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R&D Specialist I

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Date: Apr 3, 2021

Location: Strongsville, 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 R&D Specialist I executes daily project tasks and lab work requests with minimal direct guidance. The employee will follow lab work plans for putting together formulation variables and performing the specified tests on the wet and applied samples. The employee will be efficient at working with defined standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Key Accountabilities

The R&D Specialist I has a high degree of personal initiative and can handle tasks in a largely autonomous manner.  The individual has a solid understanding of chemistry or material science with the ability to interpret project plans and work independently on a daily to weekly basis.  The R&D Specialist I works closely with a more experienced chemist, project lead or direct manager to manufacture and test new experimental formulations and trial process changes for coatings customers.  The individual follows project work plans, lab work requests (LWR) and general lab work flows.  

The R&D Specialist I performs each essential duty safely, satisfactorily, and in a timely manner. 

•    Make and test formulations from developed SOP’s; analyze the resulting data to form conclusions
•    Asks appropriate questions to clarify requirements, expectations and critical performance parameters
•    Maintain project documentation consistent with best practices; communicate and report test results to lab personnel
•    Work within established timelines with minimal reminders
•    Present project data to internal stakeholders in an effective and efficient manner 
•    Represent R&D and work effectively with cross-functional groups including but not limited to marketing, quality control and plant production teams
•    Maintain clean and organized work environment 
•    Provide direct support to sales, marketing and supply chain efforts through reports, presentation, and guidance/recommendations

Key Activities

The R&D Specialist I exhibits the following skills and behaviors:

•    Conform with all site and laboratory safety requirements and policies, including participation in AkzoNobel safety programs including audits, safety meetings, and demonstrating safe practices and behaviours    
•    Pragmatic, proactive, quick learner, self-motivated    
•    Learn and understand customer application methods to replicate customer line conditions
•    Effective interpersonal skills, keeping direct manager and team members informed of progress
•    Maintain excellent cross-functional relationships to ensure delivery
•    Able to work at least at a basic level in Microsoft Excel, Word, and Power Point 
•    Own personal and career development 
•    Demonstrate continuous commitment to business goals and initiatives as sole contributor


•    Bachelors degree in a technical field preferred, ideally a laboratory science.
•    0-3 years of experience in a laboratory work environment (degree) OR at least 5 years of laboratory experience (no degree)
•    Good knowledge of chemistry/polymers
•    Capability of integration in an international/multi-cultural environment
•    Excellent verbal and written communication 


Bachelors degree in a technical field preferred, ideally a laboratory science.


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.


Nearest Major Market: Cleveland