Semiconductor and Fiber Lasers

R&D Project Manager

nLIGHT, Inc. is seeking a Research and Development (R&D) Project Manager to join our team, located in Vancouver, Washington. Our ideal candidate is a proven leader and collaborator who is motivated, detail-oriented, proactive, and reliable, with a passion for growing the business while increasing R&D efficiency and corporate profitability. This position will primarily focus on developing, manufacturing, and supporting fiber lasers used in industrial and directed energy applications. Specifically, in this role you will manage a variety of development projects consisting of semiconductor diode and fiber laser products, laser components and accessories, engineering changes to products currently in production, tooling and factory automation, and business systems. nLIGHT uses a phase-gate New Product Introduction (NPI) process as a life cycle management tool.


Manage Projects and Resources. Lead matrixed cross-functional teams (including but not limited to product development, purchasing, sourcing, planning, quality, compliance, test, marketing, facilities, and manufacturing) through the development/ NPI process. Manage and oversee feasibility studies, requirements generation, cost/schedule planning, product design and qualification, compliance certification, and production hand-off.

Deliver to Plan
. Develop and manage detailed project plans (resource allocation, schedule, budget, and performance attributes). Provide regular written and verbal status reports to peers and executives.

Influence Business Strategy. Provide inputs to the business unit and corporate planning processes in support of quarterly and annual planning cycles.

Improve Processes. Implement appropriate business and operations systems in support of product development needs. Drive structured continuous improvement efforts.

Manage Risk. Escalate issues and drive resolution, as required, to balance program risk as it relates to cost/schedule/performance attributes. Facilitate risk- and priority-based technical decision-making.

Success Criteria

Employees performing in this capacity are measured primarily on their ability to meet their cost, schedule, and performance commitments for a given deliverable.   


- Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, or similar discipline. A Masters or MBA is desirable.
- 5+ years of product development, transfer to production, product line management, and/or manufacturing management experience in global high-tech industries.
- Experience managing/directing engineering development activities, and/or leading R&D teams through the spectrum of NPI Phases and Gates. Ability to motivate, focus, and coach project staff. Ability to influence, manage, and collaborate with external stakeholders.
- Experience with manufacturing systems and management controls (Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Material Requirements Planning (MRP), Product Data Management (PDM), Lean, Six Sigma, Statistical Process Control (SPC), as examples).
- Experience with capital equipment development, and in particular, laser-related products or equipment, is desirable.

nLIGHT is subject to US Export Control regulations. To qualify for this position, a Foreign Person (that is, not a US Citizen or legal Permanent Resident) must be eligible for a deemed export license under the US Department of Commerce and/or the US Department of State. 

Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or age. For more information about our commitment to equal employment opportunity, please see these government posters: “EEO is the Law” and its accompanying temporary supplement. If you are an individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation in the application or hiring process, please contact Human Resources at (360) 566-4460 or

About nLIGHT

nLIGHT is a rapidly growing vertically integrated supplier of high-performance lasers that enable innovation in materials processing, microelectronics and defense applications. nLIGHT develops and manufactures fiber lasers based on industry-leading semiconductor laser and optical fiber technology. nLIGHT is headquartered in Vancouver, Washington with additional sites in North America, Asia and Europe. nLIGHT lasers are not only changing the way things are made, but what can be made.

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