Polymer Engineer

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About this role

You will become a core part of ULUU’s team, leading the development and production of high-quality ULUU pellets suitable for use in a variety of manufacturing processes.

You will become a core part of ULUU’s team, leading the development and production of high-quality ULUU pellets suitable for use in a variety of manufacturing processes.

Initially, this will involve converting ULUU (our unique PHBV powder) into pellets suitable for injection moulding and use in applications such as outdoor apparel (e.g. clothing fasteners, sunglasses) & hardware (e.g. camping gear). Where necessary, you may compound ULUU with other suitable materials to produce blends that are easy to process, with great technical performance & properties, while retaining ULUU’s characteristic biodegradability and adhering to an environmentally friendly ethos.

Other important aspects of this role include working with our manufacturing suppliers and R&D partners as well as supporting leadership on product development and go-to-market strategy.

This is an opportunity to come in at the ground floor of one the world’s most exciting start-ups. You will receive an attractive equity package, so you are rewarded for your best work.

About You

You are a hands-on polymer engineer with enthusiasm for applying chemistry and materials science to develop materials that are good for the world.

You have worked extensively with PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates), including PHBV (poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate)). Ideally, you have experience with biopolymer projects from R&D through to pilot and commercial production, with a strong understanding of the plastics supply chain. This includes, for instance, Technical Data Sheet development, quality control during production, and practical work with operators and manufacturers. You can troubleshoot issues pragmatically.

You are well versed in chemical and thermal analytical techniques used for polymer characterisation – e.g. SEC/HPLC, NMR, GC-MS, FT-IR, DSC, TGA – as well as formulation, compounding, and processing to achieve desired specifications. You can interpret rheological data to make appropriate adjustments, with a good practical, knowledge of benign additives and compounding agents (e.g. nucleation agents, antioxidants, antistatics).

You are self-motivated, proactive and tackle problems hands-on, with a can-do attitude. On this point, you enjoy technical thinking but also thrive when you are delivering outcomes. That is, a strong attention to detail and a focus on execution – able to quickly synthesise disparate information into clear recommendations, decisions and, most importantly, actions.

Exemplary personal and professional integrity.

You enjoy a creative team environment.

Your role at ULUU will be highly varied, with clear communication critical to your success. And, as ULUU is a young, exciting start-up, you don’t mind pitching in on other areas of the business when required.

Responsilities
  • Lead technical development of ULUU pellets, including biomaterials formulation and compounding to achieve target specifications.
  • Drive manufacturing experimentation processes using ULUU’s start-of-the-art micro-compounder, pelletizer, and injection moulder.
  • Manage material analysis (eg SEC/HPLC, NMR,GC-MS, FTIR, DSC/TGA/DMA, GPC).
  • Produce Technical Data Sheets for ULUU pellets.
  • Lead pilot production of ULUU pellets, ensuring pellet batches are delivered to manufacturing partners on-time, with consistent specs.
  • Work alongside manufacturing partners as they trial ULUU pellets.
  • Assist with life cycle analysis as well as material compliance, safety and biodegradation tests.
  • Work with leadership to refine strategy and priorities and allocate research-related resources.
  • A spare pair of hands – ad hoc office duties/ general & admin as required.
Requirements
  • At least 5 years’ relevant experience – a PhD in polymer science/ engineering or equivalent BSc/ MSc with additional industry experience.
  • Outstanding knowledge of PHAs (including PHBV), particularly their use in pellet development and in production.
  • Experienced operating pilot scale and, ideally, commercial manufacturing equipment, such as compounders, pelletizers, and injection moulding equipment.
  • Skilled in analytical practices, including sample preparation, equipment operation and data evaluation from SEC/HPLC, GC-MS, FTIR tests, amongst others.
  • Great written and verbal communicator.
  • Excellent data and lab management practices.
  • A love for the ocean!
About uluu

ULUU is a natural substance capable of ending plastic pollution, while fighting global warming and restoring the health of our oceans.

It’s the world’s first plastic alternative that’s both marine biodegradable and carbon negative, and it’s made from sustainably farmed seaweed.

Not only that, ULUU mimics plastic performance – it’s lightweight, durable, easy to manufacture, and even suitable for outdoor apparel & hardware. For outdoor adventures, plastic free.

Our diverse, entrepreneurial team of scientists, engineers and corporate leaders are driven to produce materials that are good for the world.

We’re looking for people to join us with enthusiasm, grit, and integrity, and who have a calling to do something incredible for people & planet. You’re encouraged to apply even if your experience doesn’t precisely match the job description, and especially if your career has taken some extraordinary twists and turns.  

We’d love you to join us on our mission to revive the world with ULUU.

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