Job Opening: Chemical Process Engineer

Sparkz Inc., is looking to hire a Chemical Process Engineer at their Tennessee location. Posted July, 18 2022.

Job Description

Sparkz is looking for a knowledgeable and dedicated Chemical Process Engineer to support our growing in-house battery research and development (R&D) team. As the primary person responsible for the synthesis and characterization of lithium-ion battery materials, in particular cathode active materials, at Sparkz’s Knoxville, TN location, you will play an important role. This is a critical position in our organization; you will be responsible for designing and developing processes for transforming raw materials into final active materials.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Synthesize cathode active materials at the kilogram level for use in lithium-ion batteries, with particular attention to characterization of each batch to ensure quality and reproducibility.
  • Lead in performance of some material characterization within the Knoxville facility and work with partnering institutions to perform other material characterizations.
  • Analyze data from material characterization.
  • Work with the R&D team to develop and implement novel synthesis strategies to improve material quality, reduce synthesis cost, and/or reduce synthesis time.
  • Train technicians on use of reactors and other processing equipment needed to produce cathode active materials at the kilogram level.
  • Assist in establishing safety infrastructure and protocols for cathode active material synthesis.

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or another relevant field is preferred.
  • 3+ years of experience in a chemical processing environment; experience in battery material synthesis is beneficial, though not required.
  • Experience in operating and maintaining chemical processing equipment.
  • Strict adherence to safety protocols and willingness to promote a culture of lab safety.
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Strong leadership, communication, strategic thinking, organizational, and analytical skills.

Apply Here >

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Founder & CEO

Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra

Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra is the founder and CEO of Sparkz—the battery start-up reinventing the energy supply chain.


Malhotra has been a leader in the energy sector for nearly three decades as a founder, investor and executive. Most recently, he served as the inaugural director for the Energy Investor Center at the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), serving under both Democratic and Republican administrations.


At DOE, Malhotra led the Obama Administration’s initiative to boost public-private partnerships to accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed in national research centers like Oak Ridge National Labs.


Malhotra was recruited to the Department of Energy after a successful exit of Oorja Protonics—the world leader in methanol fuel cells—which he founded and led as CEO for 10 years. Oorja raised $50 Million in equity financing from leading VCs such as Sequoia, DAG Ventures, Artis Capital and others during his tenure. He boosted Oorja’s revenue and profitability growth, while expanding operations globally in Japan, China, South Africa, Mexico, and India.


Oorja was acquired in 2014 by the Private Equity firm MinXing Growth Fund.


As an investor and consultant, Malhotra has worked at leading venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers as an advisor on clean energy and advanced materials.


Earlier in his career, Malhotra led the engineering and product development team at H Power, a pioneer in hydrogen fuel cells. As part of the management team, he managed the successful IPO, which raised more than $100 million in August 2000.


He began his career as a post-doctoral fellow at the renowned Lawrence Berkeley National Labs on electrochemical storage systems. Dr. Malhotra has authored seven patents and more than 40 publications in various fields of energy storage technology and materials. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering and an M.B.A from University of Iowa.