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Sustainable Packaging Senior Materials Scientist



This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Unilever.
Providence, RI, USA
Posted on Monday, February 12, 2024

Job Title: Sustainable Packaging Senior Materials Scientist

Location: Port Sunlight Research Lab

Unilever is committed to creating a Waste-Free World through its ambitious Packaging Strategy – We are taking on the toughest challenges to make our vision a reality. We are re-inventing our product packaging and materials to craft the sustainability journey towards our ambition of a circular, waste-free and net zero future. To achieve these goals, we need completely new packaging materials and technologies that are yet to be discovered. Our industry-leading material science programme strives to change our industry for good, transforming the traditional packaging sector into a next-generation technical industry where entrepreneurial passion meets science-backed innovations.

We are looking for a creative, dedicated and ambitious individual with an innovative mindset who shares our passion for the challenge.

[Link to relevant article]:

[Business Context] –

The One Packaging R&D Centre aims to create a waste free, net zero packaging portfolio through a world class packaging materials capability with strong partnerships and ecosystems. The Centre will enable and accelerate the creation of novel packaging solutions to help meet Unilever’s packaging ambitions and completely revolutionize our packaging with a particular focus on our flexibles portfolio. It is the place where future scientific leaders of the business are created. We are a high-performing, diverse and inclusive team of dynamic entrepreneurial people with a strong scientific background, courage and curiosity, and passion for sustainability and delivery that will have a positive impact on the planet.


As part of our world-class ‘Future Packaging Technologies’ team, you will play a key role in the fibre-based packaging program, delivering new technologies and insights that will support the delivery of affordable superior paper-based solutions across Unilever’s packaging portfolio. The key accountabilities for the role holder are as follows :-


  • Lead the development of disruptive packaging material technologies and provide a full characterisation and understanding relating physical/chemical properties to packaging characteristics, performance and quality.
  • Lead the development of new and existing material characterisation techniques and provide technical training in material science and characterisation techniques for the team.
  • Generate hypotheses and make recommendations to the programme Director and managers to progress the programme.
  • Work independently and co-ordinate the activities of others as required by the programme, and work with managers to develop and execute own work plans against key programme deliverables and milestones.
  • Leverage the external world, liaising with existing and potentially new ecosystem partners in the development of future sustainable packaging materials, whilst developing and maintaining strong links across the multi-disciplinary project teams within the wider R&D community.
  • Work with digital experts, learn and apply in silico tools to drive predictive modelling for new materials selection and optimisation.
  • Generate and report robust data packages to support IP and claim generation.

There are a number of roles available and we are particularly interested in hearing from candidates with experience in dispersion coating technology and application, sustainable adhesives, and fibre-based materials or paper science.


We are looking for someone that shares our passion for innovation, applied material science and sustainability, and the drive to take our packaging portfolio to the next level. Our Packaging strategy is not just about understanding and developing new materials – it’s about making smart decisions on how, when, and where to use them. You will be part of a multi-disciplinary project team ethos where everybody contributes to achieving the same goal.


  • You will have experience in the application of technical expertise in the development of insights and new material technologies.
  • Must be creative, highly passionate, high energy, willing to think big and inspire both the team and its stakeholders and customers.
  • Must be flexible, agile, challenge the status quo, embrace transformational change and eager to work in multi-disciplinary teams and projects with good teamworking and networking skills.
  • Must be a pro-active, self-starter; ability to multi-task and work to deadlines.
  • Good decision-making and delivering effectively to deadlines.
  • Committed to continually develop your scientific, and competency skills.

Technical Qualifications and Experience

  • A higher-education qualification (MSc or PhD) in Material/Polymer Sciences/Chemistry/Engineering/Paper Science or a closely related discipline with relevant expertise in applied material science.
  • Experience in industrially relevant materials development and/or characterisation.
  • Experience of working in industrial innovation projects is desirable but not essential.
  • Proactive problem solver with strong analytical skills and an ability to interpret data to pull out key insights.
  • Ability to translate project science needs into technical requirements.
  • Proven ability to generate and develop innovative approaches to solve problems or tackle opportunities.
  • Ability to work in multidisciplinary projects and teams. Work effectively with Industrial partners and academic institutions. Evidence of ability to develop strong networks to enable delivery.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills with an ability to bring technologies and innovations to life in a clear and engaging way.

Key competencies:

  • Growth Mindset.
  • Transformational mindset.
  • Challenges the status-quo.
  • Bias for Action.
  • Accountability and Responsibility


About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Dove, Tresemme, Lynx, Lifebuoy, Shea Moisture, Persil, Domestos, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, Marmite, The Vegetarian Butcher, Graze and Pot Noodle.

Faced with the challenge of climate change and the need for human development, we want to move towards a world where everyone can live well and within the natural limits of the planet. That’s why our purpose is ‘to make sustainable living commonplace’

What We Offer

Not only do we offer a competitive salary and pension scheme, we also offer an annual bonus, subsidised gym membership, a discounted staff shop and shares. You’ll have the opportunity to work directly with our renowned and exciting brands in a flexible and hybrid working environment.

Whilst the role is advertised on a full-time basis, we would be happy to discuss possible flexible working options and what this may look like for you. We are a key advocate of wellbeing and offer a variety of support for our people including hubs, programmes and development opportunities. We strive to achieve a family-friendly and inclusive workplace and to, above all, create possibilities for all.

Diversity at Unilever is about inclusion, embracing differences, creating possibilities, and growing together for better business performance. We want to push boundaries, and have the flexibility needed to keep adapting in an ever-changing, more dynamic world. This means giving full and fair consideration to all applicants, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity.

As part of your hiring journey, we are happy to support requests for reasonable adjustments, to improve your recruitment experience.

To find out more, including more information about our Employee Resource Groups, please click here.

Recruitment Fraud

Cyber criminals advertise fake job adverts with prestigious employers as a way of stealing information or even defrauding individuals out of money. In the most sophisticated cases, they will set up fake websites, which have a similar address to companies like Unilever. They even conduct fake telephone interviews and then offer candidates a role with the proviso they pay a fee for background checks or to cover work visa costs. These types of attacks are becoming more common as more people are looking for employment in the economic climate.

How is Unilever tackling this?

Many of Unilever’s recruitment sites publish a warning to candidates about recruitment fraud. The Cyber Security team also proactively scan for signs of people setting up fake Unilever sites and act to close them down.

What can I do?

If you become aware of potential recruitment fraud, spot fake Unilever recruitment adverts or fake LinkedIn profiles, report them via Una Live Chat.

Unilever does not accept responsibility or liability for any candidates who are financially impacted by recruitment fraud. Your vigilance is key!

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Unilever.