Greater opportunities to build the life you want
Greater Peoria, IL
Greater Peoria, IL

Senior Mechanical Engineer

Natural Fiber Welding

Natural Fiber Welding

Peoria, IL, USA
Posted on Friday, January 26, 2024

About NFW

NFW is a circularity platform for plastic-free performance materials. NFW follows three Ground Rules in everything we develop: start well, stay clean, end well. While nearly everything in the built world relies on some type of plastic that began as crude oil and that will become plastic pollution, we are establishing a new material reality. We believe all materials should begin and end as nutrients, ready for the next growth cycle—true circularity.

Our multi-material platform serves a wide range of industries—from fashion and footwear to automotive and upholstery. NFW technology embeds seamlessly into existing supply chains, enabling the world’s most iconic brands to design and scale products with high-performance, plastic-free materials. NFW makes global brands more sustainable, empowering them to create without plastics. Alongside the boldest brands and visionary designers, we are pioneering a naturally circular, post-oil economy.

NFW is a company of trailblazers, innovators and bold thinkers, committed to reinventing the way things are made. We never stop learning. We are fiercely curious about the world and how to improve it for everyone. We offer competitive salary, paid vacation and sick time, flexible work-life balance, great colleagues and more!

We are seeking an exceptional Senior Mechanical Engineer who is a self-starter and a creative problem solver. The candidate should possess skills across the full product-engineering life cycle from computer-aided design to real-world implementation. This position requires the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing and fluid work environment, where processes are actively being developed. This position is located onsite, in Peoria, IL.

The candidate will work within our engineering team to contribute to the success of our plant-based material, Mirum®, which is perfect for footwear, fashion, automotive, accessories, and more. The ideal candidate would have industry experience in web handling/processing and roll-to-roll manufacturing within rubber, paper, silicone, or other sheet-based goods. This candidate’s role will be focused on sourcing equipment, conducting factory and site assurance tests, generating and maintaining documentation, and creating custom designs using CAD software, and overseeing the execution of those designs with the help of the fabrication team.

You are an ideal candidate if:

  • You want to help commercialize new technologies that are unproven but have a team dedicated to their success.
  • You thrive in making order and efficiency out of a sometimes chaotic environment.
  • You are self-motivated but can take directions and receive constructive feedback.
  • You are great at communicating with other disciplines such as chemical engineers, polymer scientists, and business leaders.
  • You are passionate about environmental stewardship.
  • You leave no stone unturned in your pursuit getting the details right.


  • Discuss projects with key stakeholders to establish requirements, machine specifications, underlying budget, scope, and timeline requirements.
  • Work with external machine builders on production machinery
  • Research suppliers and source equipment and provide cost benefit analysis if needed.
  • Model and design manufacturing lines for Mirum® production.
  • Schedule and run equipment trials as needed.
  • Automate and improve existing manufacturing processes with custom precision designs and fabrication techniques.
  • Create prototypes in-house using both CNC and manual machine tools. (router, lathe, mill, drill press, etc).
  • Collaborate with EH&S, Operations, and Controls Engineering to ensure equipment meets safety standards (NFPA, OSHA, ASME).
  • Work with EH&S and Operations on the planning of commissioning equipment.
  • Write operation and maintenance manuals for in house designs or customizations on existing equipment.
  • Directly discuss problems with operators and production managers to identify and develop labor-saving or product improving automation solutions.
  • Assist Operations in troubleshooting production problems related to machines and automation.
  • Support maintenance as needed of NFW’s equipment as required/needed.
  • Encourage safe work practices and apply appropriate lock-out procedures.
  • Be a team player across engineering, scientific researchers, and business leaders.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing or Mechanical Engineering is preferred, but not required. M.S. in Mechanical Engineering is preferred.
  • 8+ years industry experience in mechanical or manufacturing design and commissioning.
  • Must have roll - to - roll experience, such as in textiles or carpets.
  • An inquisitive spirit to seek out improvements to existing concepts.
  • Knowledge of DFMA, CAD software (Fusion 360 and AutoCad is preferred), FEA, Stress Analysis, and CAM.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in vast mechanical engineering research and design aptitude.
  • Knowledge of Automation, Robotics and Lean Manufacturing is a plus.
  • Knowledge of plumbing and heating systems (fluid mechanics) is a plus.
  • Must have a collaborative work ethic, positive attitude, and the ability to give and receive constructive feedback.
  • Ability to work within a highly iterative team pace and environment.
  • Experience in sourcing equipment for manufacturing.
  • Ability to read, interpret, and apply established codes related to design (NFPA, OSHA, ASME)
  • Familiarity with basic hand and power tools.
  • Ability to design on rapid, fast-to-failure, iterative development cycles in a research and pilot-scale production environment.

Competency Requirements

  • Proficiency in verbal and written communication
  • Strong attention to detail is mandatory
  • Collaborative work ethic, positive attitude, and the ability to give and receive constructive feedback
  • Willingness to learn
  • Ability to work as a team as well as independently
  • Ability to take direction
  • Ability to read, analyze and interpret data
  • Ability to adapt to ongoing change

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  • Frequent talking, hearing and seeing
  • Frequent use of hands to grasp, handle, or feel;
  • Regular standing, walking, sitting and reaching;
  • Regular stooping, kneeling, crouching
  • Frequent lifting of up to 35 pounds; occasional lifting of up to 75 pounds
  • Occasional climbing

Vision Requirements

  • Close vision (clear vision at 20 inches or less)
  • Distance vision (clear vision at 20 feet or more)
  • Color vision (ability to identify and distinguish colors)
  • Peripheral vision (ability to observe an area that can be seen up and down or to the left and right while eyes are fixed on a given point)
  • Depth perception (three-dimensional vision, ability to judge distances and spatial relationships)
  • Ability to focus (ability to adjust eye to bring an object into sharp focus)

Work Environment

  • Well-lighted, heated and/or air-conditioned indoor office/production setting with adequate ventilation
  • Majority of the work is performed in a shop environment with moderate noise level
  • Regularly required to use personal protective equipment

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Company is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive team in which members of all backgrounds can contribute and thrive. In compliance with state and federal law, the Company does not discriminate in employment or administration of its programs and policies on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ancestry, or military service. Our policy reflects and affirms the Company’s commitment to the principles of fair employment and the elimination of all unlawful discriminatory practices.

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