Technical Specialist

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Date: Mar 29, 2024

Location: Houston, TX, US

Company: AkzoNobel

We supply the sustainable and innovative paints and coatings that our customers, communities – and the environment – are increasingly relying on. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. We’re active in more than 150 countries and have set our sights on becoming the global industry leader. It’s what you’d expect from a pioneering paints company that’s committed to science-based targets and is taking genuine action to address globally relevant challenges and protect future generations.

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© 2023 Akzo Nobel N.V. All rights reserved.

Job Purpose

The role of a Specialist I is to develop, prepare, execute, and analyze research elements in a given technical field, in order to gain insights into new development and improve existing research methodology, in line with R&D strategy, project, and R&D fictional standards in one of the following areas:

  • Developing new products, technologies, and test methods (including in areas where nothing existed previously in the business)
  • Developing a fundamental understanding of key coating attributes
  • Testing/support of existing products, processes, and coating system

Key Responsibilities

  • Internally recognized as an expert (e.g. has a broad or deep understanding of science/chemistry for product type in some areas) and shares expertise with other professionals e.g. act as a consultant and provide functional guidance to a mix of G-level positions. Ensures retention of knowledge through the preparation of technical reports
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of products and/or technologies/techniques/processes in their recognized field(s) and applies this knowledge to develop technically feasible solutions that meet customer needs
  • Support assessment of technologies, processes, and capabilities e.g. for internal & external technology providers/researchers to highlight opportunities for collaboration
  • Proactively looks for and implements new techniques and methodologies and shares with other professionals
  • Initiates idea generation in others and contributes to idea generation by building on others' ideas e.g. leading test method development &/or developing new products and technologies. Considers viability of solutions, implementation considerations, and plan
  • Responsible for effective delivery of assigned projects/activities, Work Proposal Documents (WPDs), research, or work requests on time. Typically works on one complex project or several smaller projects or work requests. Identify risks and barriers to successful delivery within work and propose recommendations for resolution to manage the risk. Communicates effectively with both internal and external audiences (including customer interactions)
  • Proficiency in information retrieval systems to continuously keep abreast of chemical, scientific, intellectual property, and competitors' literature. Provide detailed patent and literature searches with recommendations/conclusions as required. Prompt communication of relevant internal & external new developments within the Business Unit
  • Contribute within AkzoNobel technical forums e.g. Corrosion Protection (CoP), Polymer Allocation Process (PAP), Analytical Network developing a professional network of contacts within AkzoNobel & highlighting opportunities for technology transfer as required
  • Maintains and promotes a safe working environment e.g. member of the 5S team, supports Health &Safety engagement audits, supports Behavioral Based Safety (BBS) processes

Level of Autonomy

Makes technical decisions independently under general guidance. Progress of activity reviewed by the manager. Seeks agreement on key next steps from manager or more senior colleagues.


  1. Typically works on one complex project or several smaller project or work requests by effectively prioritizing their work based in business drivers and value. Effectively communicates results to key internal stakeholders, can make decisions on technical direction/next steps independently with just general guidance from line manager. Demonstrates ability to problem solve technical issues within project(s)/work requests and propose solutions
  2.  Designs new products, processes, solutions, and methods where nothing existed previously within the business
  3.  Identifies opportunities to collaborate with external parties based in key technical requirements (e.g. new technology required for a product development project, the requirement for external testing by a 3rd party research group), is able to coordinate the collaboration agreement and be the lead contact, ensuring progress updates are provided to key stakeholders. Is able to identify the intellectual property opportunities and can take steps to ensure that this is protected. 
  4. Could act as a trainer, technical mentor or advisor to the other personnel in the R&D team and wider BU in their field of expertise. This could include practical laboratory-based training, problem solving on specific technical issues, claims management, face to face customer support, idea generation, new technology sourcing
  5. Proactively develops and sustains a professional network to support themselves, effective progression of day-to-day activities, and to support longer term competency/capability requirements. Makes recommendations based on competency and capability gaps identified in road mapping process, projects and support work requests.
  6. Contributes to IP applications for own research work; analyses 3rd party IP in own area

Job Requirements

Bachelor of Science, Masters, PhD+. Typically >5 years experience or equivalent relevant experience

At AkzoNobel we are highly committed to ensuring an inclusive and respectful workplace where all employees can be their best self. We strive to embrace diversity in a context of tolerance. Our talent acquisition process plays an integral part in this journey, as setting the foundations for a diverse environment. For this reason we train and educate on the implications of our Unconscious Bias in order for our TA and hiring managers to be mindful of them and take corrective actions when applicable. In our organization, all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age or disability.

Requisition ID: 32694 


Nearest Major Market: Houston

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