Mechanical Engineering Manager

Whisker, formerly known as AutoPets, is the maker of Litter-Robot, Feeder-Robot, and At Whisker, we believe pet parenthood can always get better.

As leading innovators in pet tech and refined pet accessories, we work tirelessly to solve problems and deliver smarter insights for pet parents while enriching the lives of pets. Whether it’s a self-cleaning litter box that automates scooping, an automatic feeder that helps pets develop healthier eating habits, or a modern cat tree that delights both humans and felines, we strive to deliver better solutions for consumers while transforming pet care along the way. To us, having a pet is the best thing ever. At Whisker, life together just keeps getting better.

Whisker is based in Auburn Hills, Michigan and Juneau, Wisconsin with 350+ passionate team members.

Whisker is seeking a Mechanical Engineering Manager to lead a team of innovators, designers, engineers and other important team members. Whisker is at the forefront of innovation for pet products that making life with pets endlessly better. The Litter-Robot revolutionized the way people think of litter boxes and our incredible team will be doing that again and again with new and exciting products for pets and pet parents! The Mechanical Engineering Manager will be a hands-on leader that will guide and support the team through concept to launch and beyond! 

What You’ll Do:

The Mechanical Engineering Manager is responsible for leading the Whisker team of Mechanical Engineers, Product Designers and others in the design, development, launch, and maintenance of current and upcoming connected pet products. The Mechanical Engineering Manager will work with cross functional engineering teams to ensure cohesive product development to drive the Whisker product roadmap. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

This list of duties and responsibilities is not all inclusive and may be expanded to include other duties and responsibilities as deemed necessary.

  • Oversees, evaluates and assists in the design of connected pet products from start to finish using CAD/Solid Modeling tools 
  • Participates in design, model, and test prototypes for new products
  • Conducts design reviews 
  • Participates in advanced surface design for new product development
  • Utilizes top down design techniques
  • Conducts research and create design proposals for projects 
  • Creates concepts, performance, and production criteria
  • Produces drawings and specifications
  • Creates initial BOM and track costs
  • Ensures all designs are optimized for performance and cost 
  • Responsible for both people management (development, coaching) and project escalation for those projects in his/her domain
  • Ensures engineers on the team deliver core requirements on projects while meeting quality, cost, and timing targets
  • Ensures that programs are properly resourced (both staffing and skills required) with respect to hardware activities
  • Ensures the team is trained and skilled in using common methodology, tools, and processes
  • Responsible for interviewing, hiring, reward and disciplinary actions, and performance appraisals of direct reports
  • Manages and recommends professional training (informal and formal) where needs arise
  • Stays in touch with market trends and drives benchmarking studies
  • Will perform additional responsibilities when required

Leadership Responsibilities

Directly supervises department Teams. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with Whisker policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, training and hiring Teams, planning, assigning and directing work, appraising performance, addressing Team issues, and upholding safety and quality guidelines. 


What You’ll Bring:

  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics or other relevant field
  • 10+ years experience in product design
  • Experience overseeing and evaluating the design of durable consumer products from start to finish
  • 6+ years experience with injection molded plastics, electronics packaging and motor-driven mechanisms
  • 3+ years experience with electronics packaging
  • 3+ years experience with motor-driven mechanisms
  • Experience managing a team of Mechanical Engineers, Design Engineers, and Industrial Designers
  • Experience with supplier sourcing (domestic and overseas)
  • Experience supervising and leading an engineering team 
  • Proven ability to be a leader and motivate teams to be creative, agile, and detail oriented
  • Jira knowledge and general understanding of Agile methods
  • Background in plastics product design
  • Familiar with top down modeling techniques, as well as surfacing
  • Has been involved in multiple successful new product introductions
  • Has experience in design for assembly (DFA)
  • Proficient in Microsoft’s business suite of software (Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint)
  • Proficient in PTC Creo and other CAD Design systems
  • Maintains confidentiality of proprietary information
  • Ability to maintain a professional atmosphere in a fast-paced environment with numerous interactions and interruptions
  • High degree of initiative, self-motivation and ability to motivate others
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with Team Members and colleagues

Not Required but Nice to Have!

  • Not required to have pets but highly recommended
  • Experience with Google Suite 

Benefits & Perks:

Join a tenacious, inventive company that empowers team members to chart their own path, lead by grounding decisions in the “why”, and has a strong sense of empathy and openness to new perspectives. Be a part of exciting growth, work with incredible people, and create tomorrow’s pet products—plus a whole lot of extras. You will also be provided with:

  • Premium Medical/Dental/Vision insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • PTO
  • 14 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • 401K with 4% Match
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Top of the line equipment

Statement of Inclusivity:

We believe different perspectives make Whisker better and strive to create a place where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive.