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Director, Engineering in Philomath, Oregon at Sea-Bird Electronics

Philomath, OR, USA | SCIEX

  • Industry:
    Pharmaceutical / Biotech
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
Job Description:
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As the Engineering Director, you have a passion for developing people and process. You will set the tone for excellence in design, sustainment, compliance, and cross-function collaboration in support of accelerating the understanding of natural waters.

Sea-Bird Scientific's strength is the fusion of science and technology. You are an advocate for innovation, identifying best practices and new technologies, aligned with strategic initiatives, that will benefit the scientific community we serve. You understand engineering for oceans. 

This position can be based out of either of the Sea-Bird Scientific sites in Bellevue, WA or Philomath, OR and will have direct reports at both sites. 

Essential Functions: 

People & Talent Management: 

Develop and mentor direct reports and team members to reach their next career goals and to increase understanding of customer expectations and operating environments

Build and develop a highly-engaged, high-performing, growth-oriented organization

Ensure the team is doing the right things (focusing on the critical few) and doing things right (applying applicable processes from our DBS toolkit to reduce friction) 

Communicate and implement business vision and strategies to the team by linking business strategy to specific functional responsibilities through roadmaps, organizational town halls and regular staff communications 

Motivate associates to perform at their highest levels

Work closely with internal functional teams across a wide breadth of the organization including marketing, sales, service, support, product management, science, technology and operations

Innovation & Growth

Lead, and own the outcomes of, several sub-functions with approximately 25 associates:

Fast Engineering – enabling us to meet our commitments to our customers by ensuring that our designs are current and compliant; able to quickly tackle valuable customer fly-in requests

New Product Development – engineering new innovative instruments with the highest field reliability, accuracy and precision; delivering on time and per specifications

Software – developing and sustaining superior software that enables ease in data collection, collaboration, and predictive analysis

Project Management – leading and cultivating the cross functional project teams that autonomously work to deliver on-time and per specifications; removes barriers and ensures milestones are met

Maintain Sea-Bird Scientific's "Gold Standard"; ensuring our instrument designs deliver: 

Stability and Accuracy: We provide products that are stable over extended periods of time, and best-in-class accuracy that lets customers do more with their data

Field Reliability: Our products perform even in extremely harsh field conditions

Serve as a co-practitioner with our customers and Science team to provide data quality that exceeds requirements for understanding climate-level change in our oceans

Ensure teams implement use of leading-edge technology where beneficial; keeping pace with revolutionary and innovative trends in their fields

Accelerate new product development ensuring that we are meeting product development requirements, meeting product and project cost goals, quality objectives, and time-to-market objectives

Partner with Product Management, Science and our senior leadership team to define priority of our product and technology roadmaps (e.g., Early Technology, New Product Development, and Sustainment)

Develop (or co develop), where needed, and oversee processes for key activities such as: 

Allocation of technical resources across projects and prioritization of work

Hand offs from R&D to Operations, Service and Support, and Commercial

Knowledge transfer to ensure bench strength as it relates to key technologies

Program management of assessing and progressing readiness levels of early technologies

Ensure design compliance is followed to all applicable standards such as ISO, UL/CSA, ROHS, GHS, etc.

Partner with Operations, Service, Support, Technology, Science, Marketing, and Sales, to ensure we are designing with our customers, manufacturability and service / support in mind 

Other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree in engineering or similar technical discipline required; Master’s or PhD highly desirable

People leader; management of technical personnel desirable

Developing a product and bringing it to market.

Developing embedded microprocessor-based products

Developing sensors and data telemetry systems

Familiarity with CAD tools in general, specifically: Orcad schematic capture, PADS Layout PCB layout, Solidworks, Matlab

Familiarity with typical software (or equivalent software) such as Microsoft Office, JIRA and Confluence

Understanding of product compliance requirements: CE, ROHS 3, Lithium battery shipping

Other Related Experience:

Experience with Oceanographic / Water Quality instrumentation including physical oceanographic sensors and biogeochemical sensors 

Experience with high-precision electronics 

Experience with mechanical engineering in harsh environments

Experience with embedded software in low power systems

Key Competencies:

Strong problem-solving and analytical skills; able to leverage the knowledge of subject matter experts to come to a point of view and navigate a path forward

Strong process orientation

Solution orientated perspective, able to identify multiple options regardless of constraints

Cross functional collaboration, understanding that we win when we play and work well together

Managerial courage to encourage sharing of dissenting opinions, enriching discussions so that the best solution is developed

Ability to travel to both our locations, support conferences, meet with customers, and other business needs as required, with travel estimated at 10-25% of time

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