Senior Propellant Chemist

Company Info
ARC Automotive
Knoxville, TN, United States

Phone: 15178818243
Web Site:

Company Profile


Senior Propellant Chemist


Knoxville, TN 

Job ID:


Job Description:


Responsible for managing organization propellant activities inclusive of formulation, application, process, and supplier development.  Also provides general chemical expertise in support of production operations and general company issues.
B.S., M.S. or PhD. in chemistry with a minimum of thirteen (13) years experience in propellant chemistry with significant experience in automotive airbag gas generants.  Experience working with manufacturing groups from paper concept to production (raw material suppliers, propellant manufacturers, and applications).  Knowledge of automotive safety systems requirements, design, and development desired.  Experience analyzing data based on statistical methods and a strong working knowledge of experimental analytical methods required.
  1. Develops new or improvements of propellant and energetic materials used in automotive airbag applications.
  2. Formulates propellants (fuel, oxidizer, binder, etc.) based on the applications requirements (gas output, flame temperature, autoignition temperature, or other feature) and the supply base manufacturing capabilities.  Performs trade studies and preliminary analyses of gas generating materials in support of inflator development.
  3. Works with suppliers to develop the appropriate analytical and acceptance procedures, specifications, and test methods.
  4. Develops procedures, specifications, methods, and test plans (analytical, hazards, compatibility, etc.) in support of material validations and discrepancy analyses.
  5. Conducts material testing and provides training to technicians and suppliers.  Performs data analysis and documents findings.
  6. Resolves issues involving the current production and developmental energetic materials and propellants such as pressed propellants, autoignition materials and extruded propellants.
  7. Supervises development efforts conducted by the company’s gas generant suppliers.
  8. Creates development plans, statements of work (SOW), and designs of experiments (DOE). 
  9. Reviews government and university literature, patents and current relevant practices and provides recommendations on applications and development activities.  Participates in decision making regarding development priorities and provides information on feasibility of prospective projects.  Provides recommendation on the handling, storage, and shipping of energetic materials.
  10. Conducts benchmarking efforts on competitors’ products.
  11. Supports and maintains corporate chemical information for Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and other similar documents.
  12. Manages the Advanced Engineering lab.
  13. Performs other job-related duties as assigned.


  1. Ability to communicate both verbally and written.
  2. Ability to multi-task
An equivalent combination of experience and training directly related to the position, which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities, may be substituted.
Work will take place in a combination office/plant environment. Employees may be required to be on-call, work weekends, holidays, and travel overnight on occasion. While performing the duties of this job, employees may be exposed to mechanical or chemical processes requiring the use of personnel protective equipment
These are considered essential duties and are illustrative of those job tasks, which are fundamental.  Employees may be required to perform additional related duties as may be assigned by management.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.