Research Associate - Centre for Turf Innovation

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Read About Sapca

Location: The Netherlands – Nijverdal
Company: TenCate Grass
Education: University degree or higher

TenCate Grass is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of synthetic turf components and the design of synthetic turf systems for sports applications such as football, hockey, rugby, tennis and many other sports, as well as for landscaping and leisure.

Our activities span the full value chain, starting with the manufacturing of grass fibres and backing, through the manufacturing of tufted, woven and hybrid turf carpet up to and including installation and maintenance of sports surfaces and landscaping projects. This allows us to take full responsibility for the quality and integrity of our products and systems, thereby ensuring full customer satisfaction. This is consistent with our ambition to be the best supplier in our industry.

TenCate is a true global player, with manufacturing plants in North America, Europe, the Middle East and in Asia Pacific. Our direct sales presence in many countries is supported by strong relationships with partners in others.

CTI (Centre for Turf Innovation) is a new research and development initiative from TenCate Grass. The centre has been created to support the next generation of synthetic turf systems and to improve our understanding of their performance. We are creating a new position of Research Associate to support our growing investment into R & D. You will work closely with members of the CTI team, other areas of the TenCate Grass Group, our clients and partners. You will report to the R & D Director of Turf Systems.

What will the job involve?

As Research Associate you will be responsible for the planning, execution and delivery of our research and development activities. These will include a wide range of topics covering may different fields (e.g. material science, civil engineering, biomechanical, etc…). The role will require managing a range of projects simultaneously and to tight deadlines. Given the holistic nature of the work undertaken at CTI you will need to work closely with your colleagues at the centre but also with other departments within TenCate Grass and our partners including Universities, Sports Governing Bodies, Clients and Suppliers.

Some of the main tasks will include:

  • Delivery of our innovation priorities
  • Supporting product development including new products and improvements to our existing portfolio
  • Research new and emerging technologies for use within our turf systems
  • Supporting our sustainability initiatives to lead the market in green technologies
  • Linking between other TenCate Grass companies and departments to get the right people and skills involved in research projects
  • Support ongoing research activates with our partners including academia and professional sports clubs
  • Support other members of CTI in testing and validation of our products to industry norms including FIFA, World Rugby, FIH and many others
  • Development of novel equipment to test and validate our new products

Who are we looking for?

You will be a key part of one of the most important departments of our company. You are a driven person, forward thinking and outward looking. You are inquisitive and always looking for new trends and developments.

You should be able to use your own initiative to drive forward our research and development agenda thinking in solutions not problems.

A sound understanding of research methods, principles and planning is essential. Experience in this area is important. Critical scientific literacy is essential as is the production of high-quality reports. We are not expecting you to have all the answers or be an expert in many of the topics or our projects, but you should have the acumen to search out expertise (in-house or externally) to help deliver our goals.

Besides this, you have the following profile and qualifications:

  • University degree in science, engineering or technology (essential)
  • Experience of working in an R & D lab is preferable
  • Building collaborative internal and external relationships
  • Excellent social and communication skills
  • Fluent in English including verbal and written

Note: existing knowledge and expertise in synthetic turf is not considered essential for this role.

Our offer

You are challenged to work within a dynamic organisation in a fast-changing environment. You will be surrounded by colleagues with passion for our business. We highly encourage new ideas, out of the box thinking and ambition to be the best at what we do. You will have the opportunity to contribute to this and to be part of the future success of TenCate Grass.

It goes without saying, that a compensation package consummate with the role and your expertise will be offered and an employment agreement for an indefinite period are also part of our offer.

The role will be predominantly based out of our head office in Nijverdal at the new CTI laboratory, but some national and international travel will be required.


Then apply for the job by sending your application to Marlinda Timmerman, HR Manager:

Informal discussions are welcome direct to Colin Young, Research and Development Director Turf Systems:

Applications from agencies will not be accepted.