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R&D Engineer - Thermoformed Packaging

Hartsville, SC · Manufacturing
Negotiable sign-on bonus and full relocation assistance

This position is under the direction of the R&D Director for the Thermoformed Packaging division that includes developing, designing, and qualifying new thermoplastic materials and processes for end use markets.  The individual will be instrumental in identifying sustainable packaging solutions for our customers by taking ideas and technical understanding of new polymer technologies to manage and execute key projects from development to commercialization.  

The candidate must be an expert in the area of plastics extrusion and thermoforming and material handling with a solid understanding of the thermal, mechanical and rheological properties of thermoplastics.  The individual will identify growth opportunities for the business and drive projects to increase productivity, capacity, and efficiency across our manufacturing plants.  

What you’ll be doing:
  • Be a subject matter expert in processing of plastic materials for consumer packaging
  • Provide expertise and recommendations on manufacturing equipment needed to support the current business and enable capability for future growth 
  • Address internal and external customer needs and packaging opportunities in a manufacturing setting
  • Manage the technical integration of projects through collaboration with internal cross-functional teams, suppliers, and equipment manufacturers to solve complex problems to enhance product performance for Sonoco’s customers in a timely and cost-effective manner
  • Originate new ideas to support the R&D product innovation and technology strategy
  • Establish an environment which motivates and engages others in the R&D organization to achieve desired results
  • Foster a positive, safe work environment through open communication and an atmosphere of teamwork
  • Ensure compliance with company safety policies and procedures to protect all employees
  • Up to 30% travel, mostly domestic
This position is located out of our Corporate Office in Hartsville, SC

We’d love to hear from you if:
  • B.S./M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Plastics Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or Polymer Science
  • 7+ years of related experience with a strong technical background in plastics manufacturing, processing (i.e., extrusion, thermoforming, and tooling); experience in consumer-based food packaging is a plus
  • Experience working in a manufacturing environment with proven results leading capital projects working with OEMs and suppliers
  • Working knowledge of resins, additives, coatings, and laminates
  • Results driven with a high level of personal initiative, energy, and ownership for success
  • Inquisitive mind, actively staying aware of new and developing technologies inside and outside of the industry
  • Self-starter with a positive “can do” attitude and able to work independently
  • Experience leading projects working across different functions in the organization (e.g., commercial, manufacturing, supply management)
  • Strong technical capability & problem-solving skills
  • Effective communication skills both written and verbal
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, results orientated environment
  • Highly organized and self-motivated with a hands-on work ethic

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