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R&D Scientist (Lab)

Date: Aug 12, 2017

Location: Naperville, IL, US

Company: James Hardie





Polymer Composite Scientist 

James Hardie Building Products is not like most companies.  We are a dynamic, driven, and entrepreneurial type of firm that values their employees and believes in growing their careers. Your growth is our growth.   Not only do we manufacture impressive and well-respected products, but we believe in them, as well as our employees.  
We look for candidates who are not satisfied with the "status quo" and are intellectually curious by nature, confident in their abilities, but not arrogant.  This is not a company for everyone, but if you are looking to join a dynamic, exciting and growing leader, please review this posting.  Salary, bonus and benefits are excellent.
James Hardie is a publicly owned company and the global leader in fiber cement technology. James Hardie invented fiber cement siding products in the early 1980’s and is currently installed on more than 5.5 million homes in North America. The Company’s annual revenue for FY’15 was approximately $1.5B. The Company’s operations encompass the US, Australia, New Zealand & the Philippines.


Summary: This position is responsible for executing a development project on novel thermoset polymer composite for building product application, and performance evaluation of various polymer composite materials through hands on laboratory studies in both standard operations and developmental research


To be considered for this position you MUST have:

  • In depth knowledge in thermoset polymer chemistry and experience in polymer synthesis
  • Hands on experience in reversed engineering and chemical analysis of polymer composite using HPLC, GC-MS, FTIR, DSC/TG, and other laboratory instruments/techniques
  • Hands on experience in characterizing physical properties of polymer composites using SEM, XRD, XRF, TMA, mechanical testing, and other laboratory instruments/techniques
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, and ability to clearly communicate research findings through presentations and reports.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to collaborate and cooperate with others cross-functionally on multiple
  • Enthusiasm for laboratory work and hands on research
  • PhD degree in polymer science or polymer composite technology related field
  • Master’s degree in polymer science or polymer composite technology related field with minimum 2 years of polymer composite research experience in industries


Position Responsibilities  

  • Plan and execute a long term project developing thermoset polymer composite for building product application
  • Develop concepts for novel thermoset polymer composite through literature and patent search
  • Formulate and test feasibility of the thermoset polymer composite and create laboratory scale prototypes
  • Characterize material properties using full range of chemical analysis and mechanical evaluation techniques.
  • Achieve desired properties of the thermoset polymer composite by modifying its chemical and physical structure
  • Collaborate with engineering team in technology platform development and manufacturing scale up.
  • Collaborate with multiple development teams and participate in development of thermoplastic and thermoset polymer composite technologies
  • Design testing, conduct hands on laboratory testing, analyze and interpret data for product performance evaluation on variety of thermoset and thermoplastic polymer composites
  • Draw conclusions and make recommendations from laboratory studies based on sound science knowledge by applying chemical and engineering principles
  • Document results as research reports and communicate the findings in presentations.
  • Support on and off site application trials, manufacturing/process quality improvements, and problem solving


Quantitative Dimensions

  • Supervisory/Lead Responsibilities: None.
  • Scope of Position: the Scientist is responsible for understanding project objectives and the impact on the business; developing a project plan to accomplish the project at-hand, making recommendations based on the data analyzed, and implementing the results
  • Some travel is required, approximately 10%
  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in particular) and ability to construct complex spreadsheets, graphs, and charts.



  • Urgency: Demonstrate sense of urgency and take quick action to keep moving projects forward with minimal to no supervision
  • Resourcefulness: Quickly address problems, issues, or roadblocks utilizing both internal and external resources
  • Strategical Planning: Clearly identify critical path to reach project goals and efficiently manage project milestones, tasks, and resources
  • Self-management (includes Time Management): Self-disciplined, Self-directing, and hold high standard in deliverables
  • Efficiency: effectively manage one’s time and resources to ensure that work is completed efficiently.
  • Decision Making: Innovative decision making abilities are required to be successful in this individual contributor role. As an R&D team member, the Polymer Composite Scientist is required to make key decisions with regard to the assigned research projects that will have both immediate and long-term impact to the business.
  • Communication: Clearly conveying information and ideas through a variety of media to individuals or groups in a manner that engages the audience and helps them understand and retain the message
  • Work Standards: Setting high standards of performance for self and others; assuming responsibilities and accountabilities for successfully completing assignments or tasks; self-imposing standards of excellence rather than having standards imposed.
  • Applied Learning: Assimilating and applying new job-related information in a timely manner.
  • Technical/Professional Knowledge and Skills: Having achieved a satisfactory level of technical and professional skill or knowledge in position-related areas; keeping up with current developments and trends in areas of expertise.
  • Contributing to Team Success: Actively participating as a member of a team to move the team toward the completion of goals.
  • Building Strategic Working Relationships: Developing and using collaborative relationships to facilitate the accomplishment of work goals.
  • Innovation: Generating innovative solutions in work situations; trying different and novel ways to deal with work problems and opportunities.
  • Adaptability: Maintaining effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work tasks or the work environment; adjusting effectively to work within new work structures, processes, requirements, or cultures.
  • Stress Tolerance: Maintaining stable performance under pressure or opposition (such as time pressure, or job ambiguity); handling stress in a manner that is acceptable to others and to the organization


James Hardie is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, among other things, or as a qualified individual with a disability. Equal Employment Opportunity is the law.

Nearest Major Market: Naperville
Nearest Secondary Market: Chicago

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