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Research Development Engineer


Park Systems Co.


Research & Development





Job Summary
Research Development Engineers apply their expertise and knowledge to technical projects, finding innovative, cost-effective means to improve research, techniques, procedures, and/or products and technologies. Responsibilities include developing, conducting, and evaluating new approaches to meet project objectives faster and more efficiently.

Knowledge: Maintains substantial knowledge of state-of-the-art principles and theories. Developing as an authority with national recognition; applies advanced knowledge to the completion of complex assignments/projects.

Direction received: Works without technical supervision; supervision and guidance relate largely to overall objectives, critical issues, new concepts, and policy matters. Consults with supervisor/principal investigator concerning unusual problems and developments.

Typical duties and responsibilities: One or more of the following:

  • As an individual contributor, carries out complex or novel assignments requiring the development of new or improved research or engineering techniques and procedures. Work is expected to result in the development of new or refined equipment, materials, processes, products, and/or scientific methods and approaches.
  • In a supervisory capacity, plans, develops, coordinates, and directs a large and significant project, or a number of small projects with numerous complex features; may require the use of sophisticated project planning techniques.
  • As a staff specialist, develops and evaluates plans and criteria for a variety of projects and activities to be carried out by others. Assesses the feasibility and soundness of proposed tests, products and equipment when necessary data are insufficient or confirmation by testing is advisable. May perform as a staff advisor and consultant to a technical specialty, a type of facility or equipment, or a program function.

Organizes and chairs sessions at technical meetings; presents invited papers; primary author or key contributor on major reports, products, papers, presentations, and peer reviewed journals. Widely recognized by key customers/grantors/investigators as being central to their mission; typically directs/participates in major proposal preparation and presentation. Provides intensive mentoring and training of senior research staff; uses national network to identify high caliber research talent. Effectively uses peer network to expand technical capability and business development opportunities; significant involvement in external seminars, workshops, professional societies, and committees; develops and initiates technical standards through interactions with professional societies and key clients. Provides ideas to improve organizational efficiency at all levels of the unit/department. Participates in strategic planning (understanding markets--who is willing to invest in research--who are competitors for research funds, state-of-the-art technology and equipment); plays a key role in the acquisition of research funding; identifies sources of new contract funding and directs the preparation of proposals and presentations. Is responsible for maintaining positive relationships with major customers/sources of external research and development contract funding. Reviews schedules, cost and documentation to ensure success of projects. Serves as an influential resource to UW and its customers for problem resolution, meeting client/customer needs, and for identifying research opportunities.

Responsibility for directing others: Supervises, coordinates and reviews the work of a small staff of engineers, scientists and technicians. Estimates personnel needs and schedules and assigns work to meet completion dates; integrates project staffing decisions with overall technical strategy; assists in developing selection/assessment criteria and hiring processes for research/engineering staff. As an individual researcher or staff specialist, may be assisted on projects by other engineers, scientists, and technicians.