Material Science Project Manager

at EarthEnable Uganda
Location Jinja, Uganda
Date Posted September 3, 2019
Category Management
Job Type Full-time
Currency UGX


Who We AreAt Earth Enable, we believe that our clients deserve our very best, that morning high-fivesare the best way to start the day, and that the best ideas can come from any part of the company. We celebrate each other’s wins, learn from our setbacks, and are deeply proud of the impact we make every day. We believe that a clean, dust-free floor means more than living in a healthy home. It means pride and dignity in the place where our customers most treasure: their homes. Being a part of our team means more than building floors: it means building an organization and building a better future for rural families.

What We Do Earth Enable is transforming the way people live, by making homes healthier for families across rural Rwanda. 80% of Rwandans live in homes with dirt floors which are dusty,unsanitary, and fertile breeding grounds for parasites and germs. While replacing a dirt floor with concrete has significant health benefits (e.g. reducing diarrhea by 50% and parasitic infections by 80%), concrete is un affordable for many who need it.

Earth Enable addresses this pressing and ubiquitous problem by selling high-quality,earthen floors that are 80% cheaper than concrete with 90% less embodied energy.Earthen floors are already prevalent in modern homes in the United States and are composed of natural materials (gravel, clay, sand, and laterite). Earth Enable trains and hires local masons to install the floors which are sealed using a proprietary drying oil that makes them waterproof, strong, and polished. In our first 3 years of operations,Earth Enable has installed over 400,000 square feet of flooring and employed over 100Rwandese staff (and generated jobs and income for an additional 100 masons).

About the Role

The Material Science Project Manager will be responsible for overseeing research efforts to improve our existing flooring product as well as innovate and develop new healthy housing products that continue to improve the health and livelihoods of rural communities. He or she will work closely with the Global Director of Sales & Marketing to identify key customer pain points and develop and drive a clear research agenda to maintain Earth Enable’s leading edge in the rural flooring industry. The Project Manager will then integrate key learnings and product innovations into the company’s operating model to drive continued growth and success in the long-term.

The responsibilities of this role will include, but certainly not be limited to

Identify Key R&D Needs

●Meet with clients and analyze other sources of feedback and data to identify product failures and product components or attributes that need improvement

●Work with the Global Director of Sales & Marketing to understand what drives perceived value in clients, in order to prioritize various initiatives in the R&D pipeline

●Work with country Managing Directors to ensure synergy between business and client needs

Develop Research Agenda

●Recruit a scientific advisory board to advise and support research agenda development

●Develop research agenda by weighing priorities and considering criteria such as: potential for impact, cost-benefit, and likelihood of success

●Allocate resources from the R&D budget towards this pipeline of research projects

●Create a decision trees to present to management that indicate next steps based on broad research outcomes of every project

Execution Against R&D Agenda and partnership management

●Hire team of engineers and/or scientists necessary to execute on there search agenda, many primarily volunteering 3-6 months

●Lead and oversee team to ensure quality research methods and outputs

●Ensure team creates comprehensive research protocols, and ensure rigorous execution and analysis on parts of agenda

●Self-execute components of the larger product improvement in line with personal area of specialty

●Track and push forward multiple research projects simultaneously

●Develop partnerships with external stakeholders (e.g., partnerships with universities and corporate bio-resin and flooring labs for research we cannot do-in-house) to outsource aspects of our R&D

●Closely manage external partnerships to ensure steady progress, lead innovations to get field tested, and provide feedback on their success or failure


●2+ years work experience, preferably having led R&D projects preferably within a company

●Master’s degree in chemistry, polymer chemistry, materials science, or another applied science

●Ability to be creative, strategic, analytical, and think outside the box to solve problems

●Excellent attention to detail, commitment to excellence, and outstanding work ethic

●Experience with partnership management or working with short-term consultants

●Flexible and adaptable to changing environments; thrives in aboot strapped culture

●Optimistic attitude, entrepreneurial spirit, curiosity to learn new things

●Ability to work on a variety of tasks at the same time, and keep track of a variety of work streams

●Humble and patient team-player with a sense of humor

Applying Instructions

Apply online at

or drop your CV

at our office in Wakitaka center past

the Mosque in Mafubira Sub-County,

Jinja District.

In your cover letter, please state what excites you most about this role, and what you think will be most challenging about it.

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