Undergraduate Laboratory Technician and Research Assistant

Hackney, London (Greater)
02 Jan 2018
31 Jan 2018
Contract Type
Industrial Placement
Full Time

Job Purpose

The intern will be based in the Research and Development team of chemists, materials scientists and engineers. There will be scope to find a R&D project that suits the interests and aptitude of the placement student from within the range of current areas of materials development projects. The placement student will spend the majority of their time in our R&D laboratories, and will also have a desk in an office area.

Job Accountabilities

FormFormForm manufacture and sell Sugru, a unique silicone putty-based mouldable glue. The intern will be based in the Research and Development group. This team undertakes a range of new product development projects, including improvements to existing formulations and processes, adapting them for specific applications, and assembly of new formulations from scratch.

There will be scope to find a R&D project that suits the interests and aptitude of the placement student from within the range of current areas of materials development projects. Further details of potential project areas can be explored during the interview stage.

Possible topics of research and development projects relate to a wide range of areas of chemistry including cure kinetics, and improvement of stability and shelf life (physical); identification, synthesis (where not available commercially) and evaluation of new candidate materials to control cure rate and adhesion (organic); functionalisation of polymers (applied chemistry) and development of mineral filler systems (inorganic).

FormFormForm have undertaken placement projects with undergraduate chemistry students in 2016/17 and 2017/18 and these projects have already made a significant impact on our formulation development work.  These two projects were sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry, through membership of their EnterprisePlus scheme.

The company also works closely with Queen Mary University of London, where we have a sponsored PhD student and a Knowledge Transfer Project.  The placement student will have an opportunity to participate in this collaboration.

Full training on the materials used in the formulations, specialised laboratory techniques and use of state-of-the-art testing equipment will be provided. The company also encourages all R&D staff to spend up to 20% of their time following up their own ideas to demonstrate feasibility for possible future projects. The R&D group meet weekly to review current progress and challenges and have a very strong team spirit, extending from work to social activities.

The ideal candidate will have;

  • Good aptitude for a wide range of practical applied chemistry
  • A strong interest in polymer-based formulation development
  • Excellent written and verbal communication

Team working skills will also be an advantage, and the placement will provide significant opportunities to gain further experience.

The company is based on a single site in Hackney, London, so there will be a wide range of possibilities to interact with other groups (Quality, Production, Sales & Marketing, Customer Service, Finance etc.) to find more about work in these other areas of the business and how they interact with the R&D group, and to learn about possible future career paths in these other areas. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Materials knowledge: the organic, polymeric and inorganic components that are used in curable polymer systems.
  • Curing/stability: the formulation variables and physical chemical principles that can be employed to control the rate of cure and stability/shelf life of polymers, and how to measure these factors.
  • Evaluation techniques: the relationship between simple test methods and more exhaustive standard approaches to chemical analysis, and measurement of end-use performance of materials.
  • Development of formulations: the chemical and process strategies used to put a formulation together.
  • Design of experiments: systematic approaches to planning of experiments to determine which factors are important in achieving the desired properties
  • Recording of data: experience with using laboratory notebooks, keeping computer records, data/statistical analysis, and reporting/presenting summaries of results to the rest of the R&D team.
  • Safe working and good laboratory practice: working safely and tidily with other team members in shared-use lab areas.  Gaining understanding of Personal Protective Equipment and safe handling of chemicals.  Writing Risk Assessments and Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Business needs: understanding of why materials developed need to meet key requirements, including which features are essential, and which may provide optional additional benefits.
  • Interaction with on-site sales and marketing teams will provide specific experience in this area, for example market applications for new projects.

Relevant Disciplines

  • Chemistry undergraduate BSc or MSc

Additional Information

Please ensure that you are willing and able to live within commutable distance of the company site before applying. This placement is located in Hackney, East London.

The annual salary will depend on the number of hours worked and for this twelve month-placement will be between £19,625 for a 37 hour week and £21,215 for a 40 hour week. 
FormFormForm Ltd. are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.
Recruitment for this post will be undertaken by FormFormForm Ltd therefore we ask that all applications are made directly to the company.  To apply please email your CV and a cover letter to jobs@sugru.com.       

Start date for this placement July / August 2018 (flexible)