Director of Research and Advanced Development

A little about you

You are a highly motivated engineering leader and experienced manager with a proven track record of guiding Advanced Product Development and finding new ways to make breakthrough products. Your natural curiosity about materials and technologies drive you to research, analyze, and prove-out new concepts. You love keeping up with scientific advancements and are experienced with R&D and NPD.

A lot about the job

The newly created role of Director, Research and Advanced Development will lead and manage this critical function at the company. The primary deliverable of this function is to identify materials and processes that lead to breakthrough products. This highly technical position will manage a team of focused professionals while working closely with Engineering, Design and Marketing teams to drive the scientific development of new products.

Reports To

  • Vice President of New Product Development

Key Interfaces

  • Direct Reports, Marketing, Engineering, Industrial Design, External Vendors, Supply Chain


Deliver Breakthrough Product Opportunities

  • Continuously be accountable to answer the question of: “What’s the next big thing to advance our product?”
  • Be the champion of driving technical research at the company. 
  • Drive the expansion of product performance possibilities within YETI product categories.
  • Identify new materials and processes that can transform into new product concepts or improvements to existing products.
  • Monitor and evaluate industry trends (in other industries), business trends, and technology trends and organize them into opportunities. 

Theoretical Calculations and Modeling

  • Provide the organization with advanced prediction and product modeling software tools such as Thermal Simulations, Flow Simulations, FEA, etc.

Develop and Test Proof-of-Concept Prototypes

  • Oversee and provide direction for the construction of proof-of-concept prototypes
  • Develop test methods or techniques for prototype and benchmark evaluations
  • Oversee and provide direction for testing

Build Relationships with Experts and Potential Partners

  • Identify industry experts and engage with them
  • Develop leads for potential partners or technology enablers
  • Initiate communication with potential partners and appropriately represent company interest
  • Execute initial Non-Disclosure Agreements with vendors
  • Visit and host vendors. Be able to organize both strategic and detailed discussions about the opportunities.

Collaborate Cross-Functionally

  • Build relationships within the organization that ensure function is closely tied to the objectives of the category teams.
  • Work with cross-functional teams to evaluate economic feasibility and product viability.
  • Lead projects that require deep strategic thinking and execution, and serve as the Subject Matter Expert for new materials and innovations.
  • Foster the transfer of breakthrough products from the advanced stage to the development process by working closely with category core teams.

Manage R&AD Staff

  • Set the standard for the team by leading by example in the following areas: attitude, maturity, productivity, collaboration, and communication.
  • Manage projects, plan and conduct meetings and presentations, and support company objectives.
  • Create development plans and performance management structure for direct reports.
  • Oversee function workload, project assignments, and deliverables.

Educational and Previous Experience Requirements

  • BS in an Engineering discipline (MS Preferred)
  • 10+ years of progressive experience in research and advanced product development
  • Must have experience leading and developing technical staff
  • Experience implementing industry advancing technology into new products
  • Demonstrated experience collaborating cross-functionally

** This position is to be based in Austin, TX.  Relocation assistance will be considered for the selected candidate and he/she must be willing to relocate to Austin within a few weeks of offer acceptance.**

YETI Coolers is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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