Director of Advanced Materials for Adsorption

Location US-IL-Northbrook
Requisition Post Information* : Posted Date 2 months ago(8/11/2022 11:36 AM)
Job ID
# of Openings
Job Category
Level 2
NFP Research


General – Green Earth – Safer World

At UL, we know why we come to work.

The Materials Discovery Research Institute (MDRI) of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. is seeking a science driven, results oriented and highly applied technical Director of Advanced Materials for Adsorption dedicated to the study of adsorption processes in porous materials concentrating on applications critical global challenges to support UL’s mission to create a safer and more sustainable future.

The Director of Advanced Materials for Adsorption is positioned within the Materials Discovery Research Institute, part of Underwriters Laboratories Research Institutes and will lead materials discovery and development for adsorption applications, including the execution of research programs and communication of research findings and their scientific impact through publications, presentations and various organizational and educational tools.

MDRI desires to grow its leadership recognition in sustainability technologies through discovery research and its applications for safer and healthier environments and people. The Director of Advanced Materials for Adsorption will oversee the development of research programs focused on the pursuit of novel material discovery targeting global decarbonization and sustainability efforts; and the leadership of processes and initiatives to accelerate outcomes and increase the performance and visability of the organization.

Reporting to the Executive Director of the MDRI, the Director of Advanced Materials for Adsorption will work closely with other leaders and colleagues across the research organization to advance the growth strategy of the MDRI.

At Underwriters Laboratories, we wake up every day with a common purpose: to make the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place. Science is in our DNA; we are endlessly curious and passionate about seeking and speaking the truth. We take delight in knowing that our work makes a meaningful contribution to society, and we are proud that our culture is centered on integrity, collaboration, inclusion and excellence. Underwriters Laboratories stands at the forefront of technological advancement, and we are continually challenged to find new ways to foster innovation and positive change. Satisfying? Yes. Exciting? Absolutely!

What you’ll learn & achieve:

As the Director of Advanced Materials for Adsorption, you will play a key role in the rapid growth of Underwriters Laboratories as you:

  • Develop research programs focusing on the discovery of novel materials to enhance global sustainability efforts in areas such as carbon capture and water harvesting.
  • Hire, lead, and develop a team of high-performing scientists and engineers to deliver results in collaboration with leaders and other colleagues.
  • Work to establish world-class materials synthesis and adsorption evaluation capabilities within the MDRI to enable impactful research contributions towards global challenges focused on sustainability and safety
  • Establish partnerships with academia, government and other public health institutes to establish research agenda, conduct research and communicate for broad amplification of research findings and applications for positive environmental impacts.
  • Manage and direct ongoing daily research and growth of research and laboratory capabilities needed to support research.
  • Develop budgets as required for research initiatives, laboratory needs, and communication/education processes.
  • Identify research staff needs and recruit scientists.
  • Champion the adsorption research initiatives and serve as its technical lead and expert across internal and external teams and stakeholders.
  • Promote MDRIs research and the NFP broader organization through participation on expert panels, speaking engagements, stakeholder events, and external and internal opportunities.
  • Collaborate with research leadership, finance, strategy, human resources, and other functions to streamline, enhance, and support strategic planning and the annual budget processes, including identifying and prioritizing short and long-term goals and initiatives, outcomes, resource requirements, and performance metrics.
  • Participate and contribute in other department specific and cross-functional initiatives.

UL has COVID-19 protocols and policies in place to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and clients. Effective November 1, 2021, the company mandates that employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment (except where prohibited by law), subject to reasonable accommodation as required by law. 

What makes you a great fit:

The successful candidate will bring many of the following professional competencies and personal attributes:

  • Expert knowledge in materials synthesis, characterization and evaluation of materials for adsorption processes.
  • Experience in consulting, industry or academic research with proven results in generating research plans and dissemination of results through delivering technical presentations and peer reviewed scientific journal publications.
  • Must be a self-starter and possess excellent leadership qualities
  • Problem solving skills with the ability to identify root causes, develop practical solutions, and work in collaboration with colleagues across the organization to address strategic, operational, and any other roadblocks to success.
  • Leadership, initiative, and influence skills to create alignment and buy-in with multiple stakeholders and deliver results in a matrix organization.
  • Positive and collaborative attitude and interpersonal skills to work effectively with leaders and colleagues across the organization.
  • Engaging and approachable leadership style to lead and develop a high performing team, setting high standards and accountability for process and results.
  • High degree of curiosity to learn about the mission and impact of the organization and its areas of specialization.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills, with enthusiasm to engage leaders, employees, and other stakeholders with the mission and goals of the organization.
  • Ability to operate at a strategic and operational level, including attention to detail, focus on quality, speed, and outcomes, and willingness to both lead the work and execute.
  • Proficiency in MS Office is required. Advanced skills in Excel and PowerPoint, and knowledge of analytical tools and databases are desired.

Professional education and experience requirements for the role include:

  • Advanced degree in Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Chemical Engineering required plus preferably at least 12 years of post-graduate experience with proven research and publication experience.
  • Must be a self-starter and possess excellent leadership qualitities.
  • Management experience leading teams, developing strategy, and executing plans.

What you’ll experience working at UL:

  • Mission: For Underwriters Laboratories, corporate and social responsibility isn’t new. Making the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place has been our business model for the last 127 years and is deeply engrained in everything we do.
  • People: Ask any Underwriters Laboratories employee what they love most about working here, and you’ll almost always hear, “the people.” Going beyond what is possible is the standard at Underwriters Laboratories. We’re able to deliver the best because we employ the best.
  • Interesting work: Every day is different for us here as we eagerly anticipate the next innovation that our customers’ create. We’re inspired to take on the challenge that will transform how people live, work and play. And as a global company, in many roles, you will get international experience working with colleagues around the world.
  • Grow & achieve: We learn, work and grow together with targeted development, reward and recognition programs as well as our very own UL University that offers extensive training programs for employees at all stages, including a technical training track for applicable roles.
  • Total Rewards: All employees at Underwriters Laboratories are eligible for bonus compensation. Underwriters Laboratories offers a generous 401k matching structure of up to 5% of eligible pay. Additionally, we invest an additional 4% into your retirement saving fund after your first year of continuous employment. We provide Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts and Health Savings Accounts that Underwriters Laboratories contributes to twice per year! Depending on your role, you can work with your manager on flexible working arrangements. We also provide employees with paid time off including vacation, holiday, sick and volunteer time off.

Learn More:

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing safety science research through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being.

Our wholly owned subsidiary, UL Inc., advances our shared public safety mission. We fund our work through grants, the licensing of standards documents and the business activities of UL Inc., which conducts testing, verification and certification, and provides training and advisory services, along with data-driven reporting and decision-making tools for customers around the world.

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