Scientist 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 R&D Product Engineer. The position is located in Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Purpose of this position:

Initiation and realization of new product and technology developments on Nanocellulose and applications thereof in line with Sappi strategy, in new adjacent business or core business including packaging, directed at improving Sappi’s competitive position. Comprehensive expertise in future focused functional paper packaging based on future legislation and application of new barrier coating technology. Budget and project management responsibilities, as well as coordination with internal and external stakeholders are integral part of the position.

Key result areas:


  • Up to date expertise on technological developments in Nanocellulose technology and applications of Nanocellulose
  • Expertise in the field of product development, developing successfully coating products for plastic films and/or papers that are used as barrier-coatings as well as seal function suitable for different applications
  • Familiarity with common coating technologies and knowledge of the product requirements to apply them with different coating systems
  • Ability to characterize coatings with chemical and physical methods

New developments:

  • Support to 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.

Project realisation and R&D management

  • Support to execution 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.
  • 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.
  • Strategic planning, with clear understanding of stage gate processes, organization, scheduling


  • Assist in coaching of laboratory technicians. Apply situational leadership. Contribute to the development of people both for technical and people skills.


  • 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.

Technological integration

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

Research and analytical tools

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


  • PhD in Biomaterials, Material Science,Polymer Chemistry or Paper Science; packaging or biorefinery
  • 2 -5 year working experience;
  • Good knowledge of Nanocellulose;
  • Excellent verbal and written communicationskills;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Good computer skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Be a self-starter able to work in adynamic environment with changing priorities and successful in working in ateam environment;
  • Project management and team leadership tosuccessfully complete complex projects within demanding customer requirements;
  • High energy and enthusiasm, with a strongcommitment to exceeding company expectations.


  • Working with a top-notch team of scientists and engineers 
  • Good environment to develop 
  • International environment
  • Excellent compensation and benefits package


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 Pim van Meeuwen – 06-53265511. If you want to apply, you can simply click the apply button.

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