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Research and Development Project Leader

Date: Oct 11, 2021

Location: Columbus, OH, US

Company: AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel has a passion for paint. We're experts in the proud craft of making paints and coatings, setting the standard in color and protection since 1792. Our world class portfolio of brands - including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon - is trusted by customers around the globe. Headquartered in the Netherlands, we are active in over 150 countries and employ around 34,500 talented people who are passionate about delivering the high-performance products and services our customers expect.

Job Purpose

The Project Leader owns the whole project scope of a technical workstream and is responsible for successful delivery, in conjunction with other functions. The Project Leader supervises junior staff and adequately manages resources and timelines to deliver outcomes. The Project Leader demonstrates effectiveness in selling a technical vision, has the ability to think strategically, and has proven success at managing stakeholders at all levels.

The Project Leader will focus on coil and extrusion coatings formulations for the Columbus, Ohio manufacturing plant. This role will be responsible for troubleshooting problems of scale and transition from the bench to the plant by serving as a formulation expert and working cross-functionally to accomplish successful transitions or achieving specific success criteria as agreed upon with Supply Chain and/or Manufacturing Departments. The Project Leader will scope and lead projects relating to formulation improvement specifically focusing on processing and will serve as the representative for Research and Development Solutions Lab for cross-functional or regional projects relating to the same topic.   Additional responsibilities will include efficiency projects for Coil and Extrusion products.

Key Accountabilities

The Project Leader supports the goals of the business by delivering the technical workstream on regional or global projects.  The Project Leader will understand both formulation requirements and the market or customers being served.

The Project Leader performs each essential duty safely, satisfactorily, and in a timely manner. 

  • Oversee and/or lead the transfer of products such as new products/product lines or existing products that have been altered from the lab bench to production scale, including scale up and manufacturing trials
  • Follow batches in manufacturing as needed, documenting essential data for purposes of troubleshooting and evaluation of processing improvements
  • Complete benchwork alongside team members
  • Create workplans and review results with junior level team members 
  • Plan on a quarterly to yearly timescale with regular stakeholder reviews
  • Train or transmit technical knowledge within the local, regional, or global team
  • Write and supervise execution of DOE’s (Design of Experiments), including data analysis and interpretation  
  • Understand customer requirements and translate into technical parameters and testing
  • Act as technical expert for communication with internal and external stakeholders, such as internal technical reports and customer presentations

Level of Autonomy

  • Initiating processing instruction requirements and changes on individual product level or by product line
  • Initiation of manufacturing trials
  • Product/formulation updates

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in a laboratory science, preferably chemistry, materials science, or chemical engineering
  • 5+ years’ work experience in chemistry or coatings industry
  • Good knowledge of chemistry/polymers/formulation in coatings with previous hands-on experience
  • Good knowledge of paint manufacturing processes
  • Familiar with the StageGate and DOE (Design of Experiments) process
  • Available to travel for trials or customer visits (5-10%)
  • Highly organized, self-motivated and able to work easily with cross-functional groups (sales, marketing, supply chain)
  • Be a role model of safe work environment practices
  • Adaptive communication style to different levels of the organization
  • Ability to deal with and work in environment with high level of ambiguity
  • Capability of integration in an international/multi-cultural environment




AkzoNobel is an equal opportunity employer. In accordance with applicable laws, we prohibit discrimination against any applicant or employee based on any legally-recognized basis, including, but not limited to: race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, lactation, childbirth or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, genetic information (including testing and characteristics), veteran status, uniformed servicemember status or any other status protected by federal, state or local law.

Requisition ID: 12997 

Nearest Major Market: Columbus
Nearest Secondary Market: Dublin