Principal Engineer

Fontana, CA, US, 92337

James Hardie Building Products Inc. is the North American leader in fiber cement home siding and exterior design solutions. Hardie® products offer long lasting beauty and endless design possibilities with trusted protection and low maintenance. The company pioneered modern fiber cement building products and continues to invest in innovation to transform the industry. James Hardie is a high-performance organization, with an unwavering commitment to Zero Harm. The company proudly employs a diverse workforce of over 3,000 employees across operations in North America.



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Onsite from the Fontana, CA Research & Development Facility


As a Principal Engineer in the Research & Development organization, the successful candidate will be primarily responsible for executing projects that will benefit James Hardie from a durability, quality, new process, efficiency, and safety standpoint.   The successful incumbent will understand various manufacturing processes within the business and utilize this knowledge to interact with Manufacturing and various other groups to implement new solutions and processes for new product innovation developed by R&D.

What You’ll Do:

  • Identify and design the complete process to facilitate high quality / high throughput fiber reinforced ceramic extrusions extrusion process for manufacturability of products (60%):

  • Design and build lab scale, pilot scale & manufacturing scale processes and associated equipment to demonstrate step change improvement of process while simultaneously scaling up R&D materials & formulations via pilot scale experiments and manufacturing scale validation in collaboration with materials counterpart.

  • Develop new systems (focus on process but in conjunction with materials) that provide a step change improvement in predictable manufacturing, eliminating process variability caused by the materials selected.

  • Develop process control logic, instrumentation and PID for new systems and processes.

  • Drive the development of processes for high solids pastes for fabrication of 3D shapes.

  • Determine necessary improvements to the plant processes by running trials and interpreting results to drive improvements in quality and production rates.

  • Performing various process evaluations and calculations, e. g. sizing equipment, mass and energy balances, and fluid flows.

  • Commissioning and troubleshooting new equipment and developing permanent solutions to address recurring issues.

  • Coordinate efforts and foster collaboration within cross-functional project teams including R&D, Engineering and Manufacturing

  • Network with other Process engineers in all plants to freely share and implement best practices.

  • Actively leads and supports the plant safety program: (20%)

  • Demonstrate leadership in Zero Harm & Safety initiatives that keep both employees and the workplace protected.

  • Apply 5S philosophy with R&D environments and all JH locations.

  • Complete monthly OSHA mandated training.

  • Ensure a safe work environment through good housekeeping and equipment operations.

  • Promote safety culture by leading and participating in various safety initiatives.

  • Manages projects effectively: (20%)

  • Utilize effective project management skills to deliver R&D projects on schedule and target, as well as assisting and supporting other project teams or groups within the department when needed.

  • Organize teams of non-direct reports to help in research effort as well as coordinating and implementing projects.

  • Identify improvement opportunities.

  • Work cross-functionally with rheology and process related counterpart(s) towards a common goal.


The position responsibilities outlined above are in no way to be construed as all encompassing.  Other duties, responsibilities, and qualifications may be required and/or assigned as necessary.


What You’ll Bring:  

  • Work in a safe and compliant manner per company policies and procedures.

  • In-depth understanding of manufacturing equipment including extrusion processes, and design for ceramic based products.

  • Demonstrated ability to drive development projects via statistically designed experiments.

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively take action to solve problems while exhibiting sound judgment and successful stress tolerance.

  • Knowledgeable in process control and PID development

  • Demonstrated ability to act independently upon information and make decisions that achieve optimal results.

  • Strong interpersonal and written/oral communication skills with the ability to relate well and cooperate with others to effectively coordinate activities and accomplish goals.

  • Demonstrated intermediate skills with the standard features of various personal computer word processing and spreadsheet software (Microsoft Word and Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet, and other proprietary software).

  • Ability to balance and achieve positive results in the areas of quality, productivity, and cost.

  • Strong technical and engineering skills, written and verbal communication skills including leading group meetings/projects.

  • Demonstrated ability to function as a strong team player.

  • Ability to travel up to 25% of the time.

  • Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering or related field required (degree must be from an accredited institution).

  • Master’s or Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering with related R&D/industrial experience preferred.

  • Minimum of 3 years of related experience, preferably with at least 2 years within an R&D environment, with demonstrated scale-up to manufacturing preferred. Process engineering in a high-speed manufacturing environment in plus

  • Experience in PLC programing and process instrumentation

  • Experience with Process Design, preferably in Ceramic Extrusions

  • Project Management experience

  • Strong problem-solving skills and proven ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects to deliver timely results.

  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with all levels of the organization.


What You’ll Receive:

At James Hardie, we recognize that our success depends on our people. We've worked hard to build a generous and competitive benefits program that demonstrates our commitment to our employees.

  • Comprehensive low-cost co-pay Health Insurance; medical, dental, prescription, and vision insurance benefits for every 30+ hour full-time employee. Insurance starts on day one!

  • 401(k) Retirement plan that will match 100% of employees saved dollars up to the first 6% of your salary

  • Paid holidays, paid vacation including Jury Duty and bereavement leave

  • Wellness Program

  • Employee Assistance Program

  • Parental Leave

  • Community Involvement & Sustainable Solutions - Fire Resistant Siding to Help Rebuild the Grizzly Flats Community | James Hardie

  • And more


The expected compensation range for this position is between $95K and $125K. Actual pay will be adjusted based on experience, market conditions, and other job-related factors permitted by law. This position qualifies for benefits which may also include a discretionary bonus.


Apply now and come “home” to Hardie!











James Hardie Building Products Inc. is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetic information, veteran's status, marital status, pregnancy, disability, or any other basis protected by law.

Nearest Major Market: Fontana
Nearest Secondary Market: Los Angeles

Job Segment: R&D Engineer, R&D, Facilities, Manufacturing Engineer, Chemical Engineer, Engineering, Research, Operations