Lead Design Engineer
Columbia, SC R & D Engineering

FN America, LLC is a U.S. subsidiary of FN Herstal, S.A., a global leader in the development and manufacturing of high-quality, reliable firearms for military, law enforcement and commercial customers worldwide. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia with manufacturing operations in Columbia, South Carolina, FN America is passionately committed to providing its customers with a portfolio of FN-branded products, training and support services that enhance user performance and safeguard their lives. For more information, visit us at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Position Summary

The Lead Design Engineer is responsible for creating designs, performing evaluations and establishing the technical data package that results in the full product development. In this role, the Lead Design Engineer provides technical guidance and specific subject matter expertise to include analysis, testing, and evaluation of new products to predetermined specifications. The Lead Design Engineer will also support product line extensions and improvements to existing product designs.

Job Duties

  • Contributes to the Product Development Process (PDP) initiative by developing new product platforms and derivatives. Supports industrialization activities including feasibility review, risk analysis and mitigation, detailed development, data package creation and product support.
  • Plans, conducts and documents hands-on product testing, sometimes extensive.
  • Creates an execution strategy using work-based scheduling software and tools. Manages execution of deliverable milestones by leading a team of engineers.
  • Collaborates effectively both within the department and in a cross-functional team environment. Provides guidance to junior engineers.
  • Develops and implements product design improvements.
  • Creates execution strategies to include cost, work, and time for work assigned.
  • Other duties as assigned by management.

Educational Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Applied Science, or equivalent required. Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering preferred.

Experience Requirements

Six years of experience in a design engineering role is required.

Skills and Competencies

All FN America employees are expected to demonstrate the behaviors of accountability, collaboration, communication, customer focus, and innovation. Additional requirements of this position include:

  • Ability to author thorough written and verbal status and technical reports.
  • Ability to utilize and follow FNA and industry engineering standards and procedures.
  • Technical knowledge of all typical firearm processing technologies and expertise in at least one knowledge area, including machining processes, plastic injection molding, metal injection molding, investment casting, surface treating, and spring manufacturing.
  • Understanding of proper design components and subassemblies that result in the successful development and validation of major new products.
  • Ability to use required tools on difficult tasks and/or group of tasks or equivalent.


Knowledge of GD&T per ASME Y14.5 1994 and 1982.

Lab Equipment and Measurement Tools

Development and Execution of Test Procedures

3D CAD software (PTC Creo preferred)

Project Management Principles (work-based schedule development and execution)

Design Analysis and Simulation Software (experience with CETOL, Ansys, Adams, and STAR-CCM+ preferred)

Microsoft Office


Training on department specific Gateway (SharePoint based), PDS (PTC Windchill based), project management software will be required.



Working Conditions

Typical office environment with some travel between buildings and to other locations required. May be exposed to loud noises, toxic chemicals, and dangerous machinery when on the plant floor.

All FN America employees have a responsibility to participate in the development of a safe and healthy workplace and to comply with instructions given for their own safety and health and that of others.

Equal Employment Opportunity/M/F/disability/protected veteran status

FN America, LLC is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with physical and mental disabilities.If you need special assistance or an accommodation while seeking employment, please email HR@FNAmerica.com or call: 803-736-0522. We will make a determination on your request for reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

VEVRAA Federal Contractor