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Applied Mathematician

Company Overview:

NatureWorks is an advanced materials company offering a broad portfolio of renewably sourced polymers and chemicals. With performance and economics that compete with oil-based materials, naturally advanced Ingeo™ polymers are valued for their unique functional properties and used in products from coffee capsules and appliances to tea bags and 3D printing filament. NatureWorks is jointly owned by Thailand’s largest ASEAN leading integrated petrochemical and refining company, PTT Global Chemical, and Cargill, which provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world.; follow NatureWorks on Twitter @natureworks


The Applied Mathematician is responsible for gathering and translating fundamental physical, chemical, and engineering knowledge into useful mathematical models, deterministic or stochastic, including their execution (computation), to shape and/or evaluate new product and/or application concepts within given boundary conditions. The role includes postulating hypotheses and guiding or conducting effective experimentation to validate the hypotheses. This position will also collaborate with project team members on statistical design of experiments and analysis of results for statistical significance.


Mathematical Modeling for Technology Projects
  • Develop computational, deterministic or stochastic, models for the optimization of mechanical properties under certain dynamic and steady conditions (for example, processing and use).
  • Use advanced computational methods to aid in the design and development of polymeric materials and their processing.
  • Apply scientific theories and advanced mathematical principles, as well as the full range of computational methods, procedures, and techniques to conduct work assignments.
  • Conduct mathematical and computational research activities and monitor trends.
  • Adapt existing methods and procedures to account for changes in input conditions or output requirements.
  • Present modeling findings at the Department and Leadership level.
  • Forecast future mathematical modeling and computational needs and capabilities.
  • Design, code, test, and maintain mathematical models using multiple software tools (for example, MATLAB and Mathematica).
Technology Leadership
  • Collaborate with colleagues within the functional team to achieve group goals, including support for technology projects, the manufacturing function, and customer inquiries.
  • Familiar with the scope of other technical disciplines and how they interact within a given project.
  • Frequent use of general knowledge of industry practices, techniques, and standards.
  • Lead Technology Projects that have short-to-mid term impact on the Technology Organization and support the goals and vision of the organization.
  • Document work plans, results, analysis, and conclusions of tasks and projects.
  • Familiar with breadth of operations and primary customers; has contact with customers and is aware of their key business focus.
Technology Execution
  • Contribute to the completion of organizational projects or goals; exercises judgment within defined scope, cost, and timeline.
  • Initiate and attend meetings with project leader or supervisor to ensure understanding of expectations or to seek additional information on relevant topics.
  • Define effort and duration of deliverables in collaboration with project leaders.
  • Provide concise notes and reports for project leaders and customers for projects.
  • Identify critical steps and uncertainties within a defined task, suggest opportunities for extensions to existing projects, and make modifications/extensions to tasks with direct supervision.
  • Identify opportunities for team to improve project outcomes (e.g., reduced cost / time or improved results).
  • Exercise judgment: identify and address hurdles and milestones required to achieve assigned tasks.
  • Extend and improve ideas to create better solutions in area of specialization or within context of a project.
  • Effectively capture and communicate data / own work within context of a functional team or project.
  • Provide peer review of experimental data, statistical analysis of data, validations, and report conclusions.
Company Mission, Vision, and Values Leadership
  • Operates safely within NatureWorks’ policies, procedures and governmental regulations and fully participates in and champions NatureWorks’ Environmental, Health, & Safety (EH&S) Programs
  • Ensures the EH&S Programs are being followed and provides a safe working environment to our employees and customers
  • Accountable for building a strong safety culture and actively pursues it on a daily basis; identifies unsafe behaviors and conditions and intervenes to mitigate incidents
  • Accountable for contributing to NatureWorks mission, vision, and values.
  • Leverage the core values, culture concepts and guiding behaviors to drive accountability and engagement throughout the organization.
  • High level of ethical, intellectual, professional and personal values that complement the team. 
  • Ability to fit and excel within a dynamic company culture.
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to a challenging and developing environment; willingness to take on new responsibilities as our business evolves.


Education and Experience Required:
  • PhD in Physics, Applied & Computational Mathematics, Engineering, and/or an equivalent discipline with emphasis on advanced mathematical modeling and computational methods to address complex technical (scientific) challenges.
  • Proficiency in at least one data-analysis or scripting language (e.g., MATLAB, Mathematica, python, R)
  • Experience applying statistical and stochastic approaches in the design and analysis of experiments
Additional Experience Preferred:
  • 4+ years of relevant experience in advanced mathematical model development (including tensor calculus) and computational methods (for example, numerical analysis) in research and/or applied industry environment).
  • Polymer characterization and rheology background experience.
  • Thermal characterization of materials using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analyses (TGA), etc.
Other (knowledge, skills and abilities):
  • Ability to convey rigorous mathematical and computational concepts and considerations to non-technical audience.
  • Knowledge of advanced statistical techniques and concepts (regression, distributions, statistical tests and proper usage, etc.) and experience with their application.
  • Proven ability to develop solutions to complex, open-ended problems with creativity and innovation
  • Ability to understand complex problems and apply analytical methodologies to address them.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:

  • Standard work hours; this position requires participation in laboratory, pilot plant, and production activities.
  • Primary environment is combination of office and modern R&D Lab with state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Ability to occasionally lift up to 50 pounds; will follow Company safety and ergonomic guides to avoid injury.



PHD or better in Applied Mathematics or related field.


4 years: Relevant experience in advanced mathematical model development (including tensor calculus) and computational methods (for example, numerical analysis) in research and/or applied industry environment.