Director of Water Research


Memphis, TN, US

Buckman is a privately held, global specialty chemical company with headquarters in Memphis, TN, USA, committed to safeguarding the environment, maintaining safety in the workplace, and promoting sustainable development. Buckman works proactively and collaboratively with its worldwide customers in pulp and paper, leather, and water treatment to deliver exceptional service and innovative specialty chemical solutions to help boost productivity, reduce risk, improve product quality, and provide a measurable return on investment.  Buckman is in the middle of a digital transformation of its businesses and focused on building the capabilities and tools in support of this.


  • Memphis, Tennessee


  • English


  • 50%

Position Summary

This role requires an experienced leader for our Water Research and Digital innovation areas at our Memphis facility.  It will report to the VP of Global Product Technologies and will lead a cross-functional team consisting of chemists, chemical engineers, software/hardware engineers and data scientists. The team’s main function will be to develop chemical solutions to our customers primarily in our Water Treatment markets and serve as a lead in chemical/digital innovations for the Water sector. You will be responsible for success of the Water R&D and digital programs at Buckman and have ownership for all areas including finding and motivating talent, working with key business stakeholders in Marketing, Sales, and Supply Chain functions to frame impactful projects, and working with internal team and external partners to create, deploy, and support solutions.  The position leads a global team with associates located in Asia, Latin America, Europe and South Africa. 

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Contribute to a Highly Performing R&D Leadership Team
  • Lead Cross Functional chemical and digital Teams to offer a Relevant Project Portfolio for our Water Business
  • Help develop and execute the strategy and the roadmap of our global water R&D strategy which aligns with and support water business strategy
  • Lead cross functional Digital Enablement and Smart Product Teams to offer a relevant digital portfolio
  • Lead system design and development including controller and IoT hardware component selection
  • Lead web and mobile software development as well as wireless technology implementation
  • Negotiate market and region selection
  • Ensure relevant revenue numbers are established across projects
  • Validate link between chemical and digital systems
  • Ensure all pre-launch digital systems have successful quality and functional testing
  • Use virtual collaborative tools to build highly effective global water teams
  • Link chemical and digital water research portfolios

Essential Job Requirements

  • PhD in in Chemical/Electrical/Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science/Engineering, Physics, chemistry or related field
  • More than ten years related industrial research and R&D management experience
  • Prior experience in specialty chemicals and/or water treatment
  • Experience working with external suppliers and making good “Make” vs. “Buy” decisions
  • Strong communications skills across all functions and levels of the organization
  • International experience and managing and working with global stakeholders
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents
  • Ability to write speeches and articles for publication
  • Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and boards of directors





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development