Job Description

Westlake Pipe & Fittings, a Westlake company (NYSE:WLK), is the second-largest polyvinyl chloride pipe and fittings manufacturer in North America. Westlake Pipe & Fittings supplies gasketed, solvent weld and restrained joint pipes and a wide range of fittings for a diverse list of markets including municipal water and sewer, plumbing, water well, pool and spa, and agricultural and turf irrigation. Westlake Pipe & Fittings is an industry leader in product development with Certa-Lok® spline-lock technology and product systems that are focused on building A Better Foundation. To learn more, visit the website at

The Product Development Engineer applies technical knowledge, original thinking, and ingenuity to solve design problems and develop new products and systems.  Plan, lead, and report on projects; maintaining scope, schedule and cost commitments. Utilize mechanical engineering expertise along with best practice methodology to deliver robust product designs and make sound decisions.  Be comfortable working in a team environment and collaborate cross functionally with all roles and levels of the business. The group will be dependent on the expertise of this key individual to help mold future new products and growth of the business.

Out-of-town travel estimated at approximately 10% (plant visits, outside lab testing, trips to observe product installations, vendor interface, etc.).


Major Responsibilities - - - - - - -

New Product Development

  • Develop innovative products that meet customer expectations, quality and financial requirements, and industry and government compliance standards.
  • Apply design for safety, manufacturability and other best practices.
  • Lead brainstorm and ideation sessions to create innovations that solve market needs.
  • Ability to work in both a lab-based setting completing physical testing, and an office setting completing extensive design work.
  • Develop product prototypes and looks/works models for design validation, aesthetics, performance and usability reviews.  Comfortable with machining tools, rapid prototype assembly and hands on field testing.
  • Work closely with material technology and process engineering groups to ensure new designs utilize materials optimized cost and performance and can transition effectively into our production environment.
  • Employ design for molding knowledge to design injection molded system components
  • Employ knowledge of elastomeric sealing technologies to innovate and optimize hydraulic seals incorporated in core products.
  • Become familiar with and able to apply appropriate governing agency requirements, such as ASTM, to designs.  Develop test plans that prove product compliance.
  • Create 3d CAD models and assemblies using SolidWorks.  Create detail drawings, part and product specifications for tooling and manufacturing control.
  • Manage multiple product development projects using a Stage/Gate process with a focus on defining the timeline and key milestones.  Ensure deliverables are executed on time, to cost and to quality specification.
  • Create test plans in cooperation with our lab and/or outside labs that confirm the design goals.  Collaborate with operations to establish qualification and QC manufacturing criteria.
  • Assess and optimize existing products for application, field performance, or manufacturing improvements, and develop line extensions.
  • Monitor and benchmark competitive products and identify design alternatives.
  • Understanding of plastic extrusion and molding manufacturing process, capabilities and design requirements.
  • Work directly with outside vendors for part sourcing, engineering support, material development, etc.

Product Specification Support

  • Oversee/generate comprehensive DFMEA documents, Engineering Product Specifications, Quality and Audit Plans and Engineering drawings.
  • Draft, review and approve ECN spec changes.
  • Develop detailed CAD drawings with appropriate control dimensions and parameters.

Failure Analysis

  • Gather pertinent data and coordinate response (product testing, etc.) - recommend design improvements, as required, to prevent reoccurrence of problems.
  • Support field investigations, failure recreation studies and field trials.
  • Manage and coordinate benchmarking test activities vs. competitive products.

Required Background

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Material Science, or a related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • 5+ years of product design/analysis experience preferred.
  • Professional Engineering certificate preferred.
  • A demonstrated record of success delivering innovative products is required.
  • Strong 3d modeling skills and experience with machining, rapid prototyping and hands on product testing are required.  
  • Experience designing thermoplastics and thermoset material products is preferred.
  • Knowledge of extrusion and injection molding processes is important.
  • Knowledge of rubber sealing system (gasket/O-ring) design is important.   

Skills Required

  • Demonstrated ability to create innovation in products and apply critical thinking skills to develop multiple solutions and determine the best path.
  • Project management skills and experience working in a cross functional stage/gate product development process.
  • Ability to work independently and in a team atmosphere.
  • Good communication skills with a focus on clear, concise and accurate written and oral presentation.
  • Must be proficient in Microsoft Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • "Hands-on" abilities needed - should be capable of preparing mock-ups and test samples using machining and rapid prototyping tools.
  • A strong sense of urgency; aggressive and driven to succeed and to overcome all obstacles, while maintaining a positive team environment.
  • Familiarity with general building techniques, materials, plastic extrusion, and polymer compounding/processing.
  • Knowledge of government/agency code compliance and industry testing.

Application Instructions

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