Chemist Sr - Polyethylene R&D
The Chemist Sr. 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 drybox and autoclave for conducting lab-scale polymerizations and knowledge of commercial polymerization processes. It is expected that the Chemist Sr. 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 Sr. 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.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
May include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Provide direct support and troubleshooting to the Longview & Lake Charles PE Plants regarding catalysts, operating conditions, and operating procedures.
- Perform independently as a principal investigator or direct others as a project leader.
- Partner directly with others to respond to complex technical problems. Challenges will include plant & customer support (e.g. problem-solving, data analysis, and optimization), product development, planning & monitoring projects and plant trials, and supporting new innovation.
- Partner with key stakeholders (i.e., Technical Service & Product Development, Commercial, Manufacturing, et al) to resolve problems and to identify opportunities that add value for the business.
- Support Westlake’s continuing improvement program by providing chemical expertise when needed on projects that impact & influence the long-term business & technology plans. Contribute as a principal member of Polyethylene Technology and other Teams.
- Use acquired knowledge & expertise to identify & solve problems including vague problems and creating definition so that these can be understood, investigated, and solved.
- Develop and maintain key relationships, and ensure that objectives, projects, and resources are focused on PE business needs and goals.
- Attend conferences and seminars and remain up-to-date on current catalyst technology related to the polyethylene technology. Support continual improvements & new capabilities for the Technology labs for e.g. plant support, resin, and catalyst evaluation that will proactively address technical challenges and strategic business objectives.
- Protect intellectual property and disclose key findings for consideration in patenting, trade secrets, etc.
- Support the Legal Department in the prosecution of and defense of patent applications- when requested.
- Perform duties in a manner that protects personal Safety as well as the Safety of others.
- Provide expertise to, and participate in, Safety activities incl. Safety reviews, etc. and ensure work is carried out consistent with the site health, Safety, and Environmental policies and procedures of Westlake Longview.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- 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 eight (8) 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.