Graduate Research & Development Rotational Program

Apply now »

Date: Jan 24, 2023

Location: Troy, MI, US

Company: AkzoNobel

We’ve been pioneering a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life for well over 200 years. As experts in making coatings, there’s a good chance you’re only ever a few meters away from one of our products. 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 the most sustainable paints company, which has been inventing the future for more than two centuries.

About the Program

AkzoNobel is named Top Employer for 2022!

 December 2022 and 2023 Spring Grads

AkzoNobel wants to be the number one choice for our customers and build a world-class, purpose driven company. We recognize that being able to reach a talented workforce with experience and skills in all our markets has never been more important to our business. The Graduate Research & Development Program was developed to give graduates the opportunity to rapidly develop in AkzoNobel within Research & Development supporting our four business units:  Automotive and Specialty Coatings, Industrial Coatings, Marine, Protective and Yacht Coatings, and Powder Coatings.  


During the Graduate Research & Development Program you will receive on-the-job training across diverse assignments in different business areas during three 9-month rotations.  After each rotation, you will have the opportunity to be deployed to another site within AkzoNobel in the United States.  At the end of the graduate program, based on readiness and performance, you will be assigned a final role as determined by the R&D leaders from your host sites.


This position will expose you to exceptional professionals in the industry as you engage in key business projects and develop your career.  Relocation to locations anywhere in the United States between each 9-month assignment is required and relocation benefits will be provided per AkzoNobel policy. 


Potential Locations for first rotations: 
•    Strongsville, OH
•    Houston, TX
•    Flying Hills, PA
•    Troy, MI


This role will support the following exciting market segments: 
•    Automotive OEM and Aftermarket Refinish
•    Architectural Aluminum - Extrusion and Coil
•    Aerospace new build and maintenance
•    Beverage and food cans
•    Marine and Yacht
•    Kitchen cabinetry, flooring, and furniture
•    Oil, gas and water transport pipelines

Key Accountabilities

  • Actively participate in all site health, safety, environment, quality and sustainability activities
  • Use of statistical analysis and appropriate business excellence project management processes to identify areas of significant improvement and develops plans to realize the benefits
  • Investigate root cause of process failures, develop solutions and implement improvement plans
  • Adopt successful ideas from the external world and designs improved systems to meet business needs
  • Use data analysis and problem-solving methodologies 
  • Deliver key projects to meet a range of business needs which involves defining requirements, preparing plans, allocating resources and project implementation in line with project management methods and techniques
  • Actively participate in continuous improvement projects and identify improvement opportunities


Experience & Qualifications

  • New college graduate with a positive attitude – Bachelor or Master’s degree in Polymer Chemistry, Chemistry or Material Science
  • Maximum one-year experience
  • Exhibit high initiative and leadership in student organizations/extracurricular activities
  • Oral and written proficiency in English (universally understood across other countries)
  • High learning agility and high adaptability
  • Willing to learn & experience different functions & knowledge. Open & proactive to share and exchange
  • High Emotional Quotient (EQ) 
  • Excellent communication skills and inquisitive nature
  • Ability to think on one's feet and to influence and work as part of a team
  • Big picture vision and connectedness, logical thinking and strong analytical skills
  • Desire to live the AkzoNobel values and behaviors and cultural principles
  • Ability to interact effectively with customers, community and other AkzoNobel visitors on a regular basis
  • Open for domestic mobility and willing to relocate at end of program 


A minimum requirement for this US-based position is the ability to work legally in the United States on a permanent basis. Applicants who do not indicate that they have the necessary permanent work authorization will not be considered for this US-based position.


Bachelor or Master's Degree in Polymer Chemistry, Chemistry or Material Science - Required





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: 21909