Pilot Plant R&D Technician

Date: Apr 9, 2024

Location: Columbia, MD, US, 21044

Company: W. R. Grace & Co.

Requisition ID: 22716 

Built on talent, technology, and trust, Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and engineered materials. The company’s two industry-leading business segments—Catalysts Technologies and Materials Technologies—provide innovative products, technologies, and services that enhance the products and processes of our customers around the world. Grace employs approximately 4,300 people in over 30 countries.

Job Description

Grace is seeking a Pilot Plant R&D Technician to join our FCC Catalyst Synthesis team at our corporate headquarters located in Columbia, MD. You will report to the Senior R&D Engineer, also located in Columbia, MD. The primary function of this position is to support catalyst synthesis research and scale-up activities in the Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalyst product line. Your work in this group will directly contribute to the discovery and development of best-in-class FCC catalysts and additives. Your research may also be related to advanced recycling of plastic waste.
The typical daily activities of the employee will include making pilot scale (~80%) and laboratory scale (~20%) preparations of FCC zeolite, catalyst, and additives, submitting samples for various analyses and evaluations and maintaining commonly used personal and shared equipment and lab space while operating under Grace’s standards for environmental and employee safety. 



  • Perform pilot scale (~80%) and laboratory scale (~20%) preparation of FCC zeolites, catalysts and/or additives. Submit samples for required analyses and evaluations.
  • Operate and share maintenance duty of pilot plant equipment with other group members. Equipment includes spray dryer, mixers, mills, gas emission scrubber, washing tanks and ovens.
  • Perform the necessary housekeeping to maintain a clean and safe work area and ensure areas of responsibility are properly stocked with necessary goods.
  • Collect and record data to include using Word, PowerPoint, various online SharePoint sites and Excel spreadsheets for data recording, data processing and data/project reporting.
  • Follow all Environmental Health & Safety requirements and do all required safety training. Work safely with chemicals/materials and wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for the job.

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able and willing to frequently lift and move heavy objects and containers up to 40 lbs.

Required Qualifications

  • AA degree in a technical field, or BS/BA degree in technical field, or High School diploma with 2-4 years relevant laboratory, manufacturing, or skilled trade experience.
  • Must be able to work in the pilot plant, approx. 75% of the time and operate large equipment; the remaining 25% will be in a lab setting.
  • Strong mechanical aptitude or strong interest to learn about medium to large size equipment.
  • Ability to make detailed observations during experiments and report to supervisor with effective communication skills.
  • Experience following safety protocols and standards while handling hazardous materials.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in a pilot or manufacturing plant setting.
  • Experience using and maintaining research notebook, data analysis, wet chemistry/bench work.
  • Prior experience making FCC catalysts.
  • Prior experience on analytical instruments such as XRD, gas sorption, etc.



Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance
Life Insurance and Disability 
Grace Wellness Program
Flexible Workplace 
Retirement Plans  
401(k) Company Match – Dollar to dollar up to the first 6%
Paid Vacation and Holidays
Parental Leave 
Tuition Reimbursement
Company Donation Match Program

U.S. Employee Benefits Summary (grace.com) 

Grace is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity. Please, no phone calls or emails. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Grace via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Grace. No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Grace as a result of the referral or through other means.

Nearest Major Market: Baltimore