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Purpose of the Role
The R&D/Data Science student internship has been running for a number of years and has become a critical component of our operations. Students split their time between leveraging data science techniques in order to improve our understanding of industrial raw materials and streamline our portfolio and processes, and working in the laboratory to test their predictions, improving old products, and even designing new ones.

The Opportunity:

  • Actively pursue an understanding of data science techniques and how they can be utilised in chemical and industrial processes
  • Spend one year working in a research environment, developing a strong knowledge of how different ingredients affect the properties of final products, and the interplay between them
  • Ideate with a focus on how we can aid in the solution of complex problems using data science, machine learning or AI
  • Learn about the newest technologies in cementitious chemistry, data science and AI
  • Design testing protocols and scrupulously adhere to them, ensuring that your data collection is consistent and complete

The Rewards:
You will be rewarded with a competitive salary, and a sweep of great benefits. We pride ourselves on our total reward package:

  • Holiday 25 days, plus bank holidays
  • Hybrid Working
  • Core Hours Working between 1000-1600
  • A company pension contribution of up to 10%
  • Private healthcare for you, with option to add family
  • Group life cover at 6x your annual salary
  • Global Income Protection (PHI)
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity pay
  • Staff discount platform & Cycle to Work scheme
  • Dedicated Service Awards for reaching key milestones
  • Selected discounted Sika products

The Support:
You will join the data science unit of Sika UK, which is nestled inside the greater R&D team. Your primary mentorship and supervisor will come from the members of the Data Science unit, but the R&D team will be constantly present, teaching you laboratory techniques and ensuring the social aspect of your hybrid working experience is not lost. The manager of R&D will be your senior line manager. Sika R&D operates under a no doors policy, meaning we are always available to talk.

The Skills:
Joining the R&D / DS team will give you an insight into the different worlds of industrial research, operational logistics and data science. You will come away with a multitude of new skills, in areas including data manipulation; the fundamentals of machine learning; knowledge of cementitious chemistry; understanding of standards and safe manufacturing processes, not to mention significant experience in laboratory and digital work. Each intern has been a success story, boasting achievements from designing new product lines to finding new raw materials that could revolutionise national industry. A significant commitment to professional and personal development from day one.

The Future:
The possession of deep knowledge in the topics of machine learning and data science is an invaluable skill in today's employment landscape. Moreover, despite their prevalence in logistics and manufacturing, such advanced techniques have yet to see sufficient permeation into industrial R&D, especially in the world of construction materials. The pairing of experience in both of these worlds sets you up excellently for a bright future.

Sua especialização - nossa força

  • You must be pursuing an undergraduate degree in a field strongly linked to chemistry or process engineering with a Year in Industry option
  • A strong willingness to learn about completely new, and perhaps unintuitive subjects
  • Mathematical fluency - a minimum of A-Level is preferred
  • Excellence in the presentation of complex topics and data to non-expert audiences
  • No prior coding skills are required, but they are appreciated
  • Good knowledge of standard laboratory practices, safety and etiquette

Sobre a Sika

Sika is a specialty chemicals company with a leading position in the development and production of systems and products for waterproofing, bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing, and protecting in the building sector and motor vehicle industry. Sika has subsidiaries in 101 countries around the world and manufactures in over 300 factories. Its more than 27,000 employees generated annual sales of CHF 9.3 billion in 2021.

The quality team at Preston are dedicated to ensuring our customers receive consistently performing products that they can rely on time and again. Our aim is to bring Quality 4.0 to life across our UK sites by powering the Lean Six Sigma methodology with Data Science.

About the role
The role centres around the investigation of cutting-edge data science techniques to drive operational efficiency and sustainability initiatives in the manufacture of cementitious products. As part of the R&D network, you will be instrumental in ensuring Sika's trajectory towards becoming the standout low-emissions, high-efficiency supplier of cement-based systems. As part of the data science team, you will experiment with and apply novel technologies, including generative AI such as large language models, to modernise the infrastructure of Sika.