Footwear Material Developer II

Posted 1.24.24
Seattle, WA
Who We Are:
At Brooks, we believe a run can change a day, a life, the world. Everyone who works here is a key part of our obsession to make the best running gear on the planet. We want our business — which also happens to be our passion — to be a place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable being themselves. Our company culture defines us, bonds us together, and drives our success. We live this culture daily through our brand values: Runner First, Word is Bond, Champion Heart, There is no “I” in Run, and Keep Moving. This means we always solve for the runner, do what we say we will, give it our all, are generous with our humanity, and find a way to keep moving every day, because joy is kinetic. 
Are you ready to help create something extraordinary?
Your Job:
As a Footwear Material Developer II at Brooks, you will be an integral part of the Footwear Development Team driving the execution of the seasonal materials agenda through all phases of materials development.  You will regularly partner with Product Developers, Designers, Product Line Managers, and material vendors to achieve a common goal – making the best running footwear on the planet. You are responsible for the timely, profitable, and quality delivery of materials for Brooks Footwear. You’ll bring new materials to the team and work closely with vendors to ensure that Brooks’ footwear product goals are achieved. In this role, you’ll partner closely with the Materials Design team to create seasonal palettes that meet the needs of our growing footwear brand.  You’ll be involved in the overall process of product creation from idea generation, product design, prototype development, and physical testing through commercialization and production. 
In this role, you’ll lead the work across the supply chain to create materials, validate them, and ensure that products can be made and commercialized with all footwear materials.  As a key member of the materials team, you’ll explore, research, and develop various materials including knits, woven, non-woven, synthetics, and all other materials used in footwear.  
Your Responsibilities:
  • Collaborate with product teams to develop materials specifications for product functionality, durability, and aesthetics, including identifying needs and researching solutions.
  • Lead in the technical execution of season toolbox needs based on the cross-collaborative requirements for each product.
  • Drive creation of new materials through materials calendar including pre-development.  Partner on calendar creation with head of materials department.
  • Coordinate and oversee the review of materials with Asia materials testing team to ensure that all materials pass Brooks standards.  Act as liaison as needed for Footwear Developers and review together as needed.  Manage communication with project teams regarding materials testing requirements and results.
  • Develop and maintain an organized materials library, complete with up-to-date materials, testing history, and specifications; either within FLEX system or physical
  • Continuously build advanced materials expertise and make recommendations for our products; create and build a network of contacts within the industry.
  • Evaluate the risk factors associated with all material developments and communicate them to the product teams.
  • Assist with advanced materials R&D projects (when needed).
  • Work cross-functionally to drive goals, uncover opportunities, and move materials forward within the footwear creation process.
  • Manage multiple projects at a time across multiple timelines including validating materials both on and off products.
  • Contribute ideas for product design, construction, materials, and components to enhance functionality, aesthetics, fit, and profit margins.
  • Create seasonal material palettes and tools for use in products. 
  • Serve as the technical material resource for members of the project teams and other cross-functional footwear team members
  • Evaluate new product /materials applications to improve cost, reduce environmental impact, or improve quality of Brooks’ products.
  • Stays abreast of new technology and competitive products by attending material and machine shows and provide recommendations from the materials perspective.
  • Generate technical product creation packages to communicate each project’s intended construction and aesthetic details and ensure alignment across teams.  Ensure final product has a paper trail.
  • Work with Wear Testing and Human Performance Lab on the testing and validation of all performance characteristics of materials from early prototypes to final confirmation. 
  • Collaborate with materials design to research and source materials and trims to meet all business objectives and ensure delivery of seasonal market palette.
  • Partner with Asia Materials team to support as needed.
  • Travel to suppliers 2 or more times per year and ensure regular ongoing communication with suppliers
  • Other responsibilities as required.
  • BS in Textile Engineering, Textile Design, Materials Engineering, Textile Chemistry or related field; may be substituted with relevant work experience
  • 5+ years of experience in footwear textile development/ design, material development
  • Solid understanding of footwear construction methods, materials, testing & evaluation techniques.  Ability to understand how materials play a part in the fit and feel of performance footwear.
  • Ability to analyze test information and provide subjective feedback in a concise and understandable manner
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, demonstrating effective listening through concise, clear verbal and written communication
  • Excellent interpersonal skills that encourage and build trust resulting in effective working relationships across the company
  • Keen attention to detail in planning, organization, and execution of tasks while observing the big picture and understanding how everything fits.  Willingness to dive into the details.
  • Proven ability to drive a decision in a collaborative, cross-functional group without command/ control to meet strategic objectives.
  • High level of independent work ethic and ability to know when to reach out for support.
  • Curious and open-minded; always open for a challenge, inventive, creative. With the ability to challenge the status quo – always looking at improving our products and processes while also displaying a willingness to dive into the details. 
  • Ability to work professionally and effectively within the team and across departments while balancing multiple tasks within cross-seasonal deadlines.
  • Ability to anticipate how a decision made can affect our customers, our partners, our product or other departments’ operations – the ability to “connect the dots”
  • Work independently and with Manager to achieve materials strategy goals.
  • Curious and open-minded – be open to a challenge and always looking to improve our products and processes.
  • Computer proficiency with office software, MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint. Adobe Illustrator and FlexPLM
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed (15-25% travel time)
  • Embraces and lives the Brooks values
  • Passionate participation in Brooks’ sports activities a plus, overridden by the ability to understand and empathize with the runner in order to develop loyal, engaging relationships with our customers and the Brooks community.
  • Unwavering demonstration of Brooks’ corporate values:  Serve People, Lead Thought, Compete as a Team, Have Integrity, Be Active, Have Fun!
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