Job Description


The Chemist Principal. provides technical support to Westlake’s Polyethylene (PE) operations.  This position provides technical knowledge, and recommendations regarding catalysts, resin production, and process optimization.  This position works closely with and collaborates with Polyethylene’s Technology’s Applications and Analytical Labs, and with other Chemists and Engineers.

It is desirable that the applicant has experience in polyolefin catalysis, use of a dry box and autoclave for conducting lab-scale polymerizations and knowledge of commercial polymerization processes.  It is expected that the Chemist Principal will eventually acquire knowledge applicable to Westlake’s PE catalysts & processes, and also knowledge incl. e.g. resin design, applications, "CTQs", and general manufacturing & site operations.

As an experienced contributor the Chemist Principal will act as a facilitator to develop and maintain key relationships, to ensure that projects progress effectively, and that objectives and resources are focused on PE business needs and goals.  This includes setting an example for others, and mentoring, coaching, or instructing colleagues and less-experienced researchers.

This position requires handling multiple projects, and contributing ideas to progress current projects and to keep PE resources up-to-date and to initiate new innovation.

A high level of communication is required, including reports, presentations, et al. and also the ability to effectively communicate to management.


May include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Process Expertise

  • Understand PE processes at high level of competence
  • Understand competitive PE processes at high level of detail
  • Current Awareness of Technology

  • Keep up-to-date in patents, primary literature, and trade publications
  • Patent Process

  • Demonstrate competency in patent process
    • Proper invention records
    • Invention reports
    • Patent applications
    • Patent prosecution
  • Product Expertise

  • Understand PE products on a fundamental structure/property level
  • Understand customer needs; help develop new products to meet needs
  • Polyethylene Manufacturing Plant Support

  • Assist PE manufacturing as required in plant support activities
  • Develop new analytical tools
  • Pilot Plant Support

  • Define and interpret experiments
  • Provide assistance as needed
  • Safety

  • Observe all safety requirements in the labs
  • Identify & suggest safety improvements 


  • B.S. or B.A. degree in Chemistry, Engineering, or related technical field.  PhD. or M.S. in Chemistry or Engineering is a plus.
  • Minimum 12 (twelve) years chemistry/technology experience related to polyolefin resins.
  • Knowledge of polymerization processes, catalysis, resin analysis, and applications of polyolefin resins; preference for specific knowledge relevant to Westlake’s PE catalysts and processes.
  • Ability to design experiments and to evaluate laboratory and manufacturing data relevant to resin properties & performance.
  • Ability to work with a variety of disciplines (i.e. TS&PD, Commercial, Manufacturing) and to lead cross-functional projects and teams.
  • Strong computer skills, communication skills, and a demonstrated ability to think analytically and decisively.


This job is performed mainly in control room or office setting; physical presence is required. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; stand; walk; have full use and range of motion of arms, hands and fingers to reach, grasp, hold, push or pull, twist, and work with tools; and talk or hear.  The employee is occasionally required to perform tasks that may require bending, stooping, kneeling, crouching, lying down or working from elevated platforms. The employee must be able to move safely over uneven terrain or in confined spaces.  The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds, frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds, and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. The employee must be able to see details of objects that are more/less than a few feet away; see differences between colors, shades and brightness and determine the distance between objects. This job requires response to audible emergency alarms inside of the plant.  Employee must be able to evacuate when required.


The employee must be able to work in a normal factory environment, including enclosed spaces and exposure to various hazards. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate as normally based in an office.  Some of the work may be required in the operating units which can require usage of required PPE including safety glasses, hearing protection, flame retardant clothing, etc.  May also result in exposure to outside elements and may require usage of stairs and elevators.  Travel including air travel or auto travel may occasionally be required.

Application Instructions

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