R&D Technician

OVERVIEW & JOB SUMMARY
Under direct supervision within the emerging Research and Development (R&D) program, the R&D Technician will support the development of new products and the improvement of existing products to advance the company product portfolio, reduce product-related risks and costs, and support company revenue goals. The R&D Technician will also help develop & conduct test methods for ingredients and products to ensure the quality meets or exceeds consumer expectations.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

To perform this job successfully, you must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The following duties and responsibilities are those considered to be essential but do not represent all job functions that may be required to be performed by this position.  Other comparable duties and responsibilities may be assigned as needed. 

R&D PROGRAM SUPPORT

  • Identifies raw materials and material applications through a review of product ingredient listings and networking with raw material suppliers.
  • Supports claims substantiation for new product development; coordinates with third-party labs for contracting out standardized test methods.
  • Maintains an internal R&D formulation database.
  • Assists in developing and responding to Customer Service inquiries that require a technical explanation
  • Conducts data analysis on product test results.
  • Supports new product specification determination through lab testing and consumer testing.
  • Creates Standard Operating Procedures and Work Instructions to support the transition of a product from R&D/NPD to commercialization
  • Administrative support for R&D program including vendor setup (i.e. new third-party labs), scheduling meetings, note-taking, etc.

LAB SUPPORT

  • Creates or prepares lab samples of formulations for testing or distribution.
  • Performs tests or coordinates tests with third-party labs on materials, samples, and/or finished products following existing test methods to ensure compliance with specifications.
  • Supports internal test method development by finding and reviewing standardized methods to help determine the most applicable methods for each product. Assists in the design and building of test method equipment and perform the test methods for validation.
  • Ensures consumer expectations and compliance are met through product testing with the appropriate test method.
  • Cleans and maintains the lab and work environment.

OTHER

  • Serve as an active member of the Operations Services & Innovation team
  • Other duties as assigned within job scope

INTERACTION
This position will interact closely with OSI, Marketing, Operations Administration, Special Operations, and Technical Services departments. This position will also interact with vendors, potential suppliers, brokers, and co-manufacturers.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES
None

EDUCATION/YEARS EXPERIENCE

  • Required: College degree or the equivalent in chemistry, microbiology, environmental science, physical science, engineering, or math.  Advanced degree in related field preferred.
  • Required: Minimum of 2 years of professional experience in R&D, Food Science, Chemistry, Microbiology, Quality Assurance, or other related fields.
  • Required: Lab and/or pilot plant experience.
  • Preferred: Experience at an ISO 9000 or other third-party registered manufacturing facilities.
  • Preferred: Quality control or quality assurance experience.
  • Preferred: Experience in a fast-paced, collaborative office environment in a consumer packaged goods company.

Any combination of education and work experience that would be equivalent to the stated minimum requirements would qualify for consideration of this position.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES

  • Demonstrated commitment to social and environmental causes, organic products, green cleaning, zero waste, and clean beauty;
  • Outstanding research and quantitative analysis skills;
  • Creative and hyper-organized database management skills;
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications: Word, Excel, and Outlook;
  • Exceptional attention to detail;
  • Proven ability to evaluate data and succinctly present analysis;
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate constructively with a wide range of diverse colleagues and stakeholders;
  • A self-starter with the ability to work primarily independently on data analysis but also collaborate effectively in a team-based environment;
  • Ability to multi-task in an efficient, thorough, and prioritized manner;
  • Works with a spirit of enthusiasm, cooperation and a sense of urgency;
  • A flexible, friendly, optimistic problem-solver with a sense of humor;
  • Possess and maintains a can-do attitude and the desire to create positive lasting change through creativity, innovation, persistence, and feedback;
  • Maintains a high degree of confidentiality over all matters in the course of business operations and employee information;
  • Fluent in English with ability to correspond with a high degree of professionalism and tact in verbal and written communication;
  • Preferred: R&D experience with natural and/or USDA National Organic Program compliant ingredients
  • Preferred:  Bilingual: English with additional languages such as Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Hebrew, or Italian.
  • Preferred:  Familiarity with ISO standards and systems.
  • Preferred: Familiarity with Microsoft Access and Project, and Redbook.

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT USED

Computer, label printing system, lab equipment, and standard office equipment.

LICENSES/CERTIFICATIONS

Must have reliable transportation and possess and maintain a valid driver’s license including proof of personal vehicle insurance coverage and insurability under the Company’s insurance carrier standards.

PHYSICAL, MENTAL & ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS

The physical demands described here are representative of that which must be met by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job successfully.   While performing the duties of this job, the employee regularly must:

  • Perform work in a climate-controlled office and lab setting;
  • Sit, stand, walk, reach above and below shoulder heights, climb stairs, bend and stoop, crawl, kneel and use hands, arms, and legs for dexterity and balance requiring the use of both arms and legs frequently.
  • Experience frequent interruptions and work under pressure of time with multiple priorities.
  • Occasionally lift, carry and balance objects weighing up to 35 pounds.
  • Pull and push such objects as file drawers, loaded carts, pallet jacks, computers, and similar office equipment and supplies.
  • Prioritize and multi-task work and projects requiring good memory, concentration, and analytical thinking.
  • Occasionally perform the safe operation of a vehicle, office equipment, and machines, and recognize and abate safety hazards within the workplace.
  • Frequently work alone but is occasionally required to interact or perform and communicate with others.
  • Be able to hear, see including the distinction of colors, read, and communicate verbally and in writing frequently with a wide range of people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds and origins.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate, and hearing of normal conversation is required.

 

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