Mechanical Product Design & Outsourcing Engineer

Position Summary

The Mechanical Product Design and Outsourcing Engineer is responsible primarily for designing new tools and working with vendors to prototype and eventually manufacture these products when ready for commercialization. The engineer would also be tasked with facilitating the overseas manufacturing of some of the more critical exclusives and would also work to create product specifications for use by QA during incoming inspection, as well as to more easily outsource alternate suppliers.

This position is full time and reports to the Tools and Supplies Product Line Manager.


  • Collaborate as a member of cross-functional project teams in developing products from concept through to commercialization.
  • Design products in accordance with the project objectives with due consideration of project schedule, budget, and risks.
  • Design for manufacturing assessment involving vendor expertise to ensure that the final design will support projected build quantity, yield, cost, and performance requirements.
  • Conduct use and design risk assessment, implementing controls or mitigations to reduce risk levels.
  • Work with the trial technician and focus groups to test prototypes to confirm feasibility of ideas and concepts.
  • Engage with cooperating farmers and product users on farm and otherwise to elicit user requirements.
  • Propose conceptual ideas utilizing various tools and techniques to convey potential solutions.
  • Conduct material selection, taking into account the performance and biocompatibility requirements.
  • Demonstrate expertise in engineering design tools using CAD (preferably Solidworks).
  • Participate in supplier selection for tooling, component and device manufacture.
  • Prepare technical documentation in clear and concise terms in accordance with good engineering practice.
  • Liaise closely with the rest of the Tools and Supplies team, Purchasing, Research, Operations, Quality, Sales, and Marketing functions through the product development lifecycle.
  • Support Sales when necessary in providing technical application support to customers. This is a usually a function served by the Trial Technician, but may fall to the engineer in more mechanically technical applications.
  • Create specification drawings by reverse engineering of key products to enable acquiring alternate sources of supply and to function as a reference for Quality during receipt inspection.
  • Work closely with Purchasing and Quality to outsource competent lower-cost manufacturers or sources of supply for key top-selling products.
  • Work cross-functionally with several departments in ushering products through the New Product Information Systems, to create part numbers and accompanying information for new products at the SKU level.
  • When feasible, work with the Tools and Supplies team and others internally to create and trial prototypes of new products on site at Johnny’s.
  • Perform other assigned tasks as directed by the Tools and Supplies Product Line Manager.


  • B.Eng. or equivalent in Mechanical Engineering required.

Qualifications & Skills

  • Experience with/knowledge of general agricultural/horticultural practices and techniques. Fluent in mechanical design and drafting with Solidworks or equivalent CAD and styling/modelling software.
  • On-farm experience a plus.
  • Experience in working with manufacturers and machine shops, especially those outside the United States.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects.
  • Structured approach to problem solving based on sound engineering principles.
  • Ability to develop analytical models and correlate experimental to theoretical results.
  • Ability to clearly and convincingly communicate new ideas, concepts, issues, and successes.
  • Experience with all the Microsoft Office software applications for generating office documents, spreadsheets, project plans, etc.
  • Analytical and creative problem-solver.
  • Ability to learn new skills quickly.
  • Ability to prioritize, self-manage, and seek help when necessary.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to build consensus/function as part of a team.
  • High attention to detail.
  • Punctuality and readiness to work.
  • Availability for weekend work hours, as required.
  • Availability to work overtime as needed, often on very short notice.
  • Ability to travel as needed to collaborator farms, vendor visits, and conferences.
  • Valid Maine driver’s license.

Physical Requirements

  • Capable of physically working outdoors, often in less-than-ideal weather conditions.
  • Ability to bend, pull, and lift up to 50 pounds.


  • Health Insurance (HNO, PPO, HSA)
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account (Medical & Dependent Care)
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan & Profit Sharing
  • 401(k)
  • Employee Discount
  • Maternity/Paternity/Adoption & Foster Care Leave
  • Company Paid Life Insurance
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Voluntary Pet Insurance
  • Company Paid Short- & Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Paid Time Off
  • Educational Assistance

Johnny's Selected Seeds provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.



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Our mission is helping families, friends, and communities to feed one another by providing superior seeds, tools, information, and service.