Director of Mechanical Engineering

Auburn Hills, MI
Posted 02/16/2024
$104,000.00-$131,000.00 per year


Whisker is the maker of Litter-Robot, Feeder-Robot, and At Whisker, we believe pet parenthood can always get better.

As leading innovators in pet tech and refined pet accessories, we work tirelessly to solve problems and deliver smarter insights for pet parents while enriching the lives of pets. Whether it’s a self-cleaning litter box that automates scooping, an automatic feeder that helps pets develop healthier eating habits, or a modern cat tree that delights both humans and felines, we strive to deliver better solutions for consumers while transforming pet care along the way. To us, having a pet is the best thing ever. At Whisker, life together just keeps getting better.

Whisker is based in Auburn Hills, Michigan and Juneau, Wisconsin with 500+ passionate team members.

What You’ll Do:

The Director of Mechanical Engineering is responsible for leading the Whisker team of Mechanical Engineers, Product Designers and others in designing, developing, and launching the next generation of connected pet products. The Director of Mechanical Engineering will also work with cross-functional engineering teams to ensure cohesive product development to drive the Whisker product roadmap.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

This list of duties and responsibilities is not all-inclusive and may be expanded to include other duties and responsibilities as deemed necessary.

Oversees, evaluates and assists in the design of connected pet products from start to finish using CAD/Solid Modeling tools
Responsible for both people management (development, coaching) and project escalation for those projects in their domain
Ensures engineers on the team deliver core requirements on projects while meeting quality, cost, and timing targets
Ensures that programs are adequately resourced (both staffing and skills required) for hardware activities
Ensures the team is trained and skilled in using standard methodology, tools, and processes
Manages and recommends professional training (informal and formal) where needs arise
Builds, develops and maintains strong performing teams
Participates in design, modeling, and test prototypes for new products
Conducts design reviews
Participates in advanced surface design for new product development
Utilizes top down design techniques
Performs research and creates design proposals for projects
Creates concepts, performance, and production criteria
Produces drawings and specifications
Creates initial BOM and track costs
Ensures all designs are optimized for performance and cost
Stays in touch with market trends and drives benchmarking studies
Will perform additional responsibilities when required

Leadership Responsibilities:

Directly supervises department Teams. Carries out supervisory responsibilities following Whisker policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, training, and hiring, planning, assigning and directing work, appraising performance, addressing team issues, and upholding safety and quality guidelines. This leader will help communicate a shared vision on scaled mechanical systems for current and future technology enablement. Understanding and building development plans around program timelines for mechanical systems is the responsibility of this leader.


What You’ll Bring:

BS in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics or other relevant field
10+ years experience in product design
6+ years experience with injection molded plastics, electronics packaging and motor-driven mechanisms
3+ years experience with electronics packaging
3+ years experience with motor-driven mechanisms
Experience overseeing and evaluating the design of durable consumer products from start to finish
Experience managing a team of Mechanical Engineers, Design Engineers, and Industrial Designers
Experience with supplier sourcing (domestic and overseas)
Experience supervising and leading an engineering team
Proven ability to be a leader and motivate teams to be creative, agile, and detail oriented
Jira knowledge and a general understanding of Agile methods
Background in plastics product design
Familiar with top down modeling techniques, as well as surfacing
Has been involved in multiple successful new product introductions
Experience in developing test methodologies for validation and reliability
Has experience in design for assembly (DFA)
Proficient in Microsoft’s business suite of software (Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint)
Proficient in PTC Creo and other CAD Design systems
Maintains confidentiality of proprietary information
Ability to maintain a professional atmosphere in a fast-paced environment with numerous interactions and interruptions
High degree of initiative, self-motivation and ability to motivate others
Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with Team Members and colleagues
Comfortable with office pets (cats, dogs)

Not Required but Nice to Have!

Not required to have pets but highly recommended
Experience with Google Suite
PTC Windchill or other PLM

Benefits & Purrks:

Join a tenacious, inventive company that empowers team members to chart their own path, lead by grounding decisions in the “why”, and has a strong sense of empathy and openness to new perspectives. Be a part of exciting growth, work with incredible people, and create tomorrow’s pet products—plus a whole lot of extras. You will also be provided with:

Premium Medical/Dental/Vision insurance
Life Insurance
14 Paid Holidays
Paid Parental Leave
401K with 4% Match
Flexible Work Arrangements
Top of the line equipment

Statement of Inclusivity:

We believe different perspectives make Whisker better and strive to create a place where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive.

Please ensure to regularly check your email spam folder for any communication from Whisker to avoid missing important updates regarding your application status.



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