Director - Manufacturing Engineering

Santa Ana, CA
4 months ago
Full time role


Gradient’s mission is to cool the world by transforming every home to be more comfortable and healthy for the people ...

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Job Description

Gradient’s mission is to cool the world by transforming every home to be more comfortable and healthy for the people who inhabit it — without compromising the environment. Today, heating and cooling equipment emit more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector, and expansion in the use of cooling is projected to double these emissions in the next 30 years. However, comfortable buildings are critical for health and productivity, especially among communities that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Gradient’s vision is a future where everyone has access to comfortable buildings that are fully decarbonized. Our launch product is a direct-to-consumer high-efficiency and low-carbon heat pump.

We are looking for…

This is a very active role whose responsibilities will continue to change as the company evolves.  As the Manufacturing Engineering Director , you will play a vital role ensuring continuity within our contract manufacturing supply base.  In collaboration with our Global Planning and Supply Chain teams, you’ll work with our suppliers to ensure supply continuity and vendor improvement.  

The ideal Manufacturing Engineering Director candidate will have demonstrated experience in supporting manufacturing in a variety of technical disciplines including (but not limited to) mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, functional test fixtures, and/or automation in a manufacturing environment.   



Design for Manufacturing

  • Serve as the representative for Gradient’s operations (Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Manufacturing Engineering) in product development and design review
  • Understand and communicate best practices for manufacturing
  • Understand and calculate required direct labor for assembly during the design phase

Mechanical Engineering

  • Manage a team of 1 or more
  • Demonstrated knowledge of injection molded plastics, stamped sheet metals, sheet metal coating/painting and packaging development; or, ability to manage an experienced mechanical engineering team.
  • Responsible for identifying methods to increase throughput and yield, reducing total COGs and labor content.
  • Preferred qualification: 3+ years working with IPC 620 class 2 or 3.

Electrical Engineering

  • Manage a team of 2 or more
  • Demonstrated knowledge of PCBA manufacturing, failure analysis, functional testing of PCBAs, integrated circuit testing firmware; or, ability to manage an experienced electrical engineering team.
  • Preferred qualification:  5+ years of working with IPC 610 class 2 or 3.

Failure analysis for final system testing 

  • Experience with systems that do a final system test including failure analysis, all related FMEAs, and own rework of failed systems into passing systems.
  • Identify and communicate opportunities for improvement to all systems testing to improve product quality; or, ability to manage an experienced electrical engineering team.

Process Automation and Robotics

  • Manage a team of 1 or more
  • Propose short to long-term plans to increase throughput, yield, and first-pass testing while using capex investment to reduce labor content in the assembly process.
  • This includes areas such as simple assembly with fasteners, copper brazing, automated testing of high pressure systems, and more!

Manufacturing Development and Regulatory Compliance

  • Proactively analyze failure reports and recommend corrective action to prevent reoccurrence of problems.
  • Can synthesize tests for new and complex hardware/firmware solutions to achieve scalable manufacturing under tight timelines; proven track record of introducing new products and scaling them to thousands of units produced per year.  
  • Support redesign efforts to accommodate component cost reductions and improved manufacturability. 
  • Evaluate how changes in the design may impact safety and whether additional verification/validation is required. 
  • Conduct root cause analysis and implement due diligence actions to resolve product issues. 
  • Partner closely with other team members including firmware, systems, mechanical, quality, regulatory (ISO 9001, UL, ETL, CE, etc.), and manufacturing as a technical reference to encourage interdisciplinary activities.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical, Electrical Engineering or closely related course of study required.
  • Minimum of 15 years of experience in a manufacturing engineering capacity 
  • Background in consumer goods, high volume manufacturing, software engineering and/or product development engineering preferred Exceptional problem-solving skills; experience untangling problems to identify root cause
  • Strong background in designing test fixtures (electronics and mechanical) for verifying quality of devices in production
  • Solve complex manufacturing bottlenecks creatively. Able to break down problems with ease, demonstrating a strong grasp of basic engineering, supply chain and manufacturing principles 
  • Stakeholder management: demonstrates strong cross-functional collaboration, building strong relationships across engineering, manufacturing, quality, and supply chain teams including external engineering contractors
  • Systems thinker: Highly analytical - takes a systematic approach to solving technical and operations/process problems, consumes complex information quickly and can act upon it; dives beyond surface-level metrics and asks “why”
  • Strong organizational and time management instincts; able to coordinate resources to meet deadlines in the context of competing priorities and projects; ability to work well under pressure
  • Proficient in ECAD and/or CAD for designing electronics and mechanical sub-assemblies 
  • Previous experience managing other Engineers

Bonus Qualifications

  • Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or similar
  • HVAC industry knowledge
  • Knowledge of ISO 9001 requirements


  • Equity
  • Medical/vision/dental/life/disability insurance
  • 401k
  • Paid parental leave
  • Professional Development Stipend
  • Commuter benefits
  • Unlimited PTO 
  • Relocation package ( out of state applicants only ) 

We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive company. We seek to create a culture where everyone can belong because we believe that people do their best work when they can show up every day as their authentic selves. We welcome people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives.

Gradient Comfort is an equal opportunity employer. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability status, or genetic information, in compliance with applicable federal, state and local law.

Gradient’s mission is to cool the world by transforming every home to be more comfortable and healthy for the people ...

View Company Profile