Polymer Chemist/Material Scientist

Full Time

Location: Berkeley, CA and Salt Lake City, Utah USA

About the Role

A truly once-in-lifetime opportunity for an enthusiastic, mission driven, creative problem solver to join our team as a Materials Scientist/Polymer Chemist.

The ideal candidate will enjoy working in a fast paced environment supporting and collaborating with highly skilled designers, engineers, builders, polymer and process chemists as we animate new algal-derived materials through our flagship brand, WNDR Alpine. While evaluation of incumbent materials used in product concepts and prototypes will be one responsibility, most important will be the development, execution and driving to completion, programs to replace and improve these incumbent materials with algal derived counterparts that exhibit superior performance as assessed by their impact on physical properties, mode of manufacture and LCA. The ideal candidate should possess a natural resilience and ability to multi-task and roll up their sleeves as we bring our products to life. We are looking for Doers. Excellent verbal and written communication skills and a high Emotional Intelligence Quotient are a must, as the candidate will be communicating across multiple disciplines, genders and ethnicities. Because we are a startup, flexibility and the ability to remain positive, despite day-to-day challenges is an essential phenotype. Outstanding performers will have a wide range of potential career growth opportunities at our very earliest stage of growth.

Key Responsibilities

  • Interface with polymer chemistry and fabrication/manufacturing groups (internal as well as contracted resources) to develop materials for new and existing WNDR Alpine SKUs
  •      Design, execute and drive experiments and develop new, algal-based polymer formulations with particular emphasis around PU applications in the areas of foams, cast urethanes, TPUs, elastomeric, and textile finish applications
  • Work with CSO and IP counsel to file timely disclosure and patent applications
  • Communicate formulation development around new materials to a wider technology team on a regularly scheduled and timely basis

Key Requirements

  • PhD in materials science or polymer chemistry a must
  • 5+ Years post graduate experience in Materials Science/Polymer Chemistry
  • Demonstrated ability to design and execute experiments aimed at assessing material properties of polymers including but not limited to utilization of DMA, Instron and Rheometer
  • A keen desire to explore what is possible with algal derived and other bio-based materials in Checkerspot’s product embodiments
  • Experience with triglyceride chemistry and NOPs a plus
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills essential while an ability to speak to and interface with a wider non-technical audience is highly desirable
  • The mindset to own programs you support, and the ability to deliver a quality product to end-users.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving capabilities and the ability to develop a creative solution.
  • Ability and desire to travel (10-20% of time) to Checkerspot’s Design Labs in Salt Lake City and third party contractors to interface with designers, builders and engineers
  • Strong project reporting skills, with a focus on interdepartmental communication
  • Maintain equipment and conduct experiments to exceed all professional and safety standards


Checkerspot offers its employees a competitive benefits and compensation package. 

Does this sound like you?
So, if you are up to the task of working for a global and fast growth company in a creative environment, this job is a perfect match for you. Please send us your resume as soon as possible as we are reviewing candidates continuously.


About Checkerspot

Checkerspot designs high performance materials at a molecular level with technology at the nexus of biology and chemistry. By engaging directly with product users and partnering with socially responsible corporations, we design and bring to market superior products with better materials to meet real needs. Our first materials are next-gen polyurethanes and textile coatings/finishes that make consumer products perform at levels never before possible. We are readying the release of several outdoor recreation products in the market to validate our approach and to kick start a sequence of iterative projects based on our technology.

Through large-scale microbial fermentation, we can deliver unique oils discovered in nature, but not previously accessible commercially. Our initial focus is on triglycerides that can impart high value physical properties for materials by leveraging unique molecular scaffolds in a more sustainable fashion than incumbent petrochemical inputs.

WNDR Alpine is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis.