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Northrop Grumman Principal CNC Manufacturing Engineer (Ceramics) in Devens, Massachusetts

Principal CNC Manufacturing Engineer (Ceramics)

Adaptive Optics Associates - Xinetics (AOA Xinetics), a wholly-owned Northrop Grumman Space Systems, Payload and Ground Systems Division Business Venture, is currently seeking a Principal CNC Manufacturing Engineer (Ceramics) to support manufacturing activities in Devens MA.

AOA Xinetics (AOX) designs, develops, and manufactures precision, advanced optical products and systems such as deformable mirrors, optical systems, adaptive optics control systems and silicon carbide optical structures for the U.S. Government, commercial customers, and U.S. defense prime and second-tier contractors. Markets for these technologies include civilian astronomy and semiconductor capital equipment as well as defense ISR and Directed Energy. Several potential direct and adjacent application areas also exist.

AOX delivers industrial photonics systems and development services for a variety of customers and applications. AOX excels in a range of applications from adaptive optical systems, deformable mirrors, wavefront sensors, precision actuators, to photonic systems that acquire and process data in real time for a variety of high availability applications. AOX's capabilities include lightweight passive and active hybrid CERAFORM silicon carbide optics and precision structures as well as large and small precision opto-mechanical systems supporting electronics and sophisticated controls software.


Reporting to the Manufacturing Engineering Manager, the Principal CNC Manufacturing Engineer (Ceramics) will be part of the Precision Optics and Structures Manufacturing team which is responsible for producing precision optics and optical assemblies. You will be part of a team which includes opticians, metrologists, machinists, technicians, technologists and engineers. This position will expose you to various optical and structural manufacturing assignments supporting multiple business areas. The core of the assignment is to provide standardization to CNC programming techniques, protocols, data storage and efficiencies through the employment of best industry practices. Major duties include manufacture of ceramic based optics/structures as well as evaluation and refinement of existing CNC practices. Work with Data Management and Information Assurance to establish appropriate protocols for file and data management in support of the MA Manufacturing function.


  • Define and develop CNC manufacturing programs and process work instructions

  • Incorporate tool changing, onboard productivity enhancements (e.g. touch probes, robotics) and metrology into existing production work cells.

  • Manufacturing of high precision ceramic optics/structures on CNC manufacturing equipment in accordance with manufacturing documentation, process documentation and technical requirements

  • Understand and identify ceramic machining requirements (i.e. tool selection, spindle speed, DOC, feed rates, SPFM, etc) to maximize production throughput while minimizing sub surface damage, controlling surface finish and eliminating other structural defects

  • Develop manufacturing processes associated with CNC work centers (e.g., grinders, multi-axis machining centers, Wire EDM, etc.)

  • Define and recommend new machining equipment acquisitions

  • Identify problems and recommend solutions on a variety of the more complex CNC / manufacturing issues

  • Draw upon your experience and knowledge of machine control and programming to improve processes and identify opportunities to enhance product quality and increasing efficiency

  • Work in partnership with Design and other Manufacturing Engineer disciplines with process refinements, enhancements and develop machine tool capabilities

  • Implement lean manufacturing principles and tools



Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor degree in a manufacturing or related technical discipline

  • 5+ years of experience in CAD/CAM programming and CNC manufacturing

  • Advanced proficiency of CAD/CAM software applications (e.g. Mastercam, SURFCAM, Kubotek3D)

  • Proven and demonstrated experience in machining of ceramic materials; e.g. alumina, silicon carbide, etc.

  • Ability to apply expert manufacturing skills in the production, inspection and test of precision components

  • Proficiency interpreting blueprints, process specifications and technical instructions

  • Ability to track critical machine parameters and implement changes for enhancing productivity and product yield

  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills and strong process change/process trend observation skills

  • Expert in ASME Y14.5-2009, Dimensioning and Tolerance specification

  • Strong critical thinking and logical reasoning skills and the ability to apply them to solve issues and predict potential technical risks

  • Intermediate to Advanced proficiency in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook, Project)

  • Trained and/or Certified in Continuous Improvement Lean Six Sigma Methodologies

  • U.S. Citizenship is a requirement of employment as candidates may be required to obtain a DoD Clearance

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's Degree

  • Experience working in a DoD, Aerospace, Semiconductor Fab and/or COTs product development manufacturing environment

  • Experience in reliability prediction and in-use reliability measurements

  • FMEA, RCCA, or Quality auditing experience

  • Experience implementing ISO 9000, AS9100, TL9000, TS16949, ISO 13485, and/or CMMI for Development

  • ASQ or other Quality, Reliability, Safety certifications

Working Environment & Physical Demands:

  • May be required to travel up to 10% of the time if needed

  • Ability to walk and stand for extended periods of time and ability to lift up to 50lbs

Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.

Job Category : Engineering