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Plastics Upcycling Lab Engineer



Cambridge, MA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Plastics are very useful materials, but their initial value to society becomes a massive burden at their end-of-life. We at MacroCycle believe that chemistry holds the key to solving the plastics crisis, and enabling fully circular plastics, made without carbon emissions. Our proprietary process based on the synthesis of cyclic macromolecules (macrocycles) enables us to produce virgin-grade plastic resin at >80% lower energy use than traditional processes, and can be fully electrified. Join us on our mission to recycle and decarbonize >100 million tons/year plastics at scale.

This position will advance MacroCycle’s mission to zero-carbon, circular plastics, with the following:

-         Directly work with CTO to advance and improve the MacroCycle process

-         Based in Cambridge, MA, at ‘The Engine Accelerator’ startup incubator lab space

-         Hands-on operate small scale (grams) and larger scale (kilograms) chemical reactions

-         Test a variety of plastic waste streams

-         Analyze intermediates and products with a variety of standard analytical techniques

-         Critically evaluate results, identify and troubleshoot challenges, plan critical experiments

-         Supervise technicians in the lab

-         Screen available literature to inform new synthesis ideas

-         Engage with plastic-using industries (e.g. packaging manufacturers, large consumer brands)  and validate our product with them

-         Represent MacroCycle at scientific or public conferences

An ideal candidate will possess an academic and/or industrial R&D background in both small molecules and polymer synthesis, but training to gain skills in either area will be available. Desirable skills & knowledge include:

-         MSc or PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science, or other relevant field

-         3-5 years of experience in experimental chemistry work

-         >2 years in plastics and polymer synthesis

-         Familiar with analytical techniques, including NMR, GPC, GC, LC-MS, DSC, TGA, Instron, viscometry, UV spectroscopy, FTIR, MALDI,

-         Familiar with synthetic techniques such as polymerization and purification (required), or Ring-Opening Polymerization, reflux, distillation, iquid/solid separation (nice-to-have)

-         Familiar with material processing techniques such as extrusion (required), heat pressing, film casting, injection and blow molding (nice-to-have)

-         Strong written and oral communication skills, ability to interface with other lab engineers, technicians, the company founders, and customer representatives. Excited to work in fast-paced environment at the intersection between engineering and entrepreneurship.

What we offer:

-         40 h/week mission-driven and collaborative work

-         3 + 1 week vacation policy  

-         Competitive and experience-guided compensation with the potential to include options

-         Ability to shape a fast-growing startup company out of MIT with significant traction + funding

-         Relocation bonus >100 miles

-         Energizing and refreshing work environment!

-         Access to a host of innovation and networking events in the vibrant startup community around Harvard, MIT and the Boston/Cambridge innovation hub area

-         No travel requirements

-         Premier medical and dental health Insurance