Friction R&D Director // 0040


The R&D Director is responsible for leading the engineering team to create new, high-value-added wet and dry friction products, along with product enhancements and product design and redesign. This position evaluates the potential and practicality of products in development and relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. This position requires strong analytical skills, the ability to translate strategic vision into tactical action, synthesize complex issues into actionable solutions, identify the highest impact ideas and plans and focus efforts on a cross-functional team and communicate recommendations effectively to senior executives.

The R&D Director will play a leadership role in partnering with other leaders across the organization to optimize the value of our current and future products and technologies, in alignment with brand and customer demand. In addition to providing expertise in friction material development and the product approval process, this position provides management support and techniques to assigned teams and develops project plans, ensuring the timely reach of milestones. Independent judgment is required to plan, prioritize, and organize a diversified workload.




  • The Director of R&D will lead a team of engineers and technicians in the testing and development of friction materials.
  • Lead the efforts of three R&D functions: Test Lab Operations, Application & Testing Engineering, and Material Development.
  • Financial Analysis, Resource, and CapEx Planning: manage department costs to the Annual Operating Plan
  • Prioritize human and capital resources to achieve department and organizational goals
  • Task Planning, Time Estimates, Time Execution and Risk Analysis
  • Process Compliance and Oversight
  • Understand customer needs (internal and external): Support sales programs by leading application engineering and material recommendations. Support recommendations through customer-specific dynamometer testing, while updating internal testing best practice.
  • Develop and promote simulations in technical analysis (Matlab, FEA, CFD…).
  • Support Operations and Quality by leading and managing root-cause / counter-measure investigations for defects and field issues
  • Cooperate on cost reduction, new process introduction and manufacturing continuous improvement
  • Manage Test Lab (through supervisor) to efficiently and effectively conduct dynamometer and other testing.
  • Lead Test & Application Engineering efforts.
  • Work with Product Management and Sales teams to initiate and lead new material development projects and programs
  • Brainstorm and deliver proof-of-concept ideas related to manufacturing process improvements
  • Lead efforts related to alternate raw material sourcing and qualification
  • Function as the technical training expert for friction materials


  • Five years of technical leadership
  • Strategic Leadership & Execution
  • Strong communication skills (written and verbal) with experience in delivering complex, technical presentations to management and external customers
  • A Materials, Mechanical, or Chemistry B.S. degree  – MBA a plus
  • Multiple years of experience in new product development and/or testing
  • Creativity & Innovation: strong ability to multi-task and prioritize with limited resources
  • Ability to simplify complex ideas and problems into actionable summaries and plans
  • Ability to meaningfully interact with a wide range of internal and external team members and customers

Are you interested in the R&D Director role?


Brian Hagman // +1 270-300-7001 // [email protected] //


Hagman Search Group is the leading executive search firm devoted to helping brake organizations hire top industry talent. With years of brake knowledge and expertise, our firm is uniquely qualified in attracting executives and senior-level professionals in the friction, foundation brake, and advanced braking segments.

Brian Hagman is President of Hagman Search Group and has spent the last 15+ years working in the brake industry through various HR leadership and executive search positions and is 100% dedicated to the industry.

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