Materials Scientist

New York City, NY
Science – Synthetic Biology /
Full-time /

OXMAN is a hybrid Design and R&D company that fuses design, technology, and biology to invent multi-scale products and environments. The fusion of disciplines within our work opens previously impossible opportunities within each domain—allowing design to inspire science and science to inspire design.

At OXMAN, we question dominant modes of design that have divorced us from Nature by prioritizing humanity above all else (human-centric design). Although it is design that has caused this rift, we believe that design also offers the greatest opportunity to heal it.

We propose a Nature-centric approach that delivers design solutions by, for, and with the natural world, while advancing humanity. In this pursuit, we reject all forms of segregation and instead call for a radical synergy between human-made and Nature-grown environments.

This approach demands that we design across scales for systems-level impact. We consider every designed construct a whole system of heterogeneous and complex interrelations—not isolated objects—that are intrinsically connected to their environments. In doing so, we open ourselves up to moving beyond mere maintenance toward the advancement of Nature.


OXMAN is seeking a Materials Scientist to join an all-star interdisciplinary team of deep thinkers and brilliant makers. This person holds extensive knowledge in biodegradable polymers, organic chemistry, and materials science of common and upcoming polymers for industrial and consumer applications, as well as in biomanufacturing polymers (e.g., cellulose, PHAs) for fiber fabrication with high biodegradability. They have hands-on experience characterizing, developing, and producing novel compounds and functional additives, with a level of intellectual curiosity that extends beyond biopolymers to a range of proteins, lipids, enzymes, bioactive compounds, and innovative methods for making.

Successful applicants embody stellar technical skills, hold the capacity to navigate and resolve uncertainty, and demonstrate a unique “language” of biology (wetware) / computing (software) / fabricating (hardware), or a combination thereof. They have produced and can present a prolific corpus of research and experimental demonstrations rooted in sound scientific approaches and process-driven design with biology at its core; exemplify a passion for systems-based thinking with a wide range of potential applications for their work; personify an appreciation for engineering, science, and art; and seek synergy between biology and technology in research, practice, and direct industrial utility.

Core responsibilities

    • Lead identification, production, and optimization of biopolymers and biomaterials across all stages, from concept development to product fruition
    • Analyze the structures and chemical properties of existing materials to strengthen and/or combine them, and to develop novel formulations for materials, compounds, and additives 
    • Design experiments that question, validate, and/or realize novel products and processes that fundamentally leverage developed materials
    • Execute key chemistry and materials science experiments at the bench level
    • Maintain high-quality documentation of scientific output and research in the forms of written reports, electronic lab notebooks, internal databases, code comments, etc.
    • Actively seek opportunities to publish work in top-tier journals and other platforms for diffusing scientific knowledge
    • Nurture and augment the scientific vision of OXMAN, upholding core design principles and ensuring the highest and most innovative quality of work
    • Actively partner with a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including other biologists, engineers, and designers, across scientific and design pursuits
    • Communicate ideas, work, and progress clearly, including by engaging in team meetings, presentations, and other creative communication outlets

Qualifications & competencies

    • PhD or equivalent, with a focus on polymer chemistry, organic chemistry, molecular biochemistry, materials science, or a related discipline
    • Minimum 5 years of industry or academic experience
    • Portfolio of highly successful scientific work from conceptualization to implementation, demonstrating out-of-the-box thinking and stellar taste
    • Fluency in the use of relevant research and analysis tools (e.g., GPC, NMR, mass spectrometry, particle size analysis)
    • Experience with sourcing material to execute biochemical experiments
    • Strong knowledge of the structure-function relationships, performance, and interactions of various biopolymer ingredients
    • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment
    • Excellent project management skills, independence, self-motivation, organizational skills, and attention to detail
    • Strong commitment to the team; maintains positive working relationships with diverse people, including internal team and external partners
    • Embodies ethics and integrity in all work with impeccable scientific integrity, respecting both company and broader community policies in all conduct
OXMAN does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics.

NYC Salary Range: $83,000–$225,000

Salary is based on a number of factors including job-related knowledge, skills, experience, and other business and organizational needs. Our compensation package also includes variable compensation in the form of year-end bonuses, benefits, immigration assistance, and equity participation.