Catalytic Microreactor Engineer

Guildford, Surrey
£22,000-£28,000 depending on experience
14 Jan 2019
09 Feb 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Accountable to: R&D Manager

Responsible for: Product Development and Business Creation

Terms: 6 month fixed term contract (with possible extension), 35h per week, 11 days annual leave

Working place: Guildford, Surrey

Annual Salary: £22,000 – £28,000 depending on experience

Starting date: February/March 2019

Closing date for applications: 31st January 2019 

Interviews: 12th or 14th February

To Apply: please send your CV and cover letter to

Job Purpose

Product development for microreactors, including membrane manufacturing, coating processing and material characterisation, field testing. Business creation in the application of ceramic filters to catalysis. This position is supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

About Us

Smart Separations, Ltd. (SSL) has developed a proprietary filter that can be tailored to suit many different applications in the underdeveloped, yet global microfiltration industry. This filter will provide a more controlled, versatile, and low-cost solution for several industries including stem cell & blood research, air filtration, industrial emissions lowering and even food & drink processing. Our highly novel technology is a unique membrane filter with microfiltration pores (1-50μm). It allows producing tailored pore sizes within this range, high pore densities and good mechanical strength which can be coated for additional properties. No other filters/membranes come close to our revolutionary design.

Smart Separations is one of the only 2 British companies to have been recently awarded a Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 grant (, which means that we will be expanding significantly in the next 2 years. We have a team of 10 experts in a wide range of areas, from ceramics technology, chemical engineering, catalytic chemistry to entrepreneurship, finances and IP.

Our young, vibrant and exciting start-up company is looking for new talent that can grow with our highly valuable company. Our ambition is to be the world’s leader in microfiltration and particle separations technology – filling the void gap that exists in the market nowadays. Our mission is to “improve quality of life through innovation” in the areas of health, the environment and human causes. Our work can make a truly global impact and this role is key to making this possible.

This 6-month position is aiming at showcasing the technology developed at Smart Separations and applying it specifically to the area of conversion catalysis.  We are looking to exploit the unique microstructure of the ceramic filters: no other filter technology has the ability to produce ceramic cones within these range of pore diameters (1-100 microns) allowing us to convert the ceramic filters directly into microreactors. So far, SSL has concentrated exclusively on a chemically inert ceramic material and we are looking to use a well-known chemically active substrate for catalytic reactions in addition to coating with metal nanoparticles. 

Job Description

Key Responsibilities and Authorities

  • Hands on manufacture of membranes, materials testing and processing.
  • Developing, updating and following Standard Operating Procedures as well as Health & Safety guidelines.
  • Development of a product, through sound scientific research, attention to detail, and acute business identification.
  • Conduct general scientific research and product development around the topics and requirements of the company and its product development strategy; adhering to the guidelines agreed with the supervisor/team
  • Keep accurate record of all work performed and presenting coherently to supervisor/team other members of the team and external visitors.
  • Report progress on a weekly basis to the Management team;
  • Assist with writing grant funding applications, in liaison with the Management team;
  • Use and update Basecamp and Smartsheet, or any other management software the company uses, to keep on track all tasks and requirements. This includes observing all instructions provided and abiding by the deadlines;
  • Complying with all reasonable requests, instructions and regulations made by us from time to time and giving us such explanations, information and assistance as we may reasonably require;
  • Maintain a good working relationship with our stakeholders;
  • Participate at external meetings, conferences, talks and others as and when instructed, and to prepare notes from the same to be shared with the team;
  • Keep all information received, verbally, written, electronically or by any other transmission method strictly confidential;
  • Taking all practicable steps to safeguard our tangible and intangible property and interest and using your utmost endeavours to further the interests of the company as a whole;
  • Participating via teleconference in team meetings and in general providing such reports concerning your duties as we may from time to time require;


All staff are expected to:

  • Perform their work responsibly, conscientiously and to a high standard and to conduct themselves in accordance with the general rules and regulations of the company as notified from time to time;
  • Promote the good name and the work of the organisation.
  • Adhere to all relevant policies, procedures and other regulations agreed by the organisation.
  • Carry out all duties with due regard to Equal Opportunities and Health and Safety.
  • Attend training, supervision and meetings as required.
  • Respond to emergencies outside office hours as required.
  • Undertake any additional tasks that may be requested from time to time in keeping with the post.
  • Observe and abide by the Staff Handbook, which will be made available to you.

Person Specification


Graduate scientist or engineer in the appropriate discipline (Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related field) 

Interested in catalysis, analytical chemistry, solid state chemistry, materials chemistry

Excellent research and analytical skills and able to conduct research responsibly. Attention to detail, laboratory dexterity and excellent numerical skills and processing and analysis of data.

Excellent problem-solving skills. Optimistic can-do attitude and resilience and perseverance.

Excellent communication skills (written, verbal, formal presentation) and ability to take feedback

Professional and Trustworthy

Commercial acumen and business development fine intuition 

Ability to work under strict deadlines.


BSc or MSc level, or relevant experience the area.

Some experience in product development, preferably in polymers, ceramics and/or manufacturing roles. 

Experience in any area of the catalysis, microfiltration sector and materials processing is a plus. 

Business development experience.

Closing date for applications: 21st January 2019

Interviews: 12th or 14th February 2019

To Apply: please send your CV and cover letter to

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