Senior Material Scientist



Hackney, London, UK
Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2024
The Role

At Notpla, we create disappearing packaging carefully engineered for a healthy planet. Founded on the belief that nature knows best, we’re an innovative, ideas and action-oriented scale-up developing and manufacturing packaging solutions from seaweed and plants that disappear naturally.We are currently looking to recruit a Senior Material Scientist to be a part of our Innovation team.

At Notpla, we strongly believe in our mission and our employees' ability to help us achieve our goals. We encourage everyone who joins us to develop and grow and take responsibility for your domain without micromanagement. Our objective is to foster a fantastic business culture that is reflected in our working policies and environment.

Besides offering exciting roles and a great working environment, Notpla provides competitive salaries, the potential for EMI Share Options, a zero-carbon pension scheme, discounts with local businesses, and subsidised social activities. Our flexible working policy allows you to work at your own pace.

We are a social business with regular clubs and events, and we are proud of how our diverse workplace has created a community that is all pushing towards the common goal of making plastic disappear.

For this role as a Senior Material Scientist at Notpla you’ll spearhead scientific and technological breakthroughs, playing a pivotal role in innovating and developing future technologies to replace plastic. This position demands deep expertise in Material Science, with a strong technical grasp of biomaterials and green chemistry. As a key member of the Innovation team, your role as Senior Material Scientist is not only to advance innovation projects but also serve as a knowledge ambassador and advisor, offering technical guidance and improving scientific endeavours across the innovation team and the wider business.

This role involves conducting feasibility studies, fast-paced discovery projects, trials, and in-depth fundamental and material development initiatives. The Senior Material Scientist will work collaboratively across disciplines on innovation projects, actively scout for new opportunities and novel technologies, and engage with an external network of scientific experts and labs to drive innovation and gain new knowledge. They will also communicate complex technical concepts effectively to diverse audiences, ensuring the dissemination and implementation of technical learnings across the business.

Additionally, the Senior Material Scientist will collaborate with commercial partners and grant writers to understand needs, provide technical support, develop proposals, and unlock funding opportunities, further propelling Notpla's mission to replace plastic with sustainable alternatives.

As a Senior Material Scientist in the Innovation team, you feel comfortable working with a level of ambiguity and agile ways of working. As a true innovator, you’ll be exploring the unknown and constantly learning and pushing the boundaries of science.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conduct feasibility studies and fast-paced discovery projects, to scout and test directions to solve material science and packaging challenges

  • Collaborate closely with cross-disciplinary teams, including designers, business development managers, engineers, seaweed specialists, and more

  • Identifying, sourcing, and testing natural materials and developing formulations to meet performance, sustainability, and cost targets.

  • Design and execute experiments, analyse data, and present findings to drive decision-making and project progress.

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest scientific advancements and industry trends, integrating new knowledge into ongoing projects.

  • Contribute to the development of intellectual property, including patents and trade secrets.

  • Technical support on developing grant and client proposals to unlock funding

  • Lead deep development projects to unlock a fundamental understanding of seaweed and biomaterials for packaging applications.

  • Characterisation of materials performance, shelf life testing, and compatibility studies of packaging solutions

  • Represent Notpla to external partners from time to time

  • Liaising with academic institutions and commercial labs to organise third-party testing as required

Your profile

Qualifications & Experience:

  • PhD or Master's degree in Material Science, Polymer Chemistry, or a related field.

  • 5-7 years of experience in material science research and development, with a focus on natural materials.

  • Proven track record of spearheading complex research projects and delivering scientific breakthroughs.

  • Comfortable working in ambiguity, with agile methodologies in a fast-paced environment and adept at collaborating across various disciplines

  • Strong understanding of natural materials, biomaterials and green chemistry

  • Excellent problem-solving skills, with the ability to think creatively and critically.

  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, with the ability to convey complex scientific concepts to diverse audiences.

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a team player

About us

We’re hard to define because what we’re doing hasn’t been done before.

Notpla is a sustainable packaging start-up founded in 2014. A combination of designers, chemists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. We create advanced packaging solutions made from seaweed and other natural materials as an alternative to single-use plastic.

We received multiple awards and grants from Innovate UK and the Ellen Macarthur Foundation for our innovative product “Ooho” – an edible and fully biodegradable sachet. Our portfolio has now extended with multiple innovation solutions.

We're committed to creating a working environment where every member of our team can bring their full self to work regardless of their race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability or age.