As a Sr. Staff Ceramics engineer, this is your unique opportunity to set your mark and apply the knowledge and experience you have gained as an individual contributor in a technical support and problem-solving role. You will use a combination of trouble-shooting skills and ceramic engineering knowledge to support the Global Potteries and Cast Iron Division in optimizing production processes, minimizing defects, and improving the understanding of manufacturing process variables as related to ceramic materials and products. This position will require project management skills for ceramic-related developmental activities and provide engineered ceramic support where necessary. This role acts as the primary Chemical& Metallurgical Laboratory liaison for the Kohler North American and Global Potteries, as well as liaisonwith the Cast Iron Division's Glass Production, Enamel Shop, Glass Lavatory Manufacturing operations. This role also provides as-needed support to Kitchen & Bath Engineering areas for ceramic-type projects. You will have the opportunity to participate in ceramic-related new product and/or process development.
How you will contribute
Lead investigation activities of production process problems and product defect analysis. This primarily includes analysis for areas such as the Wisconsin or Global Potteries and to a lesser extent for Glass Production, Enamel Shop, Glass Lavatory Manufacturing, Kitchen & Bath Engineering and the Brass Faucet Operation.
Understand the capabilities of all instrumentation used in ceramic project analysis within the C&M Laboratory. This includes analytical techniques used in the Kohler C&M Laboratory such as Scanning Electron Microscopy/Engergy Dispersive Spectroscopy, X-ray Fluorescence, X-Ray Diffraction, Thermal Analysis, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, 3D Microscopy, Optical Microscopy, Mercury Porosimetry, and Image Analysis.
The associate will be required to prepare samples using techniques appropriate for the required analytical test and operate multiple analytical instruments. Aiding in the data analyses and interpretation for all ceramic-related testing activities within the C&M Laboratory or any outside vendor or laboratory.
Aid in the planning and coordination of C & M Laboratory analyses and activities as they relate to ceramic materials. This includes trouble-shooting of plumbing ware production issues (for both in-process ware and finished products) and raw materials.
Select the appropriate analytical technique to help Kohler engineers efficiently and effectively solve/identify the cause of a particular production problem. Sometimes a very fast turn-around time is needed due to a “line-down” situation.
Supply ceramic technical consulting for Kohler Company as needed. This centralized service is available to the Kohler North American Potteries (Wisconsin, Spartanburg, Brownwood and Sanimex), to the Kohler Global Potteries (Foshan, Thailand, India, Zibo and Jacob Delefon), the Enamel Shop, Glass Production and the Glass Lav Manufacturing areas.
Conduct studies and communicate results (technology transfer) to improve the understanding of ceramic manufacturing variables to increase the A1 yield.
Perform ceramic formula/formulation research and development activities for the Kohler Potteries and the Cast Iron Division as-requested.
Investigate improved and novel ceramic manufacturing methods when necessary and keep current with new ceramic materials and process technology.
Partner with the Kohler Business Units and participate on teams to improve controls in production areas on processes and materials where it is justified by the cost of quality.
Perform technical literature searches and summarize findings in a technical report.
Knowledge of specialized analytical techniques available in other Kohler Departments is required such as the Kohler Potteries, Plumbing Engineering, and at outside Contract Laboratories.
Perform fracture analysis of brittle failures in ceramics and plastic components. This includes interpreting fracture features to identify the fracture origin in order to determine the root cause of failure.
Participate on project teams for Kohler Company, including Vendor Audits, Developmental, KOS and Kaizen activities.
Mentor Kohler engineers, technicians and cooperative education students, and assist in developing their technical and professional skills.
Evaluate and help select new/replacement analytical instrumentation and equipment.
Bachelor of Science degree in Ceramic Engineering and a Master of Science degree preferred.
Minimum of 15 years combined experience in ceramic engineering, testing and analysis, and problem-solving.
Willing to travel globally (5%-15%) and work in facilities outside the United States of America.
Working knowledge of PCs and Microsoft Windows-based software and specialized ceramic software such as Insight.
Develops and applies advanced theories, methods and research techniques in the investigation and solution of complex technical problems.
Provides technical direction to, and sometimes coordinates, the efforts of engineers and technical support staff in the performance of assigned projects.
Uses speaking and writing skills to effectively convey information, express opinions, and motivate others towards the solution of technical problems.
Be the expert source of technical information in ceramic technology and maintain a current, high skill level through continuing interaction with peers at technical conferences and memberships in appropriate technical organizations.
Use interpersonal skills to interact with C&M Laboratory customers both in North America and the Kohler Global operations.
SKILL PREFERENCES – HOW YOU CAN STAND OUT
Enjoy working in a creative & close-knit team environment.
Coursework/experience in project management, instrumental analysis and data interpretation, computer applications, SPC, experimental design and technical writing.