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Senior Design Engineer

The Brake Design Engineer will perform design and release functions for High Performance Brake components on passenger car and light truck applications.  Significant experience (7-10 years) in the design and application of caliper brake assemblies is required.  Experience should include design applications of Fixed-Opposed type calipers.  Assigned duties include responsibilities in direct support of departmental processes and activities. Duties will be primarily performed at the Akebono Engineering Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan, but brief visits to other Akebono and Customer sites may occasionally be required.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities

Design and Release Duties

  • Adapt existing brake designs to new customer applications.  Provide design innovations as needed to achieve project goals.  Maintain complete design engineering ownership of project from concept through project launch.
  • Perform and comprehend the necessary calculations required to select brake size, assure function and achieve customer requested performance.  Request and act upon CAE, NVH and other supporting information as needed to make appropriate engineering decisions.
  • Act as project leader to gather and understand all related program information, maintain Project Evidence Binders, liaise with customer on technical issues, and interface with other departments as needed.
  • Organize and conduct project design reviews with internal management, at manufacturing plants, with customer and at component suppliers as needed.
  • Direct CAD designers in execution of brake application packaging, design modifications and production of solid models and detail drawings.  Check drawings as presented by designers. Prepare associated release documents (engineering notice, parts lists). 
  • Prepare and deliver presentation materials in support of new program proposals and as needed during a project to communicate information.
  • Provide problem solving capability for brake related project issues, both in-house and with the customer on specific applications.  Track and close project Open Issues related to product design/development/applications.
  • Generate and update DFMEA for brake designs, follow-up on action items to address high severity and RPN items.
  • Maintain awareness of program timing milestones related to design engineering and achieve target timing for owned tasks and work closely with other application engineers and project manager(s) to ensure compliance with program timing requirements.
  • Perform all required functions on multiple applications simultaneously.  Work within established ISO procedures and work instructions and observe established Design Guidelines for brake design.
  • Participate in the planning, execution, and report on experimental and validation tests for foundation brake components.
  • Analyze test results and recommend corrective actions based on the use of root cause analysis tools and creating/executing design of experiment plans in cases of performance non-compliance.
  • Create, issue and track to approval Change Requests (CR’s) related to assigned projects. Initiate required activities at each approval stage to support full implementation of the CR’s.
  • Support RFQ’s issued for new business opportunities by providing representative Bills of Materials and marked/reference drawings to enable quoting of brake components for assigned projects.
  • Other duties may be assigned

Additional Responsibilities

  • Ongoing non-project review of Akebono fixed-opposed calipers designs, providing for improvements to product cost, manufacturability and performance.
  • Perform final drawing checking and approval function for assigned projects as part of the drawing approval and release process.
  • Review proposed designs for consistent use of Akebono standards and methods. Assure lessons learned from prior project experiences have been considered in new application projects.
  • Act as mentor for lower ranking design engineers in order to transfer brake design knowledge, prior experience and trouble­shooting capability.
  • Assist in creation and maintenance of Akebono design standards, checklists, design manuals, design tools, policies and ISO procedures, work instructions, and forms.
  • Participate in cost reduction, CATI and VAVE activities in support of manufacturing and supplier initiatives.

Education and/or Experience (minimum required for the position)

Bachelor's degree in Engineering (B.S.) from a four-year college or university is required, along with a minimum of ten (10) years of experience directly related to Foundation Brake Design, including applications of fixed-opposed calipers. An equivalent combination of education (non-Engineering Bachelor’s Degree) and/or additional work experience directly related to automotive brake component design applications may also be considered.

Essential Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents. 
  • Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community. 
  • Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format. 
  • Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.
  • Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts such as exponents, logarithms, quadratic equations, and permutations.
  • Ability to apply mathematical operations to such tasks as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis of variance, correlation techniques, sampling theory, and factor analysis.
  • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.

Physical Demands/Environment

This position requires the following physical abilities: to sit; to use hands (to touch, handle, or feel), to reach with hands and arms, to stand, to talk, to hear and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  In addition, the specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

The work environment is mostly sedentary; however, there is occasional exposure to moving mechanical parts and vibration and to outside weather conditions.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

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