Principal Development Materials Scientist

We are seeking an exceptional materials scientist to drive fundamental understanding of materials and processes used in the manufacture of Gradient Refractive Index Nanolayered (GRIN) polymer optics and optical systems.  Reporting to the Sr. Engineering Leader in the Peak Nano Technology Development and Engineering organization, this highly technical individual contributor is expected to design and execute experiments to resolve critical technical challenges and grow our institutional knowledge.  Leveraging strengths in data management and analysis, this insightful experimentalist will communicate new learnings to the organization in a digestible and actionable format.  This individual will also identify, introduce, and validate new test methods and equipment supporting new technology development and manufacturing initiatives.

Performance Profile:

  • Develop a detailed understanding of the design, manufacturing methods and metrology equipment used to fabricate and evaluate GRIN polymer lenses. Identify continuous improvement opportunities and contribute to solving technical challenges as a member of a cross-functional technical team.
  • Hypothesize and study the root causes for new material interactions and phenomena observed in processes used to fabricate polymer GRIN optics. Experimentally validate those hypotheses and clearly communicate those findings to the technical team.
  • Lead the characterization of GRIN polymer blends to inform fabrication strategies and tooling designs for the consolidation of thin films (lamination) and the subsequent formation of complex rotationally symmetric structures (compression molding).
  • Participate in the specification and evaluation of new optical polymer blends for the fabrication of GRIN lenses.
  • Lead material characterization efforts to support the development of predictive modelling tools that describe material flow in lamination, annealing and compression molding processes with micron-level accuracy.
  • Identify and specify equipment to augment in-house material characterization capability.
  • Collaborate with the Peak Nano optical design team to correlate optical performance with manufacturing process variables and tolerances.
  • Develop sufficient expertise to operate all equipment related to the lamination, annealing and compression molding fabrication processes.
  • Develop sufficient expertise to operate, troubleshoot and maintain all equipment related to the characterization of GRIN film, sheets and preform mechanical properties.
  • Understand and implement appropriate EH&S standards, policies, and procedures applicable to operation of forming equipment. Promote safe work habits and lead by example in compliance with EH&S standards.

Qualifications and Credentials:

  • This position requires a well-rounded skillset including technical ability, plastics processing expertise, experimental design, and data analysis. Excellent communication and a strong sense of project and process ownership are also necessary.
  • The ideal candidate should view themselves as both a scientist and an engineer, driven to develop a complete understanding of a process or system then apply that knowledge to support prototyping efforts and manufacturing scale-up. A self-motivated, disciplined, detail-oriented approach to experiment design, observation and data analysis is critical to success in this role.
  • The ideal candidate has a demonstrated strength in data science and statistical analysis. This individual can navigate new and existing equipment to extract, consolidate and summarize relevant measurement data.  This individual can define a vision for the automation of data collection and evaluation on new equipment – communicating clearly with Peak’s internal software development organization.
  • The ideal candidate has a Ph.D in materials science, chemical engineering, plastics engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, or equivalent training.
  • The ideal candidate has relevant work or research experience in the following areas:
    • Process development in plastics processes: 3+ years (preferred)
    • Characterization of polymers and/or metamaterials: 3+ years (preferred)
    • Experimental design, statistical analysis and/or programming as a core job function: 3+ year (preferred)
    • High Precision or Ultra-Precision academic or manufacturing environment: 1+ year (preferred)

Relevant Software Competencies:

  • Data Analysis (MATLAB, Python, JMP, Minitab or equivalent)
  • Instrumentation & Data Acquisition (LabVIEW, Flexlogger, DAQExpress or equivalent)
  • Data Reporting & Presentations (MS PowerPoint preferred)


MS or Ph.D in materials science, chemical engineering, plastics engineering, physics, mechanical engineering


  • Monday – Friday
  • This role is primarily on-site at Peak’s Macedonia facility.
  • Occasional (local) travel between Peak’s Macedonia and Valley View facilities is expected.
  • Up to 10% remote work is possible with approval from manager.
  • <5% travel is projected annually for this role.

About Peak Nano

You don’t want to match your competition. You want to set a new industry standard. For that, you need a new kind of partner. Peak Nano is all about disruption.

We help industry-leading companies rewrite the rules and chart a new path forward—on a journey powered by nanotechnology. For big names ready to think bigger, nanotechnology is the new frontier. And Peak Nano will guide the way—with sound strategy, and real results.

We’re the people who take nanotechnology out of the lab and make sense of it for your business. You can’t shatter realities with theory alone. For us, it’s making it real that matters.

Peak Nano Offers:

  • Competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits
  • On-going learning opportunities within a diverse, inclusive, and rewarding work environment
  • Opportunities that spark your imagination and ignite your passion to help others
  • Peak Nano is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer


To be considered for this opportunity, please send your resumé to [email protected].