ROXUK00027 – Propellant and Materials Chemists

ROXUK00027 – Propellant and Materials Chemists

Contract duration:


Reporting to:

Propellant and Materials Manager


Summerfield, Kidderminster

Salary and Additional Benefits:

Competitive salary, Perkbox, contributory pension. Free parking, subsidised canteen


25 + statutory days per annum pro-rata

Hours of Work:

08.00-16.30 Monday to Thursday (30mns lunch break)
08.00-13.00 Friday (no lunch break)

Roxel is an Anglo-French company that designs, develops and manufactures solid propellant rocket motors for use in tactical missiles. Its operations are spread across several sites in the UK and France and it has an annual turnover of about £100M and nearly 700 staff.


The UK operations are entirely based at Summerfield, Kidderminster, where we have a vacancy for a Propellant and Material Chemist to work in our Propellants and Materials Team.


The Propellant and Materials Team is responsible for the research, development and manufacture of materials to meet the demanding requirements found in our rocket motors. These requirements include physical, chemical, thermal, mechanical and ballistic properties under extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, vibration and age.


The propellants include conventional double base and composite formulations as well as novel formulations. The materials include metals, adhesives, insulation, inhibition, paints and composites. Both the propellants and materials include raw materials and finished materials. The former involves identifying and monitoring suppliers while the latter involves developing and monitoring manufacturing processes.


The successful candidate will work alongside other chemists within the Propellant and Materials Team as well as engineers within the wider engineering team to develop and manufacture high performance rocket motors and related systems for our customers.


Specific responsibilities include the following:
• Developing propellants to meet energy, mechanical and ballistic requirements
• Qualifying materials for use in accordance with recognised standards
• Investigating and resolving material and related manufacturing problems
• Monitoring for obsolescence and qualifying replacements
• Developing adhesives, insultants, inhibitors and paints to meet design requirements
• Developing associated propellant and material manufacturing processes
• Clearance of ingredients and finished materials for manufacturing


This role is open to candidates with a range of qualifications and experience. Entry level candidates must have a good A-level or equivalent qualification in chemistry and be prepared to undertake a part time degree in chemistry at a local university. Intermediate level candidates must have a good degree in chemistry and, ideally, some practical experience. Advanced level candidates must have a higher degree in chemistry and/or significant practical experience. The common theme is a genuine interest and aptitude in chemistry.


Given the nature of the role, it is unlikely that candidates will have knowledge and experience in all aspects of the role. Hence, the successful candidate will attend specialist training courses and conferences to develop their expertise.


Relevant knowledge and experience may include the following:
• Polymers including synthesis, formulation, characterisation, degradation and failure
• Metal, polymer and composite manufacturing processes and clearance testing
• Handling of hazardous materials including flammable solvents and energetics
• Production process control and improvement techniques, e.g. SPC, Lean Sigma
• Material and process safety, e.g. COSHH, MHDS and Risk Assessment


In addition, the following general attributes are required:
• Genuine interest and aptitude in chemistry and its application to practical problems
• Communicate and work effectively with other people and organisations
• Good interpersonal and team working skills
• Report writing and presenting
• Interpreting customer requirements and devising solutions
• Proficient in MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint


This is an exciting opportunity to work in the field of rocket propulsion and become a real rocket scientist. As such, the succesful candidate will be given their own personal development plan and extensive training in order to develop their expertise and reach their potential.

Application form