Competency Research Labs

Competency Research Labs

The Competency Research Labs staff is a group of engineers and scientists working in formulation, synthesis, processing, engineering, computation, and characterization. CRL's scientific experts work closely with our business teams to solve critical technical challenges. They are deeply involved in product and project understanding. The technical diversity of daily work in CRL exposes team members to Saint-Gobain's rich technologies while also allowing for deep engagement within chosen focus areas.



Functional areas


Advanced Characterization

NRDC Our advanced characterization experts use world-class tools


Our advanced characterization experts use world-class tools and develop new techniques to characterize an astonishing range of materials, products, and environments. Come to a research center where access to SEMs, AFMs, ICP's and other top-tier equipment enable the discovery of new insights in the world of materials science.

Materials Science

contribute your scientific understanding with our community of experts.


Saint-Gobain’s broad and deep knowledge in materials -- from polymers to ceramics, from crystals to fibers -- presents unmatched and exciting challenges for engineers working in formulation, processing, and characterization. We provide the opportunity to develop and to contribute your scientific understanding within a community of experts.



Digital and Computational

Saint-Gobain worldwide is committed to digital transformation


Saint-Gobain worldwide is committed to digital transformation. Our competencies in robotics drive automation in the lab and the factory. Our expertise in modeling and simulation deepen our understanding of materials and component performance and accelerate research through virtual experimentation.




CRL's processing laboratory is richly equipped with 3Dprinters in NRDC


CRL's processing laboratory is richly equipped with 3D printers, mixing and dispersion lines, a state-of-the-art coating tower and micro-molding and co-extrusion machines, all pushing the frontiers of materials design and smart manufacturing. We are developing new-to-the world products to solve customer problems and emerging needs.


Business partnerships


Fluid Systems Extractables Platform

Jinsheng CRL team member in china


The CRL group supports and works with multiple teams in Fluid Systems (FLS) and especially with Saint-Gobain Research Shanghai. We help FLS to be the “Industry Leader” of the extractable/leachable (E/L) validation platform for their BioPharma products (silicone, TPE, fluoropolymer, single use product, etc.) and to build an E/L database for all Saint-Gobain life science materials. This new platform increases the speed at which our important extractable results can be obtained.

Paul Rehrig

Meet Paul

R&D Manager, forming 3D printing


"I truly cherish the diversity at NRDC in terms of technical expertise, capabilities, and breadth of projects, but also cultural diversity, where approximately 30 nationalities are represented on one campus of approximately 350 people"


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The news

Saint-Gobain North American Inventor Recognition Dinner

Inventors at Saint-Gobain Research North America were recently honored for their patents at the 2019 North American Inventor Recognition Dinner. Those recognized at the dinner were Saint-Gobain employees in North America who were granted a patent within the last two years. 

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PhiZero: Bottom-Up Innovation at SGR North America

Saint-Gobain Research North America is winding up its 9th year of our internal PhiZero program. PhiZero is a program funded by Corporate R&D to foster bottom-up innovation. The program is run at different Saint-Gobain R&D centers globally to give employees at the centers a chance to take on projects they wouldn’t normally be able to or want to explore further. These projects range from business related challenges that have yet to be solved to entirely new product ideas.

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To Bag, or not to Bag, That is the Question Facing Cell Therapy Manufacturing

Scientists at Saint-Gobain Research North America recently published a review article in Transfusion, a collaborative effort with McGill University researchers. “Bags versus flasks: a comparison of cell culture systems for the production of dendritic cell–based immunotherapies”

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Saint-Gobain once again among the world’s TOP 100 most innovative companies

01/23/2019 - For the eighth consecutive year, Saint-Gobain has been named as one of the 100 most innovative companies and institutions, according to Clarivate Analytics’ “Top 100 Global Innovators” ranking for 2018.

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Nano One Signs Joint Development Agreement with Saint-Gobain

Saint-Gobain has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with Nano One, a technology company on a mission to change how the world makes battery materials. The agreement between the companies will focus on enhancing the high temperature processing of Nano One’s lithium ion battery materials. 

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Saint-Gobain Opens Materials Library at Greentown Labs

12/6/2018 - In continuation of Saint-Gobain’s partnership with Greentown Labs, the largest clean technology incubator in the United States, Saint-Gobain has opened the Materials Library at the Global Center for Cleantech Innovation. The Materials Library is a multi-use lab spacecreated to connect the Greentown community with the diverse technologies, experts and businesses of Saint-Gobain.

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The intersection of corporate and start-up innovation

11/29/2018 Saint-Gobain and Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech start-up incubator in the US, partnered to host a panel discussion and networking event to explore the intersection of corporate and start-up innovation.

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11/26/2018 - Saint-Gobain announces the launch of the "Transform & Grow" Program. The plan includes acceleration of portfolio rotation, new organizational structure and enhanced operating margin.

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Saint-Gobain panel discussion “Thinking Beyond an Engineering Degree: Tools for Successfully Navigating Your Career” at WE18

Saint-Gobain hosted a panel disucssion at the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) 2018 national conference on the subject “Thinking Beyond an Engineering Degree: Tools for Successfully Navigating Your Career”

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Presentation of Top Global Innovators Award

10/17/2018 - In 2017 Saint-Gobain was recognized for the seventh consecutive year as one of the 100 most innovative companies in the world by Clarivate Analytics.

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2018 MADMEC Winner: Fiat Flux

MADMEC's 2018 $10K grand prize went to student team "Fiat Flux," for a technology that uses light to clean water filtration systems in real time.

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Dr. Robert Hahn Visits the Higgins Grinding Technology Center

Over 30 years ago, Dr. Robert Hahn co-wrote the book on grinding technology; today we welcomed him to tour the Higgins Grinding Technology Center (HGTC) at the Saint-Gobain Northboro Research & Development center. The HGTC is dedicated to developing advanced grinding solutions for the world's leading manufacturers and continues to utilize many of the methodologies Dr. Hahn spent his career pioneering.

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Greentown Labs Opens Global Center for Cleantech Innovation with Support from Saint-Gobain

As a Founding Sponsor and one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions, Saint-Gobain made sustainable building material donations and plans to use the Center as a test site for its products to spur future innovation


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2018 North American Research and Development Orientation Seminar

For the past six years the North American Research and Development Orientation Seminar (NARDOS) has served as a training for all researchers new to the Northboro R&D Center in order to expose them to Saint-Gobain R&D. The seminar builds our R&D community by introducing researchers to the tools and mentors they have at their disposal throughout their career at Saint-Gobain. This year the thirty NARDOS participants were broken up in to teams and tasked with developing short films and presentations on this year’s focus: customer intimacy.

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Saint-Gobain again named one of the world's top-100 most innovative companies

Clarivate Analytics has just published its Top Global Innovators 2017 ranking. For the seventh time in a row, Saint-Gobain has been included in the 100 most innovative companies and institutions in the world, based on four patent-related metrics.

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Saint-Gobain NOVA launches new website geared toward startup companies

The NOVA team designed a dynamic new website that explains the various opportunities for startups to connect with Saint-Gobain, its family of companies and network of partners to grow their business.

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NRDC researchers collaborating with Université Laval

NRDC researchers Camila Garces and Nicolas Drolet presented collaborative work with Professor Gaetan Laroche of Université Laval at the 4th International Workshop on Plasma Surface Interactions in Orleans, France.

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Gifts for local kids from NRDC employees

NRDC employees give back to local families

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Diversity and Inclusion Day at NRDC

At Saint-Gobain we believe the best ideas are born when teams are given the opportunity to come together and work as one.

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2017 MADMEC Winner: A Salt Solution

MADMEC's 2017 $10K grand prize went to student team "A Salt Solution," for a low-cost hydrogel that extracts uranium from water to provide fuel for nuclear power plants.

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University Collaborations at NRDC Can Be a Sticky Business

NRDC researchers develop techniques for direct monitoring of cross-linking reactions.



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NRDC researching materials to protect US soldiers

11/12/2017 - Researchers at NRDC improve lightweight armor for military and police protection.

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Mixing Experts Symposium at Northboro R&D Center

10/19/2017 - NRDC hosts Saint-Gobain mixing experts from R&D and manufacturing

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Saint-Gobain sponsored a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) outreach event at Girls Inc

09/30/2017 -  Saint-Gobain sponsored a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) outreach event at Girls Inc. of Worcester. Volunteers from Saint-Gobain’s Northboro and Worcester locations organized a full-day of workshops on the topics of materials science, robotics, and career development.

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08/17/2017 - MADMEC semi-finals August 24 at MIT

Saint-Gobain, MIT, and Dow Chemical sponsor MADMEC student challenge for sustainability

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08/17/2017 - NRDC researcher wins Fulbright to study energy management aspects of Yurts in Mongolia

Kim Dupont-Madinier, R&D Designer for CertainTeed's Building Systems and Assemblies Design Platform, will take a year sabbatical from Northboro to research the energy management aspects of Mongolian Gers (Yurts) under a Fulbright scholarship.

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08/03/2017 - NRDC internal career fair helps employees discover opportunities

08/04/2017 - On August 3rd, NRDC hosted an internal career fair to highlight the many opportunities available across Saint-Gobain businesses.

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Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics by Tom Kinisky

The former President and CEO of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics brings more than 30 years of experience with Saint-Gobain to the role of President and CEO for Saint-Gobain North America.

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NRDC's Melanie Kuhn Key Speaker at Ceramics Expo 2017

R&D Group Leader Melanie Kuhn presented her team's research on coatings for high performance ceramics at the 2017 Ceramics Expo in Cleveland, Ohio, April 2017. 

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06/2017 - Tubing and Coatings Roundtable Includes NRDC R&D Manager

Adam Nadeau, Process Technology R&D Manager, participated in MDT's roundtable on tubings and coatings for medical devices.

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All the news