Design Engineering Manager


Posted: 09/23/2020

Our client is a global aerospace company that works within the commercial and defense industries to manufacture and overhaul aerospace structures, components and systems.


The Design Engineering Manager will lead a multi-disciplinary engineering team through the design of complex products for major aerospace & defense customers. This position will play a key role in cultivating a highly accountable and performance-driven team that continuously delivers high integrity designs on-time and on-budget.
  • Act as a champion and change agent in driving a proactive engineering culture focused on alignment, efficiency, and accountability.
  • Lead the Design Engineering team with a focus on ensuring designs produced by the team comply with current customer and regulatory requirements, are aligned with the standard Phase Gate Process (SRR, PDR, CDR, etc.) and meet all program commitments.
  • Ensure the design engineering team is a proactive partner and change agent in driving program execution and improving business operations by thinking critically about business problems, developing easy-to-implement solutions and clearly communicating them to business partners.
  • Interface with customers and suppliers in support of program objectives, including actively participating in internal and external customer design reviews.
  • Maintain ownership of progress and status of program design engineering activity, ensuring proactive program status updates to management.
  • Engage in hands-on leadership of struggling programs as necessary to minimize impact to the customer, cost and schedule. 
  • Develop and build a diverse and talented team to support the team’s success and ability to deliver on business and customer commitments. Build on the existing team’s skillset through training, experiential roles and development plans.
  • Improve efficiency and work habits within the engineering group through the evaluation, selection, and improvement of design engineering tools and methods.
  • Implement high quality technical reporting and an accurate scheduling process. Facilitate and lead the design engineering team’s communication and negotiation of cost, schedule and technical budgets.
  • Work in close collaboration and partnership with partners in Manufacturing Engineering, Quality, Manufacturing, Procurement and Program Management.
  • In partnership with Program Management and Business Development teams, support proposal preparation through layouts, preliminary design, estimates and SOW input.
  • Support AS9100 procedure rollouts and updates, as well as audits.  Lead the process and product improvement efforts, documenting and standardizing methods.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering is required, a Master’s degree is preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years progressive engineering experience within aerospace, mechanical or structural design and analysis is required. 
  • Expertise driving design and drawing release; mechanical, structural, dynamic analysis;  materials, processing and finish selection; specification interpretation and preparation; manufacturing support; testing and failure analysis; evaluation of new tools and methods; vendor selection; business systems; product improvement and customer interface is required.
  • Demonstrated experience developing statements of work in collaboration with customers and a cross-functional team is required.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple design engineering projects simultaneously, including scheduling and delegating work packages is required.
  • Experience directly or indirectly leading a professional and multi-disciplinary engineering team which delivers consistent and tangible results is required.
  • Experience in design tools such as CREO, CATIA, and SolidWorks are required. Experience with PLM systems, data management and Windchill is preferred.
  • Proven ability to collaborate broadly across all levels of a highly matrixed organization to achieve results with cross-functional teams, including with internal and external customers, peers and executive leaders is required.
KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS (in the first 6 to 12 months in this position)
  • Develop a comprehensive knowledge and personally own all aspects of the Design Engineering organization and performance.  Establish strong leadership credibility, confidence and rapport with the design engineering team, peers, leadership team and customers.
  • Complete an assessment of the design engineering process, tools, people and structure. Develop and implement vision and tactical plan to deliver a tangible shift in culture and performance to consistently achieve program(s) cost, schedule and design quality commitments. This includes the evaluation and expansion of engineering KPI’s and setting a standard cadence of communication with key stakeholders.
  • Improve the performance and capabilities of the team through thoughtful assessment of existing talent and organizational structure.  Make recommendations for improvements that will ensure sustained success of the team and continued growth and development of employees.
  • A self-driven leader who holds themselves and their team accountable.
  • Proven ability to lead a team of direct or indirect professionals.
  • Must be organized and detailed-oriented and show ability to manage multiple priorities.
  • Ability to effectively explain complex principles and systems.
  • Ability to negotiate with internal or external customers using strong interpersonal skills, both written and verbal.