Vacancy Still Open: Chemist in Oban!



Materials / Organic / QC chemist


A role has become available for an enthusiastic chemist to join CuanTec’s facility at the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology, near Oban.


CuanTec is a blue biotechnology company, established in January 2017, who is seeking to expand its highly motivated workforce.  CuanTec is made up of a small but innovative team who are dedicated to the pioneering use of food waste to reduce landfill waste.  We work first-hand with the fisheries industry, diverting their food by-products from landfill and creating chitinous based food preserving agents such as preservative dips and anti-bacterial compostable bio-plastic packaging.  Ultimately tackling the ever-expanding issue of waste food and single-use plastics.


At present CuanTec is a young company that is rapidly moving forward into production. In light of the current state of development of CuanTec Ltd applicants would be expected to manage a multi-disciplinary role within this small company and embrace the challenges of working in a fast-paced changing environment. The applicant should be enthusiastic and relish a challenge.


CuanTec would like to appoint a Senior Chemist, with relevant industry background, to undertake duties in formulation, product development, QC and production of a biodegradable / compostable plastic alternative food-packaging derived from waste chitin.



As the industrial chemist you would have the following key responsibilities:



Product Development


  • At present the single application of chitosan is for food packaging; this may widen out into other applications in the future; the successful candidate would be expected to take on product development responsibilities within CuanTec’s R&D laboratories
  • Assist in chitosan conversion and deacetylation optimisation to develop a reproducible conversion process
  • Undertake data analysis and interpretation of related to product development




  • CuanTec Ltd use a biological approach for the recovery of chitin from shellfish waste; there is scope for process optimisation and the development of relevant chemical analyses for QC at different steps of production. In this regard the chemist may be called upon for input in method development or process optimisation.
  • Liaise with the Head of Science with regards production optimisation



Quality Control


  • Successful applicants must have experience of working to GMP and GLP standards and a strong understanding of industry compliance
  • As the company steps up to pilot-scale production part of the Quality Control required during method upscale and transfer will fall on the QC chemist; the ability to generate QC parameters into a QMS is a prerequisite
  • Throughout the production of chitosan and chitin recovery the chemist will be expected to contribute to various aspects of quality control
  • Having an understanding of ISO standards and industrial regulations would also be advantageous


Documentation / communication / collaboration


  • Write progress reports and prepare results for Head of Science and the Board; present findings to colleagues and partners as required
  • Conduct data analysis and accurate / timely reporting of findings to the Head of Science
  • Ensure the validity and reliability of data at all times; and the accurate reporting of data in lab books and electronically as required
  • To develop contacts and research collaborations within industry and academia if required
  • Take initiative in the planning of research




  • The successful applicant should be able to identify areas where they can develop any required skills and knowledge and be willing to undertake training as necessary


Essential Requirements


  • A first degree (or equivalent) or a masters (or equivalent) in materials science, chemistry, engineering or similar
  • A PhD (or equivalent) in chemistry, QC, polymer chemistry or materials science or engineering including bioengineering or similar.
  • Experience in biopolymer characterisation (mechanical properties, chemical analyses, NMR, crystallography)
  • Experience in a wide range of synthetic skills (e.g. experimental design, wet chemistry, purification etc)
  • Experience in focusing on biopolymers, their chemistry and characterisation
  • Knowledge of materials characterisation techniques.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrable ability for innovation and original research
  • Demonstrated ability to work in industry and a collaborative environment
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct a detailed review of recent literature




Further information can be obtained from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Please submit CVs in application for this post to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.