Cargill R&D Senior Scientist in Saint Clair, Michigan

R&D Senior Scientist

Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and over 150 years of experience. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work.


Position Purpose & Summary

The position is a senior collaborator role with responsibilities including identifying opportunities for and developing innovative new products and processes related to inorganic salts (primarily sodium chloride but may also include other common Group I and II salts) and other emerging opportunities related to businesses for the Cargill Salt Group.

This position leverages in depth knowledge to directly execute and lead research projects for the development of new/improved products, processes, services, and capabilities. This role is part of a R&D team that serves as an expert technical resource for customers, the Salt Group, the industry, and the corporation. The R&D Senior Scientist will provide guidance on technical risk, assess competitive technologies, and identify new technology-based opportunities for growth, innovation, and the support/defense/expansion of product lines.

This position primarily collaborates with the R&D Principal Scientist and the rest of the R&D group while periodically networking or leading broader cross-functional teams. The R&D Senior Scientist creates commercially valuable IP for Cargill. The role will be strongly laboratory focused, with an expectation of significant hands-on lab work and being able to provide guidance, assistance, instruction, and support to more junior scientists in the R&D group.

In summary, this position is for a scientist with strong critical thinking capabilities and a solid technical foundation who can execute significant work on the laboratory benchtop or pilot/plant scale while also creating new value through innovative formulation and ideation.

Principal Accountabilities

10% Business / Customer Relationship & Value Creation Optimization

  • Draws upon in-depth knowledge to leverage and support technology innovation by partnering with businesses, key corporate enterprise/strategic customers, and technology partners (commercial and marketing/sales groups, universities, R&D organizations, industry forums, etc.) to identify emerging trends and needs in one or more core technology areas of strategic interest to the Salt Group.

  • Develops strong business/ customer understanding to influence, drive, and create business opportunities. Identifies emerging technology opportunities for the business and proposes/develops solutions and assesses potential value creation and optimization generated from innovation discoveries.

  • Assists the Intellectual Capital Team with the development of strategies, processes, and control mechanisms to ensure compliance with IP regulations and company policies. Independently, provides technical expertise to support the IP/IA application process and to defend and secure intellectual property rights.

15% Provide Strategic Guidance on Research Direction and Focus

  • With minimal guidance, coordinates and executes all phases of technology exploration and conceptualization to creatively discover opportunities to develop new technology and/or extend existing technologies. Translates research discoveries into practical and commercially viable customer solutions.

  • Develops in-depth knowledge of core technologies and emerging sciences relevant to businesses of interest to the Salt Group.

  • With minimal guidance, identifies valuable research directions and proposes new projects. Identifies potential risk based on complexity, uniqueness, criticality, scalability, IP, and product/process specifications. Research scope can include the entire process from discovery to commercialization or segments of the process, for example:

  • Independently, conducts more complex research using traditional and non-traditional data sources to study origin, relationship, functions or chemical processes

  • Discovery or understanding of new unknowns, functionality or benefits

15%Project Management and Development of Experiment Strategies and Test Methodology

  • Develop and document plans for more complex projects, including scope, costs, timelines, internal and external resources required, specific project goals, metrics for project success, and equipment and capabilities required. May occasionally delegate portions to other team members for execution.

  • Applies in-depth Scientific Knowledge to independently custom design non-standard bench scale experiments, methods, modeling tools/systems and procedures to evaluate the properties and performance of raw materials, products, and processes as needed for the development of new/improved products/processes, evaluating competitive technologies, or troubleshooting unique problems.

  • With minimal guidance, identifies appropriate processing technology expertise.

  • Supervises and provides direction to the work of more junior scientists to ensure overall alignment with departmental standards and metrics.

25% Conduct Trials / Develop Product / Process & Measures Results (Incl. Iterative Testing & Refinement)

  • Independently conducts more complex, non-routine experiments which may involve significant interpretation and iterations of the procedures.

  • Independently performs research/development and application work in lab/pilot plants to understand the properties of product/systems as they relate to the subject of study.

  • Must be able to efficiently generate and critically analyze technical data with precision and accuracy.

  • Independently establishes product specifications and claims. Coordinates with various functions, including engineering, plant operations, marketing and sales to ensure adequate resources are engaged to test/deliver technical findings (e.g. Pilot and/or Scale-up processes from the laboratory to commercial scale)

25% Analyze / Interpret / Document & Communicate Results

  • Independently conducts own data analysis, including basic statistical analysis, and provides oversight in the interpretation of data generated by other team members and/or lab/test groups (e.g. independent labs or corporate R&D resources) and with minimal direction determines next steps (e.g. analyze materials to determine properties and efficacy, conduct additional trials, determine conclusion, or cancel projects when necessary).

  • Analyzes, Interprets and Documents project results in detailed project reports for more complex projects. Presents results to cross-functional audiences for use in future product development or modification. (e.g. Project Sponsors, Technology colleagues, Marketing and Sales, Growth Ventures Group, Intellectual Capital Management, Technology Leaders, etc.)

10% Portfolio / Project Management, Customer Communications & Training, Environmental Health & Safety

  • Directly contributes to the innovation pipeline/portfolio with ideas for the conversion of scientific insights into the development of distinctive products, services, or application offerings.

  • Project management related tasks for technical/R&D projects. May receive direction from more senior team members. (e.g. R&D Lead, Principal Scientist)

  • Produce technical reports, new methods of analysis, training materials.

  • Championing environmental health and safety goals, supporting regulatory/laboratory compliance.

Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Vet.


Education, Experience, Skills

Minimum Required Qualifications

  • M.S. in Inorganic Chemistry or Physical Chemistry OR a M.S. in a related chemistry-based science and minimum two years’ experience doing independent experimental research in a chemistry related field

  • Demonstrated excellence in Learning Capacity: intense desire to explore, discover, and create

  • Strong interpersonal communication skills (both written and verbal)

  • Demonstrated strong problem solving and organization skills

  • Ability to lead technical projects, manage and prioritize multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and make decisions that impact business results and maximize profitability

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in Inorganic Chemistry or Physical Chemistry

  • PhD in chemistry with strong familiarity/comfort with aqueous inorganic chemistry

  • Minimum two years’ experience in science R&D or product formulation/development

  • Minimum one year non-academic experience with wet lab chemistry

  • Minimum one year experience in salt-related product formulation and/or salt manufacturing process chemistry and optimization

  • Minimum one year experience in salt and deicing related industry

  • Experience with drafting technical disclosures for the basis of patent applications, Intellectual Property Management

  • Experience working with external customers

Other relevant information to the position

This position is an advanced position in research and development, demonstrating extensive knowledge and expertise in a technical focus area as well as a familiarity and facility with secondary technical areas which will be leveraged to create solutions for the business units and significant new IP. Serving in this role, the senior scientist will help create new value and growth for the business through commercial insights and evolving or disruptive technology.

Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Vet.

Job Research and Development

Primary Location US-MI-Saint Clair

Schedule Full-time

Job Type Standard

Shift Day Job

Req ID: SAI00529