Separation / Materials Research Scientist

Austin, TX

Energy Exploration Technologies has a mission to become a worldwide leader in the global transition to sustainable energy. Founded in 2018, the company is fundamentally changing the way humanity is powering our world and storing clean energy with breakthrough lithium-ion technology and energy storage solutions.

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Job description

Energy Exploration Technologies has a mission to become a worldwide leader in the global transition to sustainable energy. Founded in 2018, the company is fundamentally changing the way humanity is powering our world and storing clean energy with breakthrough lithium-ion technologies and energy-storage solutions.

The Separation Technologies team is seeking an Applied Separations chemical engineer, chemist, or material scientist with a strong background in technology development and process design to expand the breadth of research in aqueous ion separations by supporting world-class applied research in advanced materials for direct lithium extraction from various brines or leachate solutions. This position will focus on applied issues in ion exchange, adsorption, ion sieving, crystallization, liquid-liquid extraction, and membranes related to such problems as direct lithium extraction from brines, removal of cationic or anionic ions, Li-ion purification or concentration, desalination, environmental cleanup, and Li-ion recovery from leachate solutions of recycled batteries. The research will be conducted in the context of a multidisciplinary team including specialists in separations, nanomaterial synthesis, organic synthesis, polymer synthesis, composite/hybrid material synthesis, ion separation process testing, spectroscopy, and materials characterization. The candidate will be deeply involved in developing novel and exciting ideas for advanced materials and ion separation processes.

Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Work with a diverse team of scientists and engineers seeking to advance the scientific understanding of various complex separation systems and materials. Transform such understanding into use in real-world lithium extraction applications
  • Develop and lead new world-class separations research in the field of ion separations and corresponding materials
  • Perform experiments to employ separation methods, such as ion exchange, ion sorption, crystallization, solvent extraction, membranes, and other methods and to meet the applied project goals
  • Independently formulate research problems and design research strategies, working with chemists and experimentalists to guide the design of new materials and characterize their separation properties
  • Help team members with materials development, process design and development, process intensification, and techno-economic analyses
  • Train group technicians, student interns, or visiting collaborators/partners in separations methodologies and materials developed in the group
  • Take responsibility for the synergistic operation of a separations laboratory, chemical synthesis laboratory, and associated analytical instrumentation
  • Present and report research results to upper manager(s) in a timely manner.
  • File inventions and patents on separation processes and materials.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics

Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. degree with 3-5 years of professional research experience (or Master’s degree with 5-8 years experience) in chemical engineering, chemistry, water chemistry, polymers, material science.
  • Required experience in developing/conducting research of ions, chemical, or water separations involving both novel separation processes development and materials development.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proven record of high-quality research in ions/molecules separations in relevant to resins, sorbents, membranes, extraction solvents, etc. Excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Material and chemistry experience in developing separation technologies using at least two of the following techniques: solvent extraction, ion exchange, adsorption, membranes, and crystallization
  • Demonstrated ability to work with team co-workers, industrial partners, patent inventions, and commercialize technologies
  • Working knowledge of basic instrumental techniques such as ICP-OES, ion chromatography, potentiometric titrimetry, Flame AA, electrodialysis cells, and radiometric methods as needed to evaluate separation performance of new materials (membranes, resins, sorbents, solvents, etc.)
  • Extensive experience facilitating industry engagement into research and expanding the technology readiness level
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate to an international, scientific audience
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever-changing needs
  • Familiarity in electrochemical processing, water chemistries, and nanomaterials synthesis chemistry is a plus
  • Must be a team player


EnergyX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with EnergyX is governed on the basis of merit, competence, and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.


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