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TAPPI Industry Career Center: Sappi North America seeks Sr. Research Assistant/Associate Research Fellow

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Sappi is a dynamic and growing company with clear strategic intent to develop markets for wood fiber into an ever increasing range of adjacent markets. Our increased activity in new uses for cellulose fibers has created an exciting opportunity for a dynamic research scientist to join our research and development team. The need for modern products to provide greater functionality while using renewable and sustainable raw materials creates an opportunity for cellulose fibers to be used in a broad range of applications such as plastic composites, cosmetics, food, adhesives and films, far beyond traditional uses such as paper.

Major Job Responsibilities:
The role involves all aspects of product and technology development related to pulping, bleaching and chemical recovery best practices, process enhancement and next generation technology applications. Focus of technology development and application will include kraft pulping and dissolving pulp arenas. Applicant must be an innovative, highly capable scientist/engineer, with the ability to fulfill the following accountabilities:

Make high level business and technical assessments of opportunity areas for improved pulping, bleaching and chemical recovery process and products.

Apply technical feasibility understanding and gap analysis to prioritize new development work and inform capital decisions for manufacturing plants
Collaborate with the Sappi COE (Center of Excellence) for pulping and bleaching in Pretoria South Africa to identify improvement opportunities and inform longer range research program.
Lead improvement work in manufacturing sites through collaboration with mill technical and production departments.
Apply and adapt technology platforms and best practices from our industry as appropriate to address product and process technical challenges.
Engage in technology scoping activities for the purpose of developing and/or applying new chemistries, materials and process to improve pulping, bleaching and chemical recovery process efficiencies and quality, as well as other areas of interest to Sappi.
Develop strategic operating plans that maximize efficiency and minimize the cost of pulping, bleaching and recover operations. Optimize bleach plant, and other operations, by evaluating, understanding and solving complex interactions that will minimize manufacturing costs and stabilize pulp quality.
Apply technical experience to develop process models (carbohydrate, energy, chemical, etc.) that can be used to optimize process operation.  
Apply fundamental science to broad business related opportunities and translate to feasible and practical development plans.
Use technical know-how to develop innovative solutions to difficult technical problems.
Independently plan and direct research projects and technical efforts.
Coordinate and execute complex pilot scale trials with internal and external partners, as well as product manufacturing trials of extended duration.
Lead and participate on teams for technology development initiatives related to pulp, fiber and other related areas of technology such as Bio refining and enzyme use in the pulping and bleaching areas.
Work in collaboration with R&D teams at universities and companies outside of Sappi.

Minimum Education and Skills Requirements:
Degree and/or equivalent experience in Pulp and Paper Process Chemistry, Paper Science or Chemical Engineering. Advanced degree preferred.

Minimum 7-10 years in industry preferred.
The ideal candidate would have experience in both an R&D environment, as well as experience with technology transfer/technical support in manufacturing.
Candidate should have demonstrated past innovative accomplishments.
Must be able to work in a cross-functional atmosphere to provide support and technical leadership for strategic projects.
Demonstrated ability to learn new areas of technology so as to contribute to successful completion of new technology projects.
Demonstrated ability to apply best practice experience to improvement efforts at manufacturing sites.
Experience successfully leading project teams and delivering improved results.
Demonstrated ability to prioritize development work and assess feasibility.
Expertise in the areas of bio refinery technologies (conversion of biomaterials to fuels and chemicals) a plus.
Expertise in the area of dissolving pulp / chemical cellulose a plus.
Knowledge and use of statistical computer tools such as Minitab, Statistica, Design Expert, Excel functions and Simca desired.
Must be able to travel. Expected to spend up to 50% of time in manufacturing (mix of car and airline travel) or pilot pulping sites. Some limited overseas travel expected to South Africa and Europe, 1-2 trips / year.
Must have authorization to permanently work in the U.S.


About Sappi North America:
Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of our four diversified businesses – high quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialised Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging – is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Our high quality Coated Printing Papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. We are a leading manufacturer of Specialised Cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods, and one of the world's leading suppliers of Release Papers with our Ultracast and Classics lines for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Our Specialty Packaging products, such as LusterPrint and LusterCote, represent an important asset in the food packaging and labeling industries. Customers rely on Sappi for high technical, operational and market expertise; products and services delivered with consistently high quality and reliability; and, state-of-the-art and cost-competitive assets and innovative spirit. Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 13,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at: www.sappi.com/na. Sappi is a dynamic and growing company with clear strategic intent to develop markets for wood fiber into an ever increasing range of adjacent markets. Our increased activity in new uses for cellulose fibers has created an exciting opportunity for a dynamic research scientist to join our research and development team. The need for modern products to provide greater functionality while using renewable and sustainable raw materials creates an opportunity for cellulose fibers to be used in a broad range of applications such as plastic composites, cosmetics, food, adhesives and films, far beyond traditional uses such as paper.
 
 
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