R&D Manager

San Clemente, CA 92673

Posted: 05/11/2020 Employment Type: Direct Industry: Engineering Job Number: 80572

Job Description


Our Client is looking for a R&D Manager. As the R&D manager, you will manage a team of highly capable Mechanical, Electrical, Controls, Aerodynamicists, and Systems Engineers. You will use your talents in management, reporting, interpersonal skills, hiring and professional development to help guide the team through functional company objectives, retention, and process documentation.
The R&D Manager will develop and execute integrated departmental plans, policies and procedures to meet company functional objectives. You will provide input on departmental business and technical strategies, goals, processes, and objectives using your talents in leadership, collaboration, proposal writing, financial modeling/execution, and your detail-oriented capabilities. You will initiate and conduct bi-monthly meetings with executive management, business development, marketing, program managers, IT, legal, and other business functions to provide support, ICDs and gather feedback. Additionally you will provide executive-level report summaries to upper management.
As the R&D Manager you will schedule and maintain yearly professional development reviews with the R&D resources, which includes personal and professional goal setting and achievements, capability assessment, raise justification, resolution of process or operational issues, and working with program managers to achieve results. You will help construct and maintain processes for the Performance Development System (PDS) and oversee the execution of the PDS system for assigned staff, identifying individuals for technical, management, and entrepreneurial leadership tracks and providing guidance for goal setting.

Job Requirements


  • On-Time, On-Quality: Exemplary time management and organizational acumen
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a STEM field with 7+ years’ experience
  • Minimum 5 years executing internal business objectives, company commitments, staffing, conflict resolution, management of resources, and functional leadership (i.e. college recruiting, active career development, and performance evaluation and guidance)
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in technical team leadership roles utilizing industry standard configuration management databases, resource management tools, & action item tracking tools
  • Proactive leadership skills: Recognize issues early, make smaller course corrections frequently than one large change, envisioning the backlog in detail for the whole SwiftX system
  • Proven ability and comfortable leading and influencing a high performance team, including virtual teams, multiple time zones, and multi-domain knowledge (Mech, Elec, Software, & Systems Eng.)
  • Coordinate with executives, leadership, managers and technical leads concerning project execution, operational decisions, scheduling requirements, and contractual issues.
  • Ability to efficiently work financial tasks such as invoices, POs, and general financials needs of a fast paced R&D team.
  • Utilizing MS Project, Excel and other standard software tools to effectively communicate bandwidth, resources, timing, and expectations for Swift-X department
  • Excellent discretion, demonstrating sound judgement in dealing with confidential dialogues and information. Demonstrated ability dealing with individual and multiple person conflict resolution.
  • Great communication and negotiation skills, bringing together different views, personalities, goals, needs, and helping different stakeholders find business alignment and growth
  • Ability to empathize and engage engineers to build trust and provide business perspectives
  • Plan program resources, hire key employees, ensure staffing requirements are met, and maintain staffing utilization plans based on projected business development feedback
Interpersonal / Soft skills are required as this is a small community of engineers who work very closely together on all projects. You will develop and maintain relationships and partnerships with stakeholders, peers, partners and direct reports. You will manage, develop and motivate employees. It is possible that you may attends trade shows, industry conferences and customers/partners meetings so excellent communication (written and oral) are preferred. Previous technical understanding of Unmanned systems and/or robotic systems is helpful as the teams are highly skilled and motivated. The ideal candidate must foster an innovative work environment leading to identification of opportunities for improvements in product, process, quality, and productivity.  We are looking for someone to help grow the team through contract R&D activities as well as cultivating internal technology development activities.
Candidates must have a positive attitude, a high level of professionalism, empathy, self-awareness, and a desire to continually improve and learn. The preferred candidate will pay attention to the details, have a strong sense of ownership, and a curiosity to understand how things work even if they take you outside your area of expertise. The R&D Manager would report directly to the VP of Technology.

Preferred Skills and Competencies

  • Experience with autonomous, unmanned systems development from ideation to market
    • Automotive and commercial robotics systems candidates are encouraged to apply
  • Experience in Confluence for project communication and tracking
  • Experience in Rally for Agile methodology documentation
  • Understanding and hands on experience of Vehicle level Systems & Safety-Critical Systems Development
  • Support the development of proposals, including technical solution, price, and schedule content.
  • Detail Oriented: Taking action items and finishing them and proven ability to document and configuration manage multiple projects at once
  • Experience in startup or agile development environments
  • Must be team spirited, positive, and have a can-do attitude
  • Possess an entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit with a high level of energy, dedication, and an unrelenting drive to succeed and win
  • Challenge seeker who excels in a fast-paced environment
  • Impeccable integrity and ethical standards
For more information contact [email protected] (714) 901-2405 or [email protected]
#unmanned systems 
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