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Principal Design Engineer - St. Louis, MO

Date: Jun 11, 2021

Location: St Louis, MO, US

Company: GKN Aerospace Careers

About Us

GKN Aerospace is the world's leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier. With 51 manufacturing locations in 14 countries, we serve over 90% of the world”s aircraft and engine manufacturers. We design and manufacture innovative smart aerospace systems and components. Every time you travel by air almost anywhere in the world, it is likely that GKN is helping you on your way.

We are looking for people who want to make a difference, talented members with the skills and passions to become the best of the future in what they do.

Job Summary

Principal Design Engineer must be able to support a wide range of technical projects and proposals with minimal guidance in the following areas of expertise: transparencies, composites, composite tooling, missile systems, fixed wing and empennage structure. Proven prior experience in one or more of these fields is strongly preferred. The ability to obtain a US Government secret clearance is preferred. Principal Design Engineer will be providing the technical support to provide technical expertise/input and validation (multiple) project teams in order to support the development and integration of technical solutions compliant with all relevant customer, regulatory, and airworthiness requirements, within agreed program, schedule, and manufacturing constraints. Principle Design Engineer reports hierarchically and functionally to the CoC Manager and operationally to the Chief Engineer or Engineering Team Lead (of the same Program). In case no Chief Engineer or Engineering Team Lead is deployed to the project or program, the Principle Design Engineer will report operationally to the Program Manager.

Job Responsibilities

  • Provide technical expertise/input and validation to technical solutions and compliance documentation to multiple projects to ensure they are compliant with all relevant customer, regulatory, and airworthiness requirements, within agreed program, schedule, and manufacturing constraints.
  • Assist Team Lead or Chief Engineer in the execution of the Engineering Deliverables meeting the applicable Technical Requirements (including Manufacturability, Certification / Qualification Requirements) against agreed Schedule and Cost Objectives.
  • Identify, analyse, and resolve technical problems and provide support in applying/integrating/approving solutions.
  • Role will utilize a diverse range in skill, knowledge, and expertise potentially across a broad range of metallic or composite structures
  • Develop, propose, execute, and/or verify methods plans, toolsets and approaches that are appropriate and compliant to achieve the design and programme objectives.
  • Analyse customer requirements, define and approve the associated technical solutions as input for bids and proposals within assigned programmes/projects. Check/Approve Preliminary Means of Compliance to the customer requirements.
  • Identify and assess technical risk and propose mitigations relevant to multiple assigned programmes/projects.
  • Check/approve test specifications/plans and/or alternate means of compliance (analysis/similarity) as required to demonstrate design solution complies with certification requirements.
  • Define the best approach to design in compliance to the cost and manufacturing requirements using appropriate techniques for design such as Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) and design to cost.
  • Help recognize and evaluate potential systems, products, and process failures utilizing Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (DFMEA)
  • Define the best approach to achieve design definitions of programs, including integration, interfaces, dimensions, materials, parts, manufacturing process requirements, assemblies, and tolerances which are compliant to all design requirements and objectives.
  • Review and sign as appropriate the assigned project deliverables, documents, and reports as required within limits of signature authorizations.
  • Mentor and development of engineers within assigned programmes.
  • Support with the creation and delivery of training material and initiatives relevant to a knowledge area.
  • Initiate, support, create and participate in technical and customer reviews, including formal gate reviews, including the creation and preparation of technical data and presentations of (multiple) programmes.
  • Verify documentation such as concessions and non-conformances, and provide technical support by implementing solutions to address non-conforming products, designs, and compliance documentation.
  • Perform all activities at a level of minimal supervision for the whole function and guide other engineers.
  • Identify improvements and check and/or approve work instructions, procedures, technical manuals, and guidelines.
  • Support operations and support manufacturing engineering team in translation of the product design and manufacturing requirements in a manufacturing design of (multiple) programs and support operations during prototype build and serial manufacturing, where applicable.
  • Support the qualification process of products within multiple programs, and check and/or approve compliance documentation to internal, customer, and regulatory requirements, where applicable.

Job Qualifications

  • Bachelor degree in mechancial engineering or a relevant level of experience to support the engineering tasks of multiple programs.
  • 12+ years manufacturing industry experience gained within an engineering discipline, ideally within an aerospace environment and in multi-disciplinary engineering project teams (i.e. Design/CM, EWIS, Analysis, M&P, Manufacturing/ Industrialization).
  • Able to travel as required by the Position including internationally.
  • U.S. persons with ability to obtain a Department of Defense Security Clearance.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Able to act under own initiative when appropriate in relation to both program context or in relation to the functional domain, within defined functional procedures / governance.
  • Ability to describe and present technical information of products of multiple projects to a wide audience at all levels within the business.
  • Ability to document and clearly present data, reports, and presentations to internal and external customers
  • Able to promote Lean Principles including leading a Continuous Improvement Project (“CIP”) related to multiple projects.
  • Solid approach/understanding to the delivery of engineering tasks.
  • Demonstrates strong mentoring & technical knowledge transfer as part of day to day activities.
  • Recognised as a technical subject matter expert with a broad technical view in multiple projects.
  • The ability to act as a functional/ technical/ integration representative in communications with customers, sub-tier suppliers (structure, systems) and suppliers (parts, materials, sub-assemblies) in multiple projects.
  • Demonstrates a commercial awareness to be able to analyse customer requirements in order to create or input into offload packages and/or bid documentation.
  • Demonstrates an in depth knowledge of GD&T philosophy and dimensional stack-up tolerancing
  • Demonstrates an in depth knowledge and skill in the utilization of CATIA or NX software
  • Able to work and communicate within a cross functional team (Operations/Production, Sales/Customer Relationship Management, Supplier Management) and support discussions on Development, Finance, Strategy/Mergers/etc.
  • Able to support budget compliance within (multiple) programmes.
  • Able to implement changes within the engineering business area.
  • Experience in heat transfer (Not required)
  • Expert in class A surfacing (Not required)
  • Has held technical responsibility within project teams (delivery through people without direct authority).
  • Must possess a very high level of engineering functional knowledge (typically Technical Excellence Framework level 5 or higher in the appropriate Area of Expertise) with extensive experience of working/interfacing with other Engineering & Manf. Eng. disciplines (including customers and suppliers) in order to verify and approve deliverables successfully across multiple project team(s).
  • Must possess a high level of business expertise especially in the Aerospace industry and in the functional area the project/programme is responsible for (eg. Design, Analysis, EWIS, etc.) in order to successfully support the engineers is multiple programmes.
  • Must possess a very high level of technical problem solving skills.
  • Able to travel as required by the Position including internationally.

Diversity Inclusion and Belonging (DIB)

As a global engineering company, innovation is what differentiates us from our competitors and is central to our success.

A balance of cultures, ethnicities and genders help bring new ideas and creativity to GKN. We need people of different backgrounds, with different skills and perspectives to spark originality, imagination and creativeness in our teams around the world.

GKN is an equal opportunity employer.

We treat all our employees and applicants fairly and are committed to ensuring that there is no discrimination or harassment against any employee or qualified applicant on the grounds of age, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, nationality, sex, or veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


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