Meet the Team: Quynh Nguyen 

Get to know Quynh Nguyen, Process Engineer at Calysta 

Can you describe a typical day-in-the life of a Process Engineer at Calysta?

My typical day varies depending on the phase of the project I am currently working on. During the detail design phase over the past year, I spent time collaborating internally with our international engineering team and externally with our engineering partner firm. I worked on a number of project deliverables, ranging from reviewing piping and instrumentation diagrams, specifying equipment to participating in process safety reviews with various subject matter experts. My main responsibilities include providing technical inputs, training, and preparing for commissioning/startup activities, specifically for the downstream area and automation of the new FeedKind® plant in China.  

How did you get started in the industry? What did you study and what was your first job?

I studied Chemical Engineering at University and started my career as a Process Engineer for a San Francisco startup converting natural gas to high-grade polymers. 

What have been your highlights or proudest achievement whilst working at Calysta? 

During my two-plus years at Calysta, I’m proud to be working with brilliant talents across the globe. The engineering field is still largely male dominated, so I’m proud to be a woman working in STEM.  I have great mentors and colleagues at Calysta, who all provide opportunities for me to learn and expand my capabilities. One of my recent highlights was completing the factory acceptance tests for the control systems of the China plant on schedule, with various inputs internally and externally. 

What most excites you about Calysta’s technology?

My career ambition is to play a part in building the sustainable technologies of the future. Alternative proteins will play a huge part in the future of food and Calysta is closing the gap between research and manufacturing at world scale. Calysta’s first plant in China is just the start, and I’m excited to be involved and working through challenges right at the beginning. 

Who most inspires you?

My dad is my inspiration. He was the person who first introduced me to chemistry and the world of manufacturing. 

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have with you one book, one movie and one song, what would they be?

Book: If I could only bring one of my favorites, it would be ‘The Good Sister’, a thriller by Sally Hepworth. However, as I would be stuck on the island, I think I would be strategic and bring a book that would last a long time, so I think any of Stephen King’s novels. 

Movie: I love movies so it’s hard to pick one. I think I would take ‘The Martian’ for entertainment and survival inspiration 😊

Music: I go through different phases, but ‘Umbrella’ by Rihanna will always be one of my all-time favorites. 

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a career as a Process Engineer? 

Just do it. Don’t overthink, you will never know unless you try. If you love chemistry and want to make an impact by bridging the gap between science and real-life applications, you will enjoy a career in process engineering.