Materials Science

Materials Research Intern/Co-op

Waterloo, Ontario
Work Type: Internship


ALT TEX is a seed stage biomaterials startup, on a mission to create the world’s most sustainable fabrics through our ALTernative TEXtile innovation. Through our proprietary biotechnology, we’re taking one of the world’s largest landfill contributors – food waste – and re-engineering it into biodegradable and carbon neutral fabrics with polyester-like performance.

Today, our small team has successfully created the food-to-fibre prototype, secured pilot agreements worth $1M and locked in over $1.7M in funding with the support of Canada’s top accelerators like Creative Destruction Lab and NEXT Canada. Now, we’re looking to grow our team of impact-driven innovators as we prepare to launch our fabric in 2022.


If you’re interested in joining our mission, you may already know that by 2050, the fashion industry is expected to account for a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Leading this environmental footprint with over 7 million tons of annual landfill waste is polyester – a fabric that makes up 60% of the clothes we wear. Join us in leading the change with the next generation of highly sustainable and radically ethical textiles.


The Materials Research Intern will support the research team in conducting literary and lab-based R&D for mechanical optimization of the ALT TEX polymer fibre. This role is designed for growth in the company and can lead to a permanent position.

  • Conduct literary research on biobased polymer technology and material design to support ongoing lab studies
  • Observe lab research (i.e. melt extrusion, injection molding, filament testing) and develop/interpret technical reports, white papers and standard operating procedures based on findings
  • Conduct lab-based advanced material research exploring the structure-property-processing relationships of various polymers, additives and nanocomposites
  • Optimize polymer extrusion parameters in standard melt extrusion and reactive extrusion processes
  • Conduct various material analyses including tensile tests, thermal degradation tests, scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and more (knowledge of these tests is an asset, but training will be available)
  • Complete product quality, and production yield evaluations and implement continuous improvement practices
  • Support day-to-day research operations including material tracking/ordering and organizing lab activity and workplans


You’re an impact and sustainability focused innovator who wants to use their talent for massively scalable change. You’re a risk taker ready to immerse yourself in an incredibly fast-paced and dynamic team, in a position that offers rapid job growth opportunity. You’re an innovative thinker and want to bring bold ideas to the table where you can supercharge them to fruition.

Your background
& experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher (preferred) in related scientific fields
  • Research experience in melt extrusion, polymeric materials, nanocomposites, materials analysis and more
  • Technical knowledge of polymer extrusion equipment, tensile and modulus tests, thermogravimetric analysis and other material testing standards (some training will be available)

skills & attributes:

  • Entrepreneurial: you’re highly independent with the ability to self-drive fast-paced projects with extreme resourcefulness and speed
  • Innovative and analytical: you’re a big picture, out of the box thinker who is always questioning the norm and approaches problem solving with disruptive thinking
  • Impact oriented: you’re out to change the world and your work means more to you than a 9-5
  • Action oriented: you’re a leader and self-starter who makes things happen without the need for significant structure or delegation


Job title: Materials Research Intern/Co-op

Terms: Internship/Co-op, full time

Compensation: Commensurate with experience

Location: Waterloo, Ontario

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