Paint and Coatings Engineer - Polymeric Substrates

Phoenix, Arizona


You’re passionate about a zero-emissions future and want to build something special. You want to own your space but work with talented, like-minded people on important projects. The pace doesn’t scare you; it excites you. Quality and integrity matter to you.

We feel exactly the same way.

Drive Forward. Introduce yourself to us and let’s start a conversation.

We are on the lookout for a Paint and Coatings Engineer - Polymeric Substrates to join our Vehicle Engineering team. 

In this role, you will have extensive experience in the testing and qualification of paints and coatings for polymers and polymer-based composites based upon specification requirements. This is a highly visible position within the company that will allow the candidate to significantly impact the selection of technologies and materials used to coat the surfaces of polymers and polymer composites for all Nikola applications. This role will report directly to the head of the Polymeric Materials group within the Materials and Processing Group.

Core Responsibilities and Day-to-Day Duties

  • Leverage experience to select paint and coating technologies for use in Nikola Motor Company applications.
  • Establish relationships with paint and coating suppliers to facilitate paint and coating selection and development for current and future Nikola projects.
  • Align paint and coating selection with Nikola’s sustainability and environmental impact goals.
  • Develop Nikola paint and coatings test and material specifications to drive towards best-in-class performance.
  • Keep abreast of paint and coating technologies and aesthetic properties that can be utilized in current and future projects within the company.
  • Source testing facilities to perform the stressing and testing of painted materials.
  • Work with test labs to perform paint and coating qualifications for polymeric substrates to be used in Nikola applications.
  • Write formal test reports based on the test results of candidate coated plastics.
  • Troubleshoot production-related painted part issues, and work with the part suppliers and Nikola Manufacturing to resolve the issue. Must be able to perform root cause analysis to identify the cause of any paint/coating issues and failures.
  • Be a primary interface with Design Studio, Supplier Quality, Nikola Motor Company product teams, and other groups within the company to meet the paint, coating, and aesthetic requirements on plastics for their respective deliverables.
  • Support other Materials and Processing group efforts, as required.

The Successful Candidate Will Have

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in polymer science, polymer engineering, materials science, or related technical discipline.
  • 5+ years of hands-on experience with the processing and testing of paints and coatings on polymeric materials.
  • Experience in testing towards ASTM, ISO, and other standards relevant to paints and coatings.
  • Knowledge of determining color, gloss, DOI, and other aesthetic properties.
  • Exceptional problem-solving skills to address the technical challenges of the position.
  • Ability to propose new materials, testing, and technologies outside of the those typically used in the auto industry.
  • Record of working with internal and external test labs for performing testing of painted and coated polymeric materials.
  • Flexibility to perform duties in a start-up environment where standard procedures and processes are still in development.
  • Ability to perform and adapt to a fast-paced work environment.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

    Candidates must have current U.S. work authorization or be TN eligible from Mexico or Canada.  This position is not eligible for CPT or OPT.

Equal Employment Opportunity statement (EEO)

Nikola Motor Company™ is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote without regard to race, color, age, sex, ancestry, marital status, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical condition, pregnancy, veteran status, genetic information or any other classification protected by state or federal law.

To all recruitment agencies: Nikola is not responsible for any fee related to unsolicited resumes from 3rd party staffing and recruiting agencies. No fee will be paid for candidates who apply and claim to be represented by an agency. Any unsolicited resumes, CVs, or other candidate information submitted by an agency will become the property of Nikola, and no fee will be paid in the event such candidate is hired.