Cargill Senior Research Scientist in Plymouth, Minnesota

Senior Research Scientist

Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and over 150 years of experience. We have 155,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work.


Position Purpose

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 143,000 people in 67 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. Cargill is expanding further expertise in the research areas of ingredient and material science, Food forensics and structure to function relationship.

This position will provide technical expertise to Cargill in all these developing and emerging areas, with especial focus on materials characterization. This individual will be responsible for using their thorough knowledge in material science to provide support to research projects that create value for Cargill. S/he supports parts of complex projects or leads certain projects and will improve and optimize existing methods with minimal oversight.

The incumbent serves as a subject matter expert in food and material characterization using a wide range of scientific tools with focus in quantitative microscopy and spectroscopy. The incumbent will also collaborate with multi-disciplinary research and development teams requiring an understanding of food, ingredient and material systems.

Principal Accountabilities


60% Operate, and maintain instruments and develop methods in areas of microscopy including Electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), light microscopy and chemical microscopy (FTIR microscopy, confocal laser scanning and confocal Raman microscopy) and spectroscopy including FTIR, Raman, fluorescence and UV-Vis. Support additional material characterization areas such as rheological, mechanical, thermal, and interfacial techniques. Provide technical support to all material science related activities including long-term research and short-term problem solving projects. Serve on multi-disciplinary project teams as the subject matter expert to identify problems, clarify questions and determine needed solutions. Communicate regularly with stakeholders such as project managers, business or group management, production, outside vendors, or technology providers.

20% Provide hands-on support to other research activities within the group, including food and material forensics, materials characterization involving rheology, Time Domain NMR, particle size analysis, CT scan, XRD, and moisture absorption.

10% Connect with external research institutions and commercial laboratories and establish partnerships to expand knowledge base and capabilities. Effectively represent Cargill at technical meetings, with customers, and with other technical and non-technical leaders inside Cargill. Lead/contribute to inventions and for intellectual property protection in the area of expertise.

10% Other Duties as assigned

Other Requirements

  • Must be able to travel 10%

If selected for an interview, you will be required to submit signed copies of your last two performance reviews. (A completed e-PMP is considered a signed copy.)

This position is posted internally as well as externally.


Minimum Required Education, Experience, Skills


  • Post-graduate University degree (MS or above) in Material Science, Physics, Chemistry, Food Science, Chemical Engineering or a closely related field.


  • MS degree and minimum 10 years of experience in material science research OR PhD and minimum five years of experience in Materials Science.

  • Extensive fundamental knowledge and hands-on experience on microscopy (SEM with EDS and XRF, LM, and chemical microscopy), especially on quantitative imaging, and on spectroscopy (FTIR, Raman, fluorescence and UV-Vis), and their application in different material systems.

  • Familiar with general materials characterization techniques including but not limited to mechanical testings, surface and interfacial characterizations, particle size measurement and x-ray diffraction.


  • Ability to analyze results and use this analysis in assisting the development or validation of a method.

  • Demonstrated understanding of the implications of other disciplines on technical problems.

  • Effective communication skills (written and oral).

  • The ability to identify and resolve a problem.

  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks between projects or assignments.

  • The ability to rapidly acquire, understand and communicate new information.

Preferred Education, Experience, Skills


  • Industrial experience demonstrating the application of material characterization tools to research projects.


  • Experience working with a wide range of food matrices such as protein, carbohydrates, fats and oils, etc.

  • Experience working with polymers and other soft matters.

  • Ability to lead the acquisition and development of new analytical techniques.

Skills (applied knowledge and technical skills directly related to this position)

  • Interaction with other team members to leverage capability and insure effective and efficient problem solving. Interaction with clients including other researchers, business unit managers, scientists and engineers is routine.

Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Vet.

Job Research and Development

Primary Location US-MN-Plymouth

Schedule Full-time

Job Type Standard

Shift Day Job

Req ID: PLY00488