an industrial plant environment e.g. in the form of leading plant operations or building/startup plants.
  • Demonstrates extensive experience with modern manufacturing techniques and systems.
  • Possesses sharp business acumen to drive the business in the right direction.
  • An intellectual capacity that demonstrates the ability to clearly understand and have insight into situations that are not supported by obvious facts and data.
  • Entrepreneurial and willingness to work in ambiguity.
  • Shows a willingness and ability to change or adapt to change and to lead by example.
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to communicate comfortably and effectively with all levels of an organization.
  • A high level of personal and professional integrity.
  • DSM Leadership Behaviors:
    • Insight
    • Shape
    • Connect
    • Develop
    • Deliver
  • You do not mind significant international travel.

The Reward

Working for DSM means the opportunity to contribute in improving people’s lives and solving the challenges of today’s world. Challenging jobs, career opportunities and an inspiring environment allow you to enhance your personal development. DSM recognizes that the on-going success of the company depends on the continued development and engagement of our employees and pursues a fair and competitive remuneration policy, recognizing individual and team competencies and performance.

The Procedure

Interested in this role? Please apply on-line by sending us your CV & motivation letter in English. For additional questions, please contact Harry Na, Global Talent Acquisition Manager, harry.na@dsm.com

Reference check procedures are part of the DSM Recruitment & Selection Process. You will be contacted when these references checks are required.

Seniority Level



  • Biotechnology
  • Chemicals
  • Oil & Energy

Employment Type


Job Functions

  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Management

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