Process Development and Control Research Engineer

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) is seeking a Process Development and Control Engineer to lead collaborative teams with industry technical leaders, academic experts, and world-class researchers to develop and implement solutions for real-world challenges in advanced manufacturing. This is an excellent opportunity to apply your experience to a variety of challenges in collaboration with top companies while doing work that directly impacts manufacturing processes. CCAM is located in Disputanta, VA (just south of Richmond) and is a modern, state of the art facility designed to enable employees to produce creative research solutions.

Position Overview

The Research Engineer will perform and lead a wide variety of exciting, hands-on work focused on developing, testing, and delivering solutions to key manufacturing process challenges. At CCAM, our researchers work directly with subject matter experts and process owners within our own teams as well as within manufacturing companies, government, and universities in order to understand their problems and determine if and how technology can be used to solve them. This includes application of process monitoring and control, advanced automation, and new sensing techniques to drive adaptation into processes. Examples of day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Lead or take a key role on teams charged with adding new manufacturing capabilities – work with materials, industrial controls, process sensing, and modeling experts
  • Develop new processes and optimize existing manufacturing processes through an appropriate mix of experimentation, statistical modeling, physics-based process and materials analysis, and in-situ sensing
  • Build complex process flows, including step-by-step workflows, processing parameters, process models, adaptation logic, and control algorithm implementation
  • Collaborate with teams working on a wide variety of advanced manufacturing processes – help them efficiently develop their processes for new applications and act as the local expert on control strategies
  • Work with customers to identify and develop research opportunities, including scoping and planning of research projects
  • Investigate emerging technologies and evaluate possibilities for solving specific manufacturing process challenges
  • Work hand-in-hand with multi-disciplinary teams to execute project plans that develop solutions to improve manufacturing processes
  • Identify and collaborate with partner companies, universities, and government agencies to seek out new research opportunities

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry or similar discipline and at least two (2) years of relevant experience leading applied projects
  • This position requires access to technology or intellectual property that is subject to export control requirements. Candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license
  • Familiarity with advanced manufacturing processes (e.g.: machining, welding, additive, assembly, etc.), including process & equipment operating principles, quality requirements, and measurement methods
  • Ability to develop complex multi-step process workflows and adaptation logic
  • Familiarity with a variety of software tools for simulation, experimentation, and analysis
  • Experience planning, executing, analyzing, and presenting the results for experiments
  • Experience with statistical analysis from an engineering, research, and/or production perspective
  • Ability and interest to analyze and develop the key process, property, and performance relationships relevant to advanced manufacturing results

Preferred Requirements

  • Advanced degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry or similar discipline and at least ten (10) years of relevant experience including ideation, definition, and leading applied research and development projects for manufacturing
  • Demonstrated ability to both implement new manufacturing processes and introduce significant improvement in existing processes
  • Experience with the operation of complex equipment such as: Robotics, CNC machining, additive manufacturing, coatings application, welding and/or laser processing
  • Programming experience (MATLAB, Python, C++, etc.)
  • Experience problem-solving for relevant processes (hypothesis, model concept, analyze data, targeted experimentation, determine root causes, implement corrective action)
  • Experience with data acquisition, instrumentation (high-speed is a plus), sensor selection, data processing, data presentation; experience in correlation modeling, etc.
  • Expertise in statistical analysis – designs of experiments, measurement system analyses, empirical process modeling
  • Expertise in analyzing and developing the key process, property, and performance relationships relevant to advanced manufacturing results

Individual Traits Key to Success at CCAM

  • Approaches work with a collaborative, team-first mentality; positive, proactive, with a can-do attitude
  • Genuine enthusiasm for the application of research to manufacturing processes
  • Excels at problem definition; able to work effectively with open ended or ambiguous problems and/or applications
  • Self-driven and results-oriented, with a clear focus on high quality work performance
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, conveys ideas at both technical and non-technical levels; must be a good listener
  • Responsible and accountable; able to manage time, cost, and quality to meet project goals
  • Eager to gain new experience and learn new skills

CCAM is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. CCAM does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.

TO APPLY:  Send cover letter and resume to

Company Overview

CCAM is the center of an ecosystem of collaboration with industry, government, and academia that is focused on helping manufacturers solve real world problems. CCAM works with its partners to develop and deploy new technologies that advance manufacturing and deliver business value.  For many companies, joining CCAM can be the difference between being in front of new technology or behind the curve.

Our research focuses on building intelligence in manufacturing processes and systems by bringing experienced, multi-disciplinary teams together with advanced digital systems and manufacturing process capabilities as well as new technology to solve industrial challenges.  Whether through new process development, process improvement, new technology development and insertion, system integration and automation, or advanced analytics and AI development, our teams deliver real, usable results. Active research threads include flexible and distributed manufacturing, adaptive automation, cooperative processing, advanced coatings systems, and intelligent repair and replacement through new technologies.

As an applied research center, CCAM has a very strong, multi-disciplinary resident staff that includes research scientists and engineers, skilled industrial technicians, university faculty, and engineering interns and graduate students. These teams work collaboratively with one another as well as with partner organizations to build new and effective approaches to challenges. Our teammates are highly skilled and innovative problem solvers that are focused on delivering value to our customers every day.

Benefits Overview

  • Health, Dental, Vision insurance plan options; eligible on first of month following date of hire
  • HRA – Health Reimbursement Account (employer funded, covers a portion of the medical deductible)
  • FSA – Flexible spending Account (employee funded, pre-tax)
  • 401k Retirement Plan – Employer contributes 3% of base salary on a monthly basis; additional discretionary match up to 7.5% determined annually; immediately 100% vested in employer contributions
  • Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Short Term Disability, and Long Term Disability insurance (employer funded)
  • 3 weeks paid vacation
  • 2 weeks paid maternity/paternity/adoption leave
  • Relocation


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