ABOUT ALT TEX:
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, Velocity and NEXT Canada. Now, we’re looking to grow our team of impact-driven innovators as we prepare to launch our fabric in 2022.
ABOUT OUR IMPACT:
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. At ALT TEX, you'll be Joining us in leading the change with the next generation of highly sustainable and radically ethical textiles.
ABOUT THE ROLE:
The Polymer Chemist will play a central role in the ALT TEX fibre development as the research team continues to optimize the biopolymer technology for textile manufacturing. The role will report to the Research Lead and will work closely with the research team to conduct literary and lab-based R&D.
Within 3 months, you’ll:
- Conduct literary research on biobased polymer technology and polymerization to support ongoing lab studies
- Observe and begin lab research to iterate polymerization process and develop/interpret associated technical reports and standard operating procedures based on findings
- Support day-to-day research operations including material tracking/ordering and organizing lab activity and workplans
- Prepare funding applications for government R&D grants
Within 6 months you’ll:
- Play a major role in polymerization of ALT TEX’s biodegradable polymer, with a specific focus on the selection of catalysts and process controls, synthesis of intermediates, and the final biopolymer
- Optimize the synthesis procedure to generate a high molecular weight polymer within the targeted MW range, with attention to apparatus set-up, environmental parameters, isomeric specificity, monomer: catalyst ratios, monomer conversion rates, and purity level of the final polymer
- Conduct compositional and purity analysis using HPLC, NMR, Gas Chromatography, Gel Permeation Chromatography, FTIR, and/or LC-MS
- Complete product quality, and production yield evaluations and implement continuous improvement practices
- Document technical innovation for patent applications alongside IP team
12 months & beyond, you’ll:
- Assist in translation of bench-scale technology to scaled production
- Develop efficient and sustainable materials processing and manufacturing that considers life cycle analysis
- Work with the CEO to grow and oversee polymer science team
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.
- Master’s degree or higher in areas of Applied Polymer Science, Engineering, or related field
- 2+ years in lab research setting with technical acumen in organic chemistry, polymer synthesis (preferred biopolymer focus), and distillation experiments with various parameter controls at lab-bench or large scale
- 1+ years of applied industry experience in materials engineering, product development, manufacturing and process scaling
- Technical experience in the use and method development of HPLC, NMR, Gas Chromatography, Gel Permeation Chromatography, FTIR, and/or LC-MS
- Additional experience with differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis and other material testing standards for the analysis of synthesized polymer is preferred (training available).
Your 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: Polymer Chemist
Terms: Permanent, full time
Compensation: $60,000 - $80,000 or commensurate with experience (+ stock options)
Location: Waterloo, Ontario