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Sr. Research Engineer

Date: Nov 16, 2021

Location: Fontana, CA, US

Company: James Hardie

James Hardie Research

Our Global Research & Product Development (R&PD) teams are focused on market driven innovation to deliver high impact new products that enable future growth.  Our teams provide a continuous pipeline of innovative new products and technologies, while leveraging James Hardie’s core value propositions of durability and low maintenance.  Our role is to act as the technology pipeline for the global organization and ensure long-term performance of our products in current and future markets.  

Primary Purpose

We have an immediate opening for a Sr. Research Engineer for New Product Innovation.  As member of the Interiors New Product Innovation (NPI) Group, this role will coordinate day to day activities related to the New Production Innovation Process (Discovery, Concept Feasibility, Development, Implementation, Post-implementation). This includes activities related to, but not limited to, market feedback, product development, process development, production validation, manufacturing scale-up, commercialization testing and regulatory compliance. 

From product concept to post implementation - the role will manage the activities listed in the project timeline, monitoring the output of all project participants (including co-workers, contract manufacturers and consultants). 

The successful candidate will plan and implement specified and collaborative projects, particularly new product development projects, and keep them on schedule from start to completion date.  This role will be based in Fontana CA reporting to the Sr. Manager for New Product Innovation.  Projects will occur across all US operating plants and therefore require up to 50% travel during some stages of any given project.


  • Coordinate / manage all aspects within new product development project
  • Lead coordination, tracking, and reporting of multiple project schedules within a fast-paced product development environment
  • Responsible for organizing and driving all technical activities (R&PD, quality, manufacturing, engineering, commercial) related to the commercialization of new products; from customer interviews to mass production:
    • Support market research activities through timely development of prototypes at various scales (renderings, 3d rapid prototypes, full scale working models)
    • Act as the product expert in market research
    • Create the specification to product requirements based on Voice of Customer and Designed for Manufacture
    • Deliver technical solutions that meet above needs; and validate Customer Acceptance & Manufacturing Capability
    • Implement in current & new James Hardie manufacturing processes to enable product launch at scale and cost
  • Cross-functional consultation to provide product leadership amongst technology, engineering, manufacturing, marketing and commercialization professionals
  • Provide critical review of subject matter expert’s recommendations for equipment, process, and general line design as it relates to new products with particular focus around robust design, sustainable quality, and long-term operational cost.
  • Investigates, recommends, and implements new techniques, processes, and tool designs that enable new products.  Provides technical support and expertise during design, install, start-up, and preliminary production runs of new processes
  • Develop CER for pilot capability or new products; provide oversight of implementation schedule working with Central Engineering and subject matter experts to deliver against goals (examples include mechanical system checkout, equipment startup, and turnover to plant).
  • Troubleshoots problems with existing equipment that improves quality, yield or efficiency.
  • Critically review technical work product (capability studies, DOEs, stack-up tolerance reviews) and provide feedback to the product development team
  • Communicate project status & project risk within global Research & Development, across business functions and across multiple levels in the organization
  • Bring forth new product concepts by distilling market insights stemming from customer interactions and analysis of industry macro trends
  • Identify, prioritize and manage cross-functional initiatives to improve manufacturability & market acceptance of product
  • Coaching of junior team members in both technical and project management principles
  • Safety:

o     Apply 5S philosophy with R&D environments and all JH locations

o     Complete monthly OSHA mandated training

o     Ensure a safe work environment through good housekeeping and equipment operations

o     Promote safety culture by leading and participating in various safety initiatives

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Ability to apply in-depth knowledge and solid experience in engineering and/or scientific principles to execute project deliverables
  • Experience with market research feedback analysis principles with ability to convert consumer needs into critical to quality requirements: eg. Quality Function Deployment, House of Quality, KJ Analysis, Questionnaire design
  • Knowledge of lean manufacturing principles: eg. Kaizen, 6-Sigma, JIT, SMED, Theory of Constraints, etc.
  • Knowledge of technical risk, problem solving & decision-making tools: eg, FMEA, KT-Analysis, KJ Analysis, DOE
  • Ability to gain and share project insights with peers, leadership and stakeholders
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills with ability to interface effectively with others at all levels of the organization, ranging from senior vice presidents to manufacturing floor teams
  • Developed a familiarity with and ability to work in AutoCAD drawing software including the ability to view and print drawings and make changes. 
  • Proficient in communicating using 2D drafting / sketching tools; eg, product assemblies, concept sketching, stack-up tolerances, GD&T
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to communicate and listen effectively at all levels
  • Possess in-depth Project Management skills
  • Proficient in MS Excel, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Project
  • Self-motivated with high sense of urgency, resourcefulness and adaptability
  • Strong customer orientation
  • Teamwork spirit, continuous improvement and servant leader mind set

Education/Experience (Required)

  • Minimum: Bachelor's Degree in an Engineering discipline such as Mechanical, Product Design, Manufacturing, Industrial, Civil, Chemical, or other technical related fields.
  • This person must have extensive working knowledge of product design, functional specification and new product implementation in a high-volume manufacturing environment. Market-side experience in Product Introduction / Launches is preferable.
  • The ideal person should have 8+ years of managing product development workflows, product design and new process implementation in an industrial manufacturing environment.
  • Experience in precision machining, molding, or forming industry preferred.
  • Building products experience with interior products – flooring and/or walls would be beneficial
















Nearest Major Market: Fontana
Nearest Secondary Market: Los Angeles

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