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Materials Engineer

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Date: Jul 19, 2022

Location: Hickory, NC, US, 28601

Company: Corning

Requisition Number: 53168


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.


Purpose of Position

Lead materials development activities related to COC (Corning Optical Communications) globally, focusing on OCS/OFC materials for global use. Support active interaction with the COC Global Materials Group members as well with the materials groups based in Sullivan Park (AR&D, OBT). Apply expertise and innovation in polymer science and engineering to support new product development activities and assist with existing products. Assist with polymer compound selection and evaluation for cable applications as well as passive and active hardware products for fiber optic communication systems e.g. connectors, closures, cabinets, assemblies, adhesives and seals. 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. Also demonstrate technical leadership and innovation in the area of materials science and polymer engineering through rigorous mechanistic problem solving approaches.


Major Roles and Responsibilities:

  • 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.
  • Apply sophisticated scientific or engineering understanding to research or development problems, ideas or projects.
  • Participate in project teams, providing polymer materials fundamental understanding and development support
  • 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.
  • Lead and support materials-focused development work for short and long-term R&D goals
  • Balance hands-on work related activities with technical leadership related activities
  • Collaborate with research and manufacturing functions throughout product development cycle
  • Make assignments to technicians
  • Communicate and document results



  • Bachelors degree in material science or chemistry required
  • Master degree or higher is a plus


Experience Requirements:

  • Bachelors level - Minimum 3 yrs. work experience in a product development environment
  • Masters level – No minimum work experience


Required Skills:

  • Experience with thermoplastic polymers / polymer compounds
  • Relevant experience in product development or product testing
  • 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
  • Ability to formulate testing protocols for desired material properties, starting with basic analytic capabilities (FTIR, TGA, DSC, …)
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Sharepoint)


Desired Skills:

  • Knowledge of engineering thermoplastics (also high temperature), silicone, polyurethane, thermoplastic elastomers and epoxy compounds
  • Base knowledge in sealing, encapsulation and physical support of materials for product development
  • Base knowledge of injection molding and knowledge of scientific molding
  • Structure-property knowledge of engineering thermoplastics and elastomers
  • Hands on experience with polymer characterization methods such as rheology, DMA, DSC, TGA, TMA, SEM and mechanical testing; understanding or experience with optical testing a plus
  • Experiences with the evaluation of product lifetime
  • International Work Experience


Soft Skills:

  • Ability to work within a multicultural team environment
  • Ability to multitask
  • Ability to work independently
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to mentor other engineers and train others on primary knowledge base
  • Expected to bring enthusiasm, collaboratory, and innovative spirit
  • Likes to present achievements and is open for constructive discussions


Additional Requirements:

  • Travel: max. 30%
  • Location: Hickory, NC
  • Hours of work/work schedule/ flex-time: 40+ hrs/wk


This role does not support immigration sponsorship.



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


We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

Nearest Major Market: Hickory