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  • Elkhart, IN

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R&D Project Engineer

Truck Accessories Group, LLC • Elkhart, IN

Posted 14 days ago

Job Snapshot

Travel - Up to 25%
Experience - At least 5 year(s)
Degree - 4 Year Degree
Industrial, Manufacturing
Engineering, Research, Manufacturing

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Job Description


Overall Responsibilities:

Provide leadership and accountability in executing fresh new product development ideas that will become reality.  The area of focus will be involved in developing the next generation of composite truck bed cover solutions along with mechanical part assemblies and/or significantly enhancing existing products for the automotive aftermarket industry.  This role requires a self-starter with a hands-on approach and the ability to work unaided making significant independent decisions building something new and exciting.  


Specific Responsibilities:

1.  Lead development of innovative product designs for new and/or significantly improved high performance composite products along with metal accessories and attachments, with particular focus on truck bed cover solutions for the automotive aftermarket industry.

2.    Identify/evaluate, in conjunction with sale & marketing and upper management, imaginative or creative solutions that address unmet needs that can improve the competitive position of the company. 

3.    Develop new product specifications such as:  final engineering models/drawings, bill of material, material specifications, performance/test plans and quality specifications.

4.   Organizes project needs and goals into clearly-defined deliverables, activities, and action items.  Develops project schedules & drives completion of project activities meeting deadline and budget. 

5.      Generate product prototypes and perform product testing for internal evaluation as well as for customer feedback.

6.     Develop and evaluate cost analysis for new and modified product concepts from design through production launch to maximize product value and competitiveness.

7.  Work with the plants to establish manufacturing procedures from first production run (launch) including analysis of dimensions, fit, function, and performance as well as identifying technical issues.

8.     Cross functional interaction:  lead project responsibilities for interface with cross functional team from sales/marketing, supply chain, engineering, operations and finance.

9.     Open minded.  Exhibits constructive, non-traditional thinking.  Produces many new and unique ideas.

10.  Sees and is able to define problems and find causes.  Proactively implements fixes and changes as needed to keep small problems from becoming big ones.

11.  Maintains focus and positive attitude amidst change and under pressure.  Relates will to people both verbally and in written form.  Builds rapport up, down, sideways, inside and/or outside organization. 

12.  Other duties as assigned or needed.

Job Requirements

Minimum Position Requirements:

1.  Bachelor’s degree in Engineering is required; BSME or BSMET preferred with an emphasis in Mechanical design Engineering. Composite material knowledge (resin, fiberglass) and manufacturing methods is a plus; open molding, vacuum bag molding, metal, etc. An advanced engineering degree is favorable.

2.  Five years or more of industrial experience in fiberglass-reinforced composite materials product design, development and testing are preferred.

3.  Experience in managing new product development from idea generation through commercialization and end of product life, working closely with production on in-process manufacturing.

4.  Proficient with the use of Solid-Works or other similar CAD programs, Microsoft Office Suite, (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). Must have excellent presentation skills.

5.  Ability to understand complex technical problems and explain complex technical problems in layman’s terms.

6.  Ability to work in a fast paced entrepreneurial environment while balancing competing priorities, complex situations, and tight deadlines.

7.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

8.  Strong project management skills. Accustomed to “figuring it out” and implementing improvement changes unaided.

9.  Must be self-motivated with strong desire for hands-on product development.

10.  Ability to travel is required. Estimated 25%.

11.  Excellent negotiation skills in challenging situations, both internally and externally.

12.  Mature judgment and decision making ability.

13.  Must work well with customers and within a cross-functional team environment.

14.  Work requires willingness to work a flexible schedule.

15.  Creative problem solver.

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