Hartsville, SC

R&D Engineer IV

This role falls under the supervision of the R&D Manager within the Rigid Plastics Packaging division. Its primary responsibilities consist of developing, designing, and validating new thermoplastic materials and processes for Sonoco Plastics' target markets. This individual will play a pivotal role in finding sustainable packaging solutions for our clients, progressing ideas and technical insights through a thorough process to drive market growth. Additionally, this senior-level engineer will lead projects aimed at enhancing productivity, capacity, and efficiency across our manufacturing facilities.

Key responsibilities:

  • Be a recognized expert in plastic materials and additives
  • Address the needs of both internal and external customers, as well as packaging opportunities, within a manufacturing environment
  • Develop innovative solutions to new and existing packaging challenges related to materials and processes, in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner
  • Generate fresh ideas in support of the R&D product innovation and technology strategy
  • Participate in regular portfolio review meetings to ensure a well-balanced portfolio and consensus on priorities
  • Coordinate the technical integration of projects through collaboration with suppliers, internal cross-functional teams, and customers to ensure performance criteria are met
  • Create an environment that fosters motivation and engagement within the R&D organization, leading to the achievement of desired outcomes
  • Promote a positive and safe work environment through open communication and a strong spirit of teamwork
  • Ensure compliance with company safety policies and procedures, prioritizing the well-being of all employees

Preferred qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Polymer Science, Plastics Engineering, Chemistry; Master’s degree preferred
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience, with a solid technical background in plastics, resins, coatings, and laminates, including extensive knowledge in material analysis and testing
  • Experience in processing extrusion, thermoforming, and injection molding, with a bonus if it includes consumer-based food packaging
  • A results-oriented individual with a strong drive, initiative, and sense of ownership for achieving success
  • An inquisitive mind, actively staying abreast of new and emerging technologies within and outside of the industry
  • A self-starter with a positive attitude and the ability to work independently
  • Experience leading projects and collaborating across different functions in the organization (e.g., commercial, manufacturing, supply management)
  • A strong technical aptitude and excellent problem-solving skills
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to thrive in a fast-paced, results-driven environment
  • Highly organized and self-motivated, with a hands-on work ethic

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