Senior Product Engineer – Nanocellulose – Maastricht, The Netherlands


Sappi is a global diversified woodfibre company focused on providing dissolving wood pulp, packaging and speciality papers, graphic papers, as well as biomaterials and biochemicals to our direct and indirect customer base across more than 150 countries. Sappi has over 12,800 employees in over 35 countries and manufacturing operations on three continents.


About Sappi Nanocellulose Competence Center

Sappi’s patented process, developed with Edinburgh Napier University, reduces the energy required to process woodfibres into nanocellulose thus enhancing our product’s sustainability. To utilize the benefits of Nanocellulose, Sappi has built a pilot-scale plant for CNF production, at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in The Netherlands. The CNF produced by Sappi has unique morphology, and can be specifically modified for either hydrophobic or hydrophilic applications. Products produced using Sappi’s CNF will benefit from the high strength characteristics which, for example, can be translated into lighter and stronger fibre-reinforced composites and plastics in the production of next-generation lighter, fuel-efficient vehicles.

In the Nanocellulose Competence Center, a team of top-notch scientists and engineers is working vigorously to bring R&D and product development in Nanocellulose to the next level. For this team, we are looking for a Senior Product Engineer. The position is located in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and reports to the Manager Nanocellulose Competence Center.


Purpose of this position:

Initiation and realisation of new technology development in line with Sappi strategy, in new adjacent business or core business including packaging, directed at improving Sappi’s competitive position.

Initialisation and realisation of development projects in line with rationalisation of the core business.

Key result areas:

1) Expertise:

  • High level of expertise on product technological developments and raw materials leading to contributions to the product and technological strategy of Sappi.

2) New developments:

  • Initiation and execution of complex research and product/technology development based on Sappi’s processes or new technology developments in adjacent fields, thereby creating competitive advantages or generating new business opportunities for Sappi.

3) Project and R&D Management:

  • Execution and coordination of complex development projects, both related to core or new adjacent businesses, assuring realisation of targets, specifications, planning and budget.
  • Projects handled will to a large extent focus on technical developments in field of new adjacent business and specialities.
  • Project management of projects with reasonable complexity incorporating multi disciplinary project teams and involving a.o. planning of priorities and capacities.
  • Ensure R&D will be centre of excellence by having up to date analytical tools available either by own development, purchasing or by external contacts.
  • Execution and development of non standard highly specific laboratory investigations requiring for solving specific research questions.

4) Coaching

  • Coaching laboratory technicians and product engineers.
  • Apply situational leadership.
  • Contribute to the development of people both for technical and people skills.

5) Relations

  • Maintaining effective relations in project teams, assuring adequate project execution.
  • Create external network in order to execute project work in effective way. Establish contacts with institutes (for example universities) and external companies to assure access to new developments.
  • Maintaining a structured communication-network between various R&D-centres of Sappi, both regional as well as on a global scale (in multi-regional projects).
  • Maintaining effective relations with Manufacturing, Marketing and Purchasing.

6) Technological integration

  • Integration of all technological disciplines on product- and process technological issues.
  • Innovative developments outside the scope of current graphical papermaking competencies will be major focal point.

7) Research and analytical tools

  • Development and implementation of effective and efficient tools and equipment to be used in research, development and testing.


  • Masters degree in Chemical Engineering
  • 3 – 5 years of experience in product/technology development
  • Experienced in setting up and coordinating complex projects
  • Leadership capacity
  • Experienced in building strong relations with both internal and external parties
  • Independent and proactive with the ability to identify and lead opportunities and responsibilities
  • Ability to think creatively and communicate technical ideas effectively in both technical and non-technical environments
  • Open and out of the box mindset, clear “can do” mentality with an entrepreneurial spirit, problem solver
  • Team player being able to operate in cross-functional teams, managing stakeholders on different levels of the organization
  • The position requires excellent written and oral English communication skills. Additional languages are considered to be an asset
  • Willingness to multi-day traveling on occasional basis is required


Paper Support One is an executive search agency specialized in the pulp, paper and board industry. Sappi works exclusively with Paper Support One for the position of the Senior Product Engineer. If you have any questions, please contact one of our consultants (Pim van Meeuwen – 06-53265511 or Jeroen Warnier – 06-22466810). If you want to apply, you can simply click the apply button.

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