Data Engineer - Materials Discovery Research Institute

Location US-IL-Northbrook
Job ID
# of Openings
Job Category
Information Technology


NFP UL Research Institutes

At UL, we know why we come to work.

The Material Discovery Research Institute (MDRI), of Underwriters Laboratories Research Institutes, is recruiting a Data Engineer. This position is located in our Skokie, IL labs.


In this role, the Data Engineer will design, develop, maintain and scale the data infrastructure ensuring the availability, reliability, and efficiency of data pipelines. The Data Engineer assists in shaping the organization’s data strategy and empowering data-driven decision-making to maximize impact.


At Underwriters Laboratories, we wake up every day with a common purpose: to make the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place. Science is in our DNA; we are endlessly curious and passionate about seeking and speaking the truth. We take delight in knowing that our work makes a meaningful contribution to society, and we are proud that our culture is centered on integrity, collaboration, inclusion and excellence. Underwriters Laboratories stands at the forefront of technological advancement, and we are continually challenged to find new ways to foster innovation and positive change. Satisfying? Yes. Exciting? Absolutely!


UL has COVID-19 protocols and policies in place to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and clients. Effective November 1, 2021, the company mandates that employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment (except where prohibited by law), subject to reasonable accommodation as required by law. 

What you’ll learn & achieve:

  • Design, build, maintain and scale robust data architecture to collect, process, and store data from various sources (e.g., databases, APIs, external data providers).
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to understand data requirements and translate them into efficient ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes.
  • Develop, monitor and optimize data pipelines to ensure data accuracy, completeness, and timeliness.
  • Develop and manage data warehousing solutions to enable seamless data access and analysis. Implement data modeling and schema design best practices to support analytics and reporting needs.
  • Ensure data security and compliance with relevant regulations (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA).
  • Integrate disparate data sources to create a unified and comprehensive view of the organization's data. Implement data quality checks and data cleansing processes to maintain data integrity.
  • Maintain comprehensive documentation of data pipelines, data sources, and data transformations. Create and update data dictionaries and metadata repositories to facilitate data discovery and understanding.
  • Identify and address performance bottlenecks in data processing and storage systems. Implement caching and indexing strategies for efficient data retrieval. Collaborate with data analysts, data scientists, and business stakeholders to understand their data needs and provide support in accessing and utilizing data.
  • Provide technical support and troubleshooting for data-related issues.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

What makes you a great fit:

  • Proven history or developing, maintaining, and scaling a data architecture.
  • Proficiency in programming languages such as SQL, Python, R, Java and C#.
  • Experience with non-relational databases such as MongoDB and Cassandra
  • Knowledge of data integration tools and ETL frameworks (e.g., Apache NiFi, Apache Beam, Talend).
  • Familiarity with cloud platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure, Google Cloud)
  • Well-versed in operating systems such as UNIX, Linux and Windows
  • Understanding of data governance, security, and compliance best practices.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and attention to detail.
  • Strong communication skills to convey complex technical concepts to both technical and non-technical stakeholders.

Experience and Education Requirements

  • Bachelor's or degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or a related field.
  • Minimum years of experience as a Data Engineer, with expertise in data pipeline and data architecture development and data warehousing.
  • Experience in extracting, cleaning, preparing, and modeling data.
  • Experience integrating data from third party sources (ex. External databases, data generated by equipment etc.)

What you’ll experience working at UL:

  • Mission: For UL, corporate and social responsibility isn’t new. Making the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place has been our business model for the last 129 years and is deeply ingrained in everything we do.
  • People: Ask any UL employee what they love most about working here, and you’ll almost always hear, “the people.” Going beyond what is possible is the standard at UL. We’re able to deliver the best because we employ the best.
  • Interesting work: Every day is different for us here as we eagerly anticipate the next innovation that our customers’ create. We’re inspired to take on the challenge that will transform how people live, work and play.
  • Grow & achieve: We learn, work and grow together with targeted development, reward and recognition programs as well as our very own UL University that offers extensive training programs for employees at all stages, including a technical training track for applicable roles.
  • Total Rewards: All employees at UL are eligible for bonus compensation. We offer a generous 401k matching structure of up to 5% of eligible pay. Additionally, we invest an additional 4% into your retirement saving fund after your first year of continuous employment. We provide Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts and Health Savings Accounts that UL contributes to twice per year! Depending on your role, you can work with your manager on flexible working arrangements. We also provide employees with paid time off including vacation, holiday, sick and volunteer time off.

Learn More:

UL Research Institutes is an affiliated nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing safety science research through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being.


Our wholly owned subsidiary, UL Inc., advances our shared public safety mission. We fund our work through grants, the licensing of standards documents and the business activities of UL Inc., which conducts testing, verification and certification, and provides training and advisory services, along with data-driven reporting and decision-making tools for customers around the world.


To learn more, visit our websites and


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