R&D Director - Friction Materials
SOLON, OH Engineering
Job Type

The R&D Director, Friction Materials is responsible for leading the organization and our team of scientists and engineers to create new, high value-added products, product enhancements and product design and redesign to ensure that we remain the undisputed leader in our industry.  This position evaluates the potential and practicality of products in development and relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.  This position requires strong analytical skills, the ability to translate strategic vision into tactical action, synthesize complex issues into actionable solutions, identify the highest impact ideas and plans and focus efforts in a cross-functional team and communicate recommendations effectively to senior executives.

The R&D Director, Friction Materials will play a leadership role in partnering with other leaders across the organization to optimize the value of our current and future products and technologies, in alignment with brand and customer demand. In addition to providing expertise in friction material development and the product approval process, this position provides management support and techniques to assigned teams and develops project plans, ensuring timely reach of milestones.  Independent judgment is required to plan, prioritize, and organize a diversified workload.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead team of engineers and technicians in the testing and development of friction materials.
  • Lead efforts of three R&D functions: Test Lab Operations, Application & Testing Engineering, and Material Development.
  • Financial Analysis, Resource and CapEx Planning: manage department costs to the Annual Operating Plan
  • Prioritize human and capital resources to achieve department and organizational goals
  • Task Planning, Time Estimates, Time Execution and Risk Analysis 
  • Process Compliance and Oversight
  • Understand customer needs (internal and external): Support sales programs by leading application engineering and material recommendations.  Support recommendations through customer specific dynamometer testing, while updating internal testing best practice.
  • Develop and promote simulations in technical analysis (Matlab, FEA, CFD…).
  • Support Operations and Quality by leading and managing root-cause / counter-measure investigations for defects and field issues
  • Cooperate on cost reduction, new process introduction and manufacturing continuous improvement
  • Manage Test Lab (through supervisor) to efficiently and effectively conduct dynamometer and other testing.
  • Lead Test & Application Engineering efforts.
  • Strategy Execution & Reporting: work with Product Management and S&M to initiate and lead new material development projects and programs.
  • Brainstorm and deliver proof-of-concept ideas related to manufacturing process improvements
  • Lead efforts related to alternate raw material sourcing and qualification
  • Function as the technical training expert for friction materials
  • Report out project status and key R&D metrics to CentroMotion Leadership team with SmartSheet project management and metrics tool.



  • Comprehensive health benefits  package (medical, dental, vision, etc) for positions of 30 hours or more per week
  • Health Savings Account with annual employer contribution
  • Company provided Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and Short-Term Disability
  • Voluntary Life Insurance, Spousal Life, Child Life, Critical Illness, Accident, and Long-Term Disability
  • 401(k) with matching contribution that is fully vested from day 1
  • Generous amount of PTO, plus 14 paid Holidays
  • Tuition reimbursement and scholarship opportunity
  • 10+ years' relevant technical experience required. 
  • Minimum of 5 years' of people leadership required.
  • Bachelor's degree required in either of these areas of focus: Materials, Mechanical, or Chemistry. MBA a plus.
  • Strong communication skills (written and verbal) with experience in delivering complex, technical presentations to management and external customers.
  • Experience in new product development and/or testing.
  • Strong ability to multi-task and prioritize with limited resources.
  • Ability to simplify complex ideas and problems into actionable summaries and plans.
  • Coaches / Educates Others / People Leadership / Influence: Ability to meaningfully interact with wide-range of internal and external team members and customers (human connection).
  • Creative spirit coupled with bias for action and attainment of both short and long term goals.
  • Experience with MS Office Suite required (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook). 
  • Experience with project management tools: SmartSheet preferred.
  • Ability to travel up to 15%.