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R&D Internship: Zeolite Process & Sustainability

From our awareness about the importance of a responsible leather industry around the world, Smit & Zoon is continuously searching for sustainable solutions for the entire leather value chain. In the leather industry, R&D plays a crucial role in this search through developing chemistry into products suitable for leather processing. Nera is a young part of the Smit & Zoon company. The main focus area of Nera is the development, manufacturing of sustainable chemicals for the leather tanning process. To bring our new innovations to the market, our R&D team focusses on sustainable chemistries and technologies that make an impact.  We are currently looking for students with an interest for:

R&D Internship: Zeolite Process & Sustainability
Starting September 2021

Traineeship location:
The Nera R&D department consists of 4 chemists/chemical engineers and shares the facilities with Smit & Zoon R&D, totaling 20 persons, which are all involved either in product development, process development or analytical support, and the trainee is anticipated to be fulfilling the traineeship as a full member of the process development sub-team. The trainee is expected to work primarily from the R&D laboratory located on the Smit & Zoon production site in Amersfoort.

Traineeship assignments:
The R&D department has opportunities for trainees to participate in several of the ongoing projects.

In this Internship your assignment would be:

  • Study towards mixing process influence on zeolite powder properties and leather tanning performance

The objective of this internship project is to investigate the influence of the mixing process on the  characteristics of the products and to identify opportunities for improving these processes. The project involves building on existing knowledge and additional insights from literature. Besides, the activities involve lab trials and using various analytical techniques, such as DSC, TGA, to evaluate the production processes. The project can be focused on the interns interests and experiences of the intern. The project as such is part of process development activities that focus on supporting the Nera R&D team.

Background trainee:

  • HBO/University trainee
  • Chemistry, preferably Inorganic, and/or Chemical Engineering
  • Engaged to build knowledge and experience in the chemical industry
  • With an open mindset and a can-do attitude
  • Interested in working in an international operating family-owned company
  • Strong drive towards sustainability
  • Good communicator

Duration internship:
6-9 months, starting in September 2021

Amersfoort, Nederland
  Note that: This location can be reached via public transportation

What does Nera offer you:

  • Professional supervision providing valuable feedback on your performance
  • Opportunity to show your technical skills and interests
  • A competitive compensation during the traineeship
  • Smit & Zoon, occasionally and based on excellent performance, offers the opportunity to trainees to extend the traineeship

About Nera
Nera is a new player in the leather industry and a gamechanger with a new sustainable solution for leather tanning. Nera has introduced Zeology in October 2020, a whole new world for leather tanning. The zeolite-based tanning concept is truly sustainable and does not compromise on leather performance. It is just what you need to protect the Earth on the one hand, and still be able to create and use top quality leather for the manufacturing of premium leather goods, on the other.

Besides our focus on development, manufacturing of sustainable chemicals for the leather tanning process you also offer support for the organizational growth of Nera, one of the three subsidiaries of the holding Smit & Zoon. With the Nera products, the hides can be treated with a eco-friendly, healthier and more sustainable alternative for the tanning chemistries which are widely used at this moment.

In total Smit & Zoon employs about 350 engaged employees in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, China, India and Mexico. Smit & Zoon is a company with a clear focus and long-term vision. All of our team members are fully dedicated to make the leather value chain sustainable, in line with the vision of Smit towards 2025:

“To create a socially and environmentally sustainable leather supply chain”

In 2018 Smit & Zoon was awarded the EY Family business Legacy Award for entrepreneurship and adaptive skills in a turbulent and changing industry.

More information:
Do you want to jumpstart your inorganic chemical career and contribute to the chemical aspiration of Nera as an intern?

For more information about this internship or the Nera organization, please contact Robin van Rijssel (Corporate Recruiter) at +31 6 2836 4808.

Introduction of candidates by Recruitment agencies is neither appreciated nor wanted.


Have you become enthusiastic?
Send us your resume now and apply immediately.


Do you have any questions or would you like to know more about this position? Contact our Recruiter.

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