Principal Research Engineer - Materials

Westlake, TX, US

GKN Aerospace

GKN Aerospace is a global engineering group that make essential components for industries that touch lives across the globe

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Fantastic challenges. Amazing opportunities.


GKN Aerospace is reimagining air travel: going further, faster and greener! Fuelled by great people whose expertise and creativity sets the standards in our industry, we’re inspired by the opportunities to innovate and break boundaries. We’re proud to play a part in protecting the world’s democracies. And we’re committed to putting sustainability at the centre of everything we do, opening up and protecting our planet. With over 16,000 employees across 33 manufacturing sites in 12 countries we serve over 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers and achieved sales of £3.35 2023. There are no limits to where you can take your career.

Job Summary

As a Principal Research Engineer, you will work in cross-discipline teams to develop differentiating additive manufacturing (AM) technology for aerospace structural applications. Your everyday tasks will be to work within GKN Aerospace’s US Global Technology Center team on development of Laser Wire Directed Energy Deposition (DED) AM. You will take on a wide range of tasks focused on AM material characterization, non-destructive inspection methods, process improvement, and qualification of manufacturing processes while working in collaboration with technology engineers with expertise in controls, process development, post processing, and industrialization of aerospace technologies.
You will support development, integration and implement technical solutions and documentation compliant with all relevant customer, regulatory, and airworthiness requirements, within agreed program, schedule, and manufacturing constraints. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Support AM process development by researching and executing experiments to develop and characterize titanium as well as other aerospace metallic materials for laser wire directed energy deposition.
  • Lead development of non-destructive evaluation methods of additively produced material that meet aerospace requirements for qualification and certification of flight hardware
  • Research opportunities for novel methods of new in in situ sensors and analysis methods to improve process and resulting materials as well as predictability and reliability of material properties
  • Engage with Aerospace OEM customers technical experts and airworthiness authorities in additive and metallic structure to develop technical requirements and project plans for application of additively manufacture components into aircraft programs
  • Support Technology Readiness Assessments towards technology maturation into production
  • Stay current with related technical activity within GKN’s global technology team (and through related technology organizations) & ensure effective exchange of results and issues 
  • Develop, implement, and check technical solutions and documentation to ensure they are compliant with all relevant customer, regulatory, and airworthiness requirements, within agreed program, schedule, and manufacturing constraints
  • Identify technical problems and apply/integrate solutions
  • Support technical and customer reviews, including the creation and preparation of technical data and presentations
  • Perform all activities with limited supervision and support other engineers with peer-to-peer reviews
  • Identify, manage and mitigate risks for assigned work

Job Qualifications

Master of Science degree in Engineering or related technical field

  • 7+ years of relevant experience, or substitute for advanced degrees
  • Must be able to perform work subject to ITAR regulations and/or program requirements.
  • Experience with CAD and other engineering software
  • Experience with additively manufactured metallic materials
  • Experience in Non-Destructive Evaluation methods for metallic materials


Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in a relevant field 
  • Aerospace industry experience
  • Experience with new product development
  • Experience with aerospace materials including titanium alloys 
  • Knowledge of manufacturing processes data related to traditional and additive manufacturing including machining, heat treatment, and inspection
  • Proven ability to review technical documentation
  • Excellent in co-operation, networking, team-working
  • Experience creating and maintaining databases
  • Statistical and data analysis capabilities 
  • Able to analyze and interpret customer requirements.
  • Able to maintain and report on a budget for assigned activities.
  • Worked in cross-functional teams

We’ll offer you fantastic challenges and amazing opportunities. This is your chance to be part of an organisation that has proven itself to be at the cutting edge of our industry; and is committed to pushing the boundaries even further.  And with some of the best training on offer in the industry, who knows how far you can go?


A Great Place to work needs a Great Way of Working


Everyone is welcome to apply to GKN.  We believe that we can only achieve our ambitions through a coming together of diverse minds who enjoy collaborating in an inspirational environment. Through our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging and by living our five powerful principles we’ve created a culture where everyone feels welcome to contribute.  It’s a culture that won us ‘The Best Workplace Culture Award’.  By embracing and celebrating what makes us unique we encourage everyone to bring their full self to work.

We’re also committed to providing an accessible recruitment process, so if you require reasonable adjustments at any stage during our recruitment process please get in touch and let us know.

We are the place where human dreams, plus human endeavour, shape the future of aerospace innovation and technology. ​

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Tags: CAD Data analysis Engineering PhD Research Statistics

Perks/benefits: Career development Travel

Region: North America
Country: United States

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