Research Materials Engineer, Research Chemical Engineer, or Research Chemist

USDA Forest Products Laboratory
Madison, Wisconsin
Federal General Schedule (GS) pay scale, hiring at GS-12 or GS-13 with promotion potential
Closing date
May 17, 2022
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Research Materials Engineer, Research Chemical Engineer, or Research Chemist

GS-0806-12/13, GS-0893-12/13, or GS-1320-12/13

Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), USDA Forest Service will soon be filling the research scientist position. This is a permanent full-time position and will have a duty station at Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI. The vacancy announcement for this position will be posted on the U.S. Government’s official website for employment application,

Position:  The scientist will be expected to use material science approaches to optimize processes, improve efficiency, and exploit opportunity for new advanced bio-based composites.

The scientist will need to initiate and follow an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach that includes some of the following research activities:

  • Develop creative solutions for next generation packaging materials.
  • Create wood-based composite packaging solutions that can reduce the environmental impact throughout the product lifecycle, including production, use, and end-of-life.
  • Determine how chemistry, processing, and/or engineering of raw materials, including cellulose nanomaterials, can affect the properties of materials for packaging applications.
  • Explore the use of low-value or underutilized wood to produce packaging materials or products.
  • Create and evaluate compostable thermoplastic composites made from wood and other biobased materials, especially for packaging applications
  • Explore the use of cellulose nanomaterials as barrier coatings for packaging applications, including developing novel methods for applying, drying, or treating nanocellulose as coatings.
  • Produce active wood-derived/biobased packaging materials that inhibit microbial growth to extend food shelf-life
  • Explore the production of biobased smart packaging applications, such as sensors or stimuli sensitive materials for advanced packaging solutions
  • Develop fundamental understanding of the interaction of water vapor and other gases with wood-based packaging materials, especially for designing moisture resistant packaging materials.
  • Explore practical solutions for producing biobased packaging products and engage in technology transfer.

Strong candidates will have demonstrated written, verbal, and analytical skills. Working experience related to the sustainable bio-composites provides the necessary foundation for success in this position.

For Forest Products Laboratory: The Forest Products Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, uses science and technology to conserve and extend our nation’s forest resources.  FPL is recognized around the world as a source of unbiased information about wood science and use.  The Forest Products Laboratory has about 150 employees including 37 scientists primarily located in Madison, WI.   More information on the Forest Products Laboratory is on our website:

Housing:  No government housing/relocation package is available, but there is housing in the community for rent and purchase.

Nondiscrimination statement: USDA Forest Service is an equal employment opportunity employer

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