Research and Development Engineer

  • Augusta (Richmond County)
  • Fixed-Term
  • Full-time

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Aurubis – metallurgy is our passion. We are a leading global multi-metal company and one of the largest copper recyclers worldwide. We process complex metal concentrates, scrap metals, and metal-bearing recycling materials into metals of the highest purity. These metals serve as the basis for key megatrends such as digitalization, renewable energies, e-mobility, and urbanization. Aurubis has about 7,200 employees, production sites in Europe and the US, and an extensive worldwide distribution system. Join our team and promote progress together with us!

Research and Development Engineer

Your Tasks

Job Summary:

As the on-site Senior Research and Development (R&D) Engineer at Aurubis Richmond, you will be an integral part of the Productions team. While leading the research and development team, your role involves the development and design of new processes while enhancing existing ones. Through the exploration of metallurgical and mathematical models, you will identify significant improvements in production processes spanning commercial, energy, and other domains. Your responsibilities include engineering research, data collection, sample testing, and the management of key R&D projects, contributing to strategic initiatives and investment decisions.



  • Scientifically plan, execute, control, and evaluate experiments.
  • Ensure compliance with Aurubis environmental, health, and safety standards, including risk assessments and preparation of operating instructions.
  • Draft patents, monitor competition, and ensure freedom-to-operate for new technologies.
  • Lead optimization and debottlenecking tasks in collaboration with production managers to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance product quality.
  • Develop flowsheet scenarios to model the impact of new processes on existing material flows.
  • Generate creative ideas for the use of new technologies or methods at Aurubis.
  • Conduct competitor analyses and scout new technologies in adjacent value chains.
  • Act as a key contact for metallurgical and mathematical process developments across the Aurubis Group.
  • Contribute to fostering an international business and innovation culture.
  • Prepare profitability assessments of projects and analyze potential projects.
  • Collaborate with universities, research institutes, and external partners for process or product optimization and development.
  • Provide technical management for assigned personnel in project contexts.
  • Create plant and process specifications.
  • Design, plan, construct, and operate test facilities on a laboratory and pilot scale.
  • Utilize experience gained from R&D concepts in the basic and detail engineering of production plants.
  • Conceive, plan, and implement prototypes.
  • Develop and implement new mathematical methods and strategies for Group-wide use.
  • Collaborate on projects using mathematical methods to support investment decisions.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Your Profile


  • Minimum of 3 years of work experience.
  • Excellent expert knowledge in modeling, advanced analytics, pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical, or electrometallurgical processes.
  • Understanding of non-ferrous industry processes, their economic and technological assessment, and knowledge of Aurubis products.
  • In-depth knowledge and use of expert systems such as Factsage/HSC/MPE.
  • Additional experience in dynamic process modeling, mathematical modeling, optimization, or data science using AIMMS, MATLAB, Python, C++, or comparable languages.
  • Experience with ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18001/ISO 45001 is a plus.

Special Soft Skills Needed

  • Must be highly organized and detail oriented.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet tight deadlines.
  • work independently and as part of a team, with a proactive attitude and a willingness to take on new challenges.
  • Individual must thrive in a fast-paced environment in which he/she must be strategic yet tactical.
  • Able to speak persuasively in positive or negative situations.
  • Ability to portray customer, business, and solution focused leadership.
  • Exhibits a strong work ethic– willingness to do what it takes to get the job done.
  • Proven commitment to change and continuous improvement.
  • Exceptional communication skills – includes listening, leadership style, speaking, etc. to effectively communicate targets and goals to his/her team.
  • Must possess the ability to receive and give constructive feedback.
  • Capability to clearly present information and obtain others’ buy-ins.
  • The ability to provide direction and guidance to a group of people.
  • Must possess strong analytical and problem-solving ability, with affinity for resourcefulness, and self-driven entrepreneurial style.
  • Proven ability to motivate teams and manage conflict effectively.
  • The ability to act decisively and solve staff or equipment related problems.
  • Possess a mindset that embraces challenge and change.
  • Passion for metals in general and for project results in specific as well as clear willingness for self-development.
  • Must be able to motivate employees, exchange ideas and expectations in a productive manner, learn to be an adaptable and relatable leadership figure to others.
  • Ability to promote win-win outcomes in the workplace


  • University degree in metallurgy, process engineering, chemistry, mathematics, or equivalent; PhD or postdoc desirable.

Physical Requirements

  • Varying periods of time sitting at a desk and working on a computer – some may be prolonged periods.
  • Must be able to perform the following: walking, standing, climbing, pulling, pushing, carrying, grasping, using hand-to-finger movement, balancing, reaching, twisting, turning, and stooping for most of every day. 
  • May occasionally be required to reach with hands and arms; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • Ability to walk and/or stand for extended periods of time.
  • Good physical condition with the ability to lift to 50 lbs. occasionally.
  • Good hand/eye coordination, motor skills, 20/20 corrected vision and hearing within the normal range. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
  • There will be prolonged periods of standing and walking in the plant daily.
  • Ability to travel throughout facility as required to conduct safety inspections.
  • Ability to respond quickly and efficiently to all safety needs on the floor or in the office areas.
  • Must wear all required PPE when in protected areas.
  • Willing to some (overnight) travel domestically and/or internationally.

We Offer

  • Up to $100k
  • 401(k) with company match
  • Dental Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • STD
  • LTD
  • Competitive Vacation Plan
  • ...and more!

What does Aurubis stand for? Take a look here!

Aurubis is an employer that stands for diversity and equal opportunity. Employment decisions are made regardless of national or ethnic origin, religion and belief, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, mental and physical impairment and social origin or any other legally protected characteristics of an individual.