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Polymer Aerogel R&D Lead



Portland, OR, USA
Posted on Friday, May 17, 2024

Solarcore is an advanced materials technology company that develops the most scientifically innovative thermal solutions on the planet. We are on a mission to solve the world’s largest thermal efficiency problems by revolutionizing the antiquated field of thermal insulation.

To help us continue expanding our technology platform, we’re in search of an experienced Materials Technology Director to lead the Solarcore Labs group. The Technology Director will be responsible for leading, managing and driving execution of the lab team and technology development from chemical synthesis to production relevant processing techniques.

The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree in Chemical Engineering or Material Science with a track record of managing a laboratory in a fast-paced commercial environment. Advancing the technology platform of aerogel composite materials requires technical expertise, innovative thinking and creative problem solving. This candidate will leverage their experience in polymer science, sol-gel chemistry, aerogel formation, material characterization and/ or production relevant process development to lead as the subject matter expert. Collaboration across R&D and the Solarcore leadership team is critical to advancing the technology platform while executing on broader company objectives to deliver advanced materials that meet customer requirements, manufacturing scalability and business objectives. Additionally, the ideal candidate must be a confident leader who can work with cross-functional teams, in a fast-paced, challenging, and demanding environment while taking time to celebrate and acknowledge their teams wins and accomplishments.

Roles & Responsibilities:

· Lead the Solarcore technical strategy, labs team and daily laboratory operations in support of R&D technology platform of next generation aerogel composite materials

· Develop technology platform strategy including roadmap with CTO and company leadership team to meet long term company commercial objectives

· Direct laboratory operations including equipment calibration and maintenance, lab materials and supplies for effective daily operations

· Supervise lab team including materials engineer(s) and technician(s) using technical and management experience to meet R&D objectives and milestones

· Translate technology platform strategy into detailed objectives and requirements for chemical synthesis, aerogel formation and prototype development

· Develop and/ or manage lab capabilities for chemical/ sol-gel synthesis, aerogel formation of monoliths or composite materials, and characterization of materials

· Manage Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) program for the lab including policies and training for proper safety and compliance of the lab space and team

· Create product strategy documents that describe business cases, high-level use cases, technical requirements, sales tools, revenue, and ROI

Required skills and experiences:

  • Well balanced candidate with a track record of technical excellence, creative problem solving and meeting fast paced deliverables for commercial success
  • Ability to work effectively as team leader while also performing against independent R&D goals and milestones
  • Experience with sol-gel chemistry synthesis with focus on condensation polymers
  • Experience with aerogel synthesis
  • Experience with characterization techniques of aerogels or high surface area materials, including mechanical and thermal properties, BET/gas adsorption methods, and/ or electron microscopy
  • Experience in solvent extraction and drying, including super critical CO2, freeze drying and other ambient pressure drying techniques
  • Experience in prototyping monolithic and composite materials in laboratory and production relevant environments
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills as demonstrated by technical writing in papers or proposals, plus presentation of technical materials to a broad audience

· Ability to work productively and collaboratively on multiple company objectives in a fast paced environment


· PhD or equivalent degree in Chemical Engineering or Materials Science with focus on chemical synthesis and/ or polymer science

· 8+ years of post-grad experience. 5+ years of commercial experience preferred

· Proven track record as laboratory manager of a team, specialized equipment and deliverables that support R&D and commercialization objectives