Research Opportunities

Grow Plastics LLC - Hands-On Research and Project Manager

SBIR Award Title

SBIR Phase II: High performance biodegradable sandwich core structures

SBIR Award Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project will be the development and demonstration of a new manufacturing technology for lightweight bio-based plastics. Plastic produced from plant materials can have lower environmental impact than petroleum-based plastics, but price and performance issues have limited their adoption. In Phase I, Grow Plastics demonstrated the ability to produce lightweight, low cost, thermally stable 100% bio-based packaging products. In Phase II, ... more

Research Opportunity

Hands-On Research and Project Manager


800 Buchanan Street I-200North


Michael Waggoner

Principal Investigator

Michael Waggoner


Grow Plastics is working to scale a new manufacturing technology, while also working to improve the performance of its polymer-based products. Our pilot manufacturing space is located at the USDA ARS in Albany, CA.

Work will involve:
* Working with USDA scientists and Grow Plastics engineers/technicians to generate new polymer chemistries
* Analysis of performance of end products through chemical and mechanical means
* Supervision of up to 2 technicians in performing research
* Hands-on work involving polymer extrusion, thermoforming, and fabrication of end products

Desired Knowledge

The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of polymers and how chemistry can be related to end product properties. Given that much of the work will involve working with research and development machinery, some mechanical aptitude and understanding (or willingness to learn) of electronics or PLC programming would be helpful.

Desired experience and skills:
* Independent research, ideally including the supervision of technicians and/or junior scientists and engineers
* Experience using processing machinery
* Demonstrated skills in relating chemistries to end product properties
* Interest in the aesthetics of end product design

Apply to this research opportunity