Material Characterization Scientist

Plymouth, MN
Mar 09, 2017
May 06, 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Material Characterization Scientist-PLY00386 Working at Cargill is an opportunity to thrive—a place to develop your career to the fullest while engaging in meaningful work that makes a positive impact around the globe. You will be proud to work for a company with a strong history of ethics and a purpose of nourishing people. We offer a diverse, supportive environment where you will grow personally and professionally as you learn from some of the most talented people in your field. With 150 years of experience Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. 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. Learn more at


Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 143,000 people in 67 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business.

Cargill is expanding further expertise in the research areas of ingredient and material science, Food forensics and structure to function relationship.

This position will provide technical expertise to Cargill in all these developing and emerging areas. This individual will be responsible for using their thorough knowledge in material science to provide support to research projects that create value for Cargill. S/he supports parts of complex projects or leads less complex projects and will improve and optimize existing methods with minimal oversight. The incumbent serves as a subject matter expert in food and material characterization using a wide range of scientific tools including rheology, microscopy, spectroscopy, mechanical, thermal, interfacial and analytical methods. The incumbent will also collaborate with multi-disciplinary research and development teams requiring an understanding of food material structure.

Principal Accountabilities:

Operate, and maintain instruments and develop methods in rheological, mechanical, thermal, and interfacial techniques. Support additional material characterization areas such as microscopy and spectroscopy. Provide technical support to all material science related research activities. Serve on multi-disciplinary project teams as the subject matter expert to identify problems, clarify questions and determine needed solutions. Communicate regularly with project team stakeholders. Communicate with other stakeholders as needed, such as business or group management, production, outside vendors, or technology providers.

Provide hands-on support to other research activities within the group, including food and material forensics, materials characterization involving NMR, particle size analysis, CT scan, XRD, moisture absorption, and wet chemistry.

Connect with external research institutions and commercial laboratories and establish partnerships to expand knowledge base and capabilities. Effectively represent Cargill at technical meetings, with customers, and with other technical and non-technical leaders inside Cargill. Lead/contribute to inventions and for intellectual property protection in the area of expertise.

Other Duties as assigned



  • Master's degree in Material Science, Physics, Chemistry, Food Science, Chemical Engineering or a closely related field plus 3 or more years of experience in material science research OR
    a Ph.D or higher with 2 or more years of material science research experience.

  • Extensive fundamental knowledge and hands-on experience on rheology and microscopy, and their application in different material systems.

  • Familiar with general materials characterization techniques including but not limited to mechanical testings, surface and interfacial characterizations, particle size measurement and spectroscopy.

  • Ability to analyze results and use this analysis in assisting the development or validation of a method.

  • Abiility to travel up to 10% depending on business needs

  • Demonstrated understanding of the implications of other disciplines on technical problems.

  • Effective communication skills (written and oral).

  • The ability to identify and resolve a problem.

  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks between projects or assignments.

  • The ability to rapidly acquire, understand and communicate new information.


  • Industrial experience demonstrating the application of material characterization tools to research projects.

  • Experience working with a wide range of food matrices such as protein, carbohydrates, fats and oils, etc.

  • Familiar with chromatography and wet chemistry

  • Ability to lead the acquisition and development of new analytical techniques.

  • Interaction with other team members to leverage capability and insure effective and efficient problem solving. Interaction with clients including other researchers, business unit managers, scientists and engineers is routine.

Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Vet.

Job Research and Development

Primary Location US-MN-Plymouth

Schedule Full-time

Job Type Standard

Shift Day Job