Materials Development Engineer:

Hickory North Carolina

Corning is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives.

Corning succeeds through sustained investment in R&D, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and close collaboration with customers to solve tough technology challenges.

Our Optical Communications segment has recently evolved from being a manufacturer of optical fiber and cable, hardware and equipment to being a comprehensive provider of industry-leading optical solutions across the broader communications industry.This segment is classified into two main product groupings – carrier network and enterprise network. The carrier network product group consists primarily of products and solutions for optical-based communications infrastructure for services such as video, data and voice communications. The enterprise network product group consists primarily of optical-based communication networks sold to businesses, governments and individuals for their own use.

Scope of Position

Candidate is expected to apply expertise in polymer science and engineering to support new product development activities. Candidate will assist with polymer compound selection and evaluation for fiber optic cable and connectors. Candidate will serve as a materials subject matter resource for product and project engineers for new product and process development efforts as well as assist manufacturing with solving materials-related problems. Candidate will demonstrate technical leadership in the area of materials science and polymer engineering through rigorous mechanistic problem solving approaches.

Day to Day Responsibilities 

  • Participate in project teams, providing polymer materials fundamental understanding and development support
  • Lead materials-focused development work in support of long-term R&D goals.
  • Conduct research, propose experiments and analyze data to test hypotheses to enhance understanding of products and processes and to provide Corning with inventive solutions toward new development efforts.
  • Identify and investigate new polymer compounds for cost reductions and new products introductions
  • Balance hands-on work related activities with technical leadership related activities
  • Collaborate with research and manufacturing functions throughout product development cycle
  • Guide technicians in Materials Test Lab to develop new test methods.
  • Communicate and document results
  • Maintain strong interaction with polymer people located in US, Germany, Poland as well as China
  • Assist and/or lead product development projects (globally) to accomplish design and cost reduction goals.
  • Interface with suppliers and procurement to test and evaluate new materials, analytical equipment and services. Work with suppliers to resolve problems with materials as well as maintain relationship with suppliers to stay abreast of new material availability.

Travel Requirements: Up to 20% – primarily domestic to Corning. Possibility to travel once per quarter or less to Keller, TX or Europe facilities

Work location: Hickory, NC

Hours of work/work schedule/flex-time: 40+ hours per week, conventional schedule with some flexibility

Required Education: B.S. and/or M.S. in Polymer Science and Engineering or B.S. and/or M.S. in Materials (PhD not mandatory however an add-on)

Required Years and Area of Experience: 2-3 yrs work experience minimum in product development or product testing

Required Skills: 

  • Knowledge/experience in polymer science, basic understanding of polymer structure-property relationships 
  • Ability to develop new test methods for in-depth product characterization 
  • Ability to apply fundamental understanding & scientific principles to solve technical problems and identify product solutions

Desired Skills 

  • Experience with thermoplastic polymer compounds 
  • Hands on experience with extrusion and injection molding
  • Experience in the extrusion of foamed thermoplastic materials 
  • Structure-property knowledge of polyolefins & thermoplastic elastomers 
  • Hands on experience with polymer characterization methods such as rheometry, DMA, DSC, TGA, TMA and mechanical testing

Soft Skills 

  • Ability to work within a multicultural team environment 
  • Ability to multitask 
  • Ability to work independently 
  • Effective oral and written communication skills 
  • Expected to bring enthusiasm and innovative spirit 
  • Likes to present achievements and is open for constructive discussions

We prohibit discrimination on the basis of  race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status or any other legally protected status.

Basic Qualifications