Materials Engineer

Company Overview

Michelman is a global developer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly advanced materials for industry, offering solutions for the coatings, printing & packaging and industrial manufacturing markets. The company's surface modifiers, additives and polymers are used by leading manufacturers around the world to enhance performance attributes and add value in applications including wood and floor care products, metal and industrial coatings, paints, varnishes, inks, fibers and composites. Michelman is also well-known as an innovator in the development of barrier and functional coatings, as well as digital printing press primers that are used in the production of consumer and industrial packaging and paper products, labels, and commercially printed materials. Michelman serves its customers with production facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, product development and technical service centers in several major global markets, and a worldwide team of highly trained business development personnel.

The Materials Engineer will produce and test prototype polymer composites utilizing glass and carbon fiber sized with developmental emulsions. They will then build process-structure-property relationships that relate the inherent emulsion properties to the composite performance. This information will then be shared with the chemist developing the emulsion to further enhance the properties of the sizing. A strong background in mechanics, analytical and physical property testing is necessary to assess and model the performance and failure mechanism of the composite. A background in composite manufacturing would also be beneficial.

General Summary

This dynamic role will help drive innovation throughout the composites industry by utilizing their materials and interfacial chemistry knowledge to lead efforts for glass and carbon fiber composite prototyping and testing. The right individual will collaborate with research chemists for developing new and novel fiber sizings targeted for improved composites performance. These efforts will help solve some of the most complex of problems related to fiber reinforcement of composites, thermoplastic / thermoset composite performance, fiber / polymer interfacial adhesion, and fiber processing, wetting and matrix orientation. They will use their sound understanding of materials science, mechanical testing, instrumentation, and polymer / fiber interfacial adhesion characterization to orchestrate novel solutions designed by the R&D Team. These solutions will deliver value to the Aerospace, Automotive, Electronics, and Industrial markets. They will have an innate curiosity to understand new composites processing techniques, such as prepregs, RHCM (rapid heating and cooling molding), RIM (reaction injection molding), and other emerging processes. In addition, they will enjoy achieving these goals in a collaborative and fast-paced research environment, with goals and objectives that are aligned with the strategic business plan and Group Industries First Initiatives.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Live and Promote the Michelman Values
  • Research and Development – Independently manage R&D projects, utilizing full DOE to conduct fiber sizing, interfacial adhesion, and materials characterization to drive new opportunities and to commercialize new technologies for the IM Group. Provide expertise in polymer and fiber selection for specific end-use composite applications. Design composite samples for testing that represent commercial applications. Conduct failure analysis and build process-structure-property models to explain and predict product performance, relating the results back to the base / underlying chemistries. Utilize Open Innovation through internal resources, external resources and organizations, and collaboration to drive R&D projects forward.
  • Customer Relationships – Develop and maintain internal and external relationships with suppliers, customers, and industry organizations to share knowledge, promote technical leadership, process understanding and materials performance. Provide technical support to our external customers and stakeholders, as well as to internal production, marketing, and sales associates.
  • Support – Develop and maintain intimate knowledge and understanding of product and project histories to participate and lead technical and business discussions. Support other chemists and customers to solve their related research problems. Participate in business planning activities. Train new associates and customers in applicable technology areas.
  • Regulatory / Compliance – Actively participate in lab safety programs. Work with HE&RA team to learn, understand and properly follow policies and procedures that ensure compliance with regulatory agencies. Be able to communicate regulatory requirements to internal and external customers and stakeholders. Be knowledgeable of regulatory requirements (FDA, TSCA, International inventories, REACH) to support commercial activities and in how they may influence product development activities.
  • Financial Objectives – Participate in implementing company-wide and departmental plans to achieve the year-to-year and long-term objectives of the organization, focused on EBITDA growth and EBITDA / assets optimization, ROI, and other metrics. Recommend steps to improve the Group and departmental impact on EBITDA and other financials.
  • Other: Perform other related duties as assigned or as the situation dictates

Required Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Strong background in polymers, composites and associated testing, modeling, and performance characterization techniques (mechanical, microscopy, environmental conditioning, etc.).
  • 5+ years of experience in polymers and/or glass/carbon fiber composite industry.
  • Background in polymer processing, such as compounding, injection molding, reactive extrusion, thermoforming and /or thermoset composites development, processing, and testing is required.
  • Experience modeling process-structure-property relationships of polymer composites.
  • Expertise in testing methods utilized to characterize polymer / fiber composite interface and properties (mechanicals, microscopy, environmental conditioning, etc.).
  • In depth knowledge of composite testing and failure mode analysis.
  • Strong project management skills with a demonstrated history of working internally across functions and externally with raw material suppliers and / or customers.
  • Effective communicator (including presentation skills) within a matrix organization and with external partners / customers. Experience includes customer and supplier education and training.
  • Design and conduct experiments of significant difficulty, draw and communicate scientific conclusions.
  • Selectively participates in Michelman business teams and provides technology recommendations.
  • Applies broad scientific knowledge to develop novel products for industry based on specific requirements.
  • Able to travel by car and plane and visit a global base of customers and facilities
  • Good work ethic, analytical, observational skills, and experience working in a team environment
  • Able to work in a chemical laboratory environment and wear required PPE
  • Able to perform financial calculations and assessments; proficiency in standard business office software.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in materials (polymer) engineering, chemistry or chemical engineering (minimum)
  • 5-10 years of industrial experience leading projects and interacting with internal / external partners
  • Experience with various types of physical testing and analytical equipment

Physical Demands and Work Environment

  • Job may require long periods of standing
  • This position may also require one to lift items weighing as much as 50 lbs. to a waist high level
  • Work may also entail being in a manufacturing facility fairly frequently

About Michelman

Michelman is proud of its unique work environment that we have. We pride ourselves in our commitment to our values of integrity, respect and success. Selected candidate will have a rigorous onboarding experience with a continued commitment to technical and professional development. We offer an excellent salary, incentive and benefits package in a progressive, empowered team environment.

No phone calls please. Michelman does not hire individuals who use tobacco products. All candidates will receive a drug test prior to beginning employment which will include a test for tobacco products.

For more information about Michelman, please visit

Michelman is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veterans

Michelman is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veterans

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