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Polymer Chemist



Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Polymer Chemist

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Title: Polymer Chemist
Type: Full Time
Location: Pittsburg, KS
Supervisor: Manager, Polymer Chemist

Checkerspot designs performance materials at a molecular level with technology at the nexus of biology and chemistry. By engaging directly with product users and partnering with socially responsible corporations, we design and bring to market superior products with better materials to meet real needs. Our first materials are next-gen polyurethanes and textile coatings/finishes that make consumer products perform at levels never before possible. We launched WNDR Alpine, an outdoor recreation brand whose first product is a high-performance ski, the Intention 110. We are readying the release of several other outdoor recreation products in the market to validate our approach and to kickstart a sequence of iterative projects based on our technology. Through large scale microbial fermentation, we can deliver unique oils discovered in nature, but not previously accessible commercially. Our initial focus is on triglycerides that can impart high value physical properties for materials by leveraging unique molecular scaffolds. Our approach is also more sustainable than relying on petrochemical inputs.

Our company culture can best be understood through experience. Come get to know us! We’d like to be known more by what we do than what we say.

Checkerspot is looking for a motivated, organized and detail-oriented Polymer Chemist working in the Checkerspot Polymer Lab, located in National Institute for Materials Advancement (NIMA), Pittsburg, KS. The successful candidate will be responsible for supporting daily activities involved in the development of new bio-based polymers for a variety of end-use applications as well as production and customer support activities, helping the success of the Polymer Chemistry/Material Science group.

Key responsibilities include:

● Work on research projects to help Checkerspot develop bio-based intermediates and polymers.
● Formulate waterborne polyurethane dispersions by benchwork, scale-up, production trials, data transfer, and working with validation processes.
● Run reactions, isolate, purify, analyze, and characterize products.
● Write call reports and technical documents detailing experiments.
● Identify additional equipment needed and provide justification to leadership.
● Support contract manufacturers through technical transfers both through written documents and in-person support
● Work closely with material science group.
● Closely collaborate with product team.
● Work safely in a synthetic laboratory, and handle flammable, reactive, and hazardous chemicals on an R&D scale.
● Attend related trade shows or technical conferences.

● Candidates have a degree preferably in one of the following fields or related studies:

  • Polymer Chemistry, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, or a
    related field

● 2+ years of polymer synthesis experience
● Hands on experience in various organic/polymer synthesis methodologies.
● Experience with polyurethane dispersion, or other waterborne synthesis.
● Good analytical skills including GPC, FTIR, GCMS, NMR, TGA, DSC, DMA, Particle Analyzer, Rheometer, SEM among others as required.
● Knowledge of fiber, yarn, and fabric is a plus.
● The ability to follow detailed protocols, document laboratory procedures and results, and strong problem-solving skills are a must.
● Comfortable working independently as well as in team settings.
● Comfortable interacting with external parties and customers.
● Detail oriented with the ability to manage multiple priorities while meeting expected deadlines.
● Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
● Highly motivated and have an excellent work ethic with a can-do attitude and sincere enthusiasm.
● Proficient in Microsoft Suite.
● Creative problem solving and critical thinking skills.
● Ability to function effectively in a fast paced, mission focused environment, with multiple competing priorities.

Checkerspot offers its employees competitive benefits and a compensation package. The base pay for this role is $48,173 – $71,973 USD annually and your base pay will depend on your skills, qualifications, experience and location.
Checkerspot is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis.