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Headwall designs and manufactures unique spectral imaging instruments, software, and solutions with unparalleled capabilities to acquire and exploit spectral data across the electromagnetic spectrum. Our spectral and analytical technology is used throughout four main markets: remote sensing, machine vision, medical-biotech, and government/defense. With brand leadership and expertise in managing reflected light technologies, the team at Headwall dedicates themselves to improving our designs and processes for the benefit of communities and organizations around the world. From manufacturing food inspection sensors to satellite payloads for earth observation to imaging devices for tumor detection, Headwall is proud of the positive impact our work has on the global stage.

The Director of Manufacturing & Operations leads global operations including multiple manufacturing sites in the areas of lasers, optics, photonics, electronics, machine vision, motion control, vibration control, and opto-mechanics technologies.

The position includes responsibility for lean/efficient management of Production, Manufacturing and Test Engineering, ISO quality programs, and Supply Chain management. As a member of the senior management team, the position will require skills and experience in profitably scaling production operations in a growth environment requiring development of production budgets, staffing and hiring plans and capital expenditures. Implementing continuous improvement through Kaizen approaches and value stream analysis to drive greater profitability is a critical aspect of job responsibilities.

Reporting to the CEO, responsibility includes team engagement to drive customer satisfaction throughout the organization while ensuring safety, quality, delivery, productivity and profitability, and effectively partnering with other functions in the value chain.

Critical Skills
  • Strategic planning of production operations and manufacturing leadership
  • Lean manufacturing and process efficiency improvement
  • Optical & analytical instrument knowledge
  • Supply chain management
  • Quality-based management
Operations Leadership
  • Develop and design best-in-class Operations processes and procedures based on expert understanding and relevant industry experience; drive culture supporting the innovation of new techniques, approaches, and skills
  • Foster a process-driven culture of continuous improvement. Cultivate a problem-solving mindset at all levels of the organization to drive efficiency and gross margin improvements across the product lines.
  • Develop strategy and administer budgets, plans and performance requirements linked to meeting manufacturing volume, quality, delivery, cost targets and safety expectations.
  • Drive a cohesive approach in each aspect of operations across a multi-site footprint, ensuring customer experience is consistent.
  • Lead adherence to existing quality standards while further strengthening Headwall production and quality systems.
  • Support customer demand in a high mix environment by applying planning processes to anticipate demand and level-load production schedules and materials flow.
Continuous Improvement
  • Partner cross-functionally (Sales, Engineering, Finance) consistently, and at the front-line level, to improve quality and productivity, reduce waste and standardize processes.
  • Drive daily management as a team-based, visual process applied consistently at each point of impact to ensure process discipline and drive improvements. When off-track, hold self and team accountable to apply problem solving and appropriate action.
  • Work with Engineering managers and teams to maximize production uptime and efficiency, including supporting efficiency projects based on product/price variance goals (PPV).
  • Maintain a Kaizen event funnel focusing on the most important opportunities and problems in our business, as driven by our strategic plan and performance versus KPI’s. Champion Kaizen work cross-functionally and drive commitment to sustaining improvements.
Supply Chain & Procurement
  • Manage procurement processes and tools to reduce supply-chain risk to customer delivery expectations
  • Work with Supply Chain professionals to consistently deliver year-over-year savings on direct & indirect spend; maximize material availability to ensure high levels of productivity and customer service via on-time delivery; reduce excess inventory to improve working capital turns and maximize effective use of physical space
Strategic Insight
  • Define manufacturing operations role in enabling previously unobtainable insights – along with engineering and sales and strategic programs supporting the implementation of breakthrough product innovation, while providing instruments with the highest field reliability, accuracy and stability, and delivering to customers when they expect
  • Collaborate and benchmark across to identify innovative solutions and implementation best practices, to address challenges and opportunities for operational competitive advantage
  • Provide Operations input to business decisions and keep company leadership apprised of expected changes to the Operations landscape affecting business performance and core value drivers
  • Represent Operations perspective through acquisition diligence and integration, ensuring performance to established commitments
  • Coordinates, manages, and directs personnel, and activities to ensure organizational goals (on time delivery, out of box quality, efficiency, financial, inventory turns) are achieved
  • Ensures efficient and cost-effective operations
  • Participates in the strategic planning for the organization, as it relates to the Operations and the implementation of strategic goals and objectives
  • Develop, administer and maintain continuous improvement methodologies throughout all production facilities
  • Ensures that production budgets including capital, schedules, and performance standards are realistically set and attained
  • Promoting growth by driving strategies such as factory consolidation and new product introduction
  • Driving an innovative team focused on leading edge manufacturing process technology
  • Manage the day-to-day activities of Operations, overseeing that work is accomplished and that it is consistent with corporate policies and objectives
  • Oversee that the inventory management is consistent with sales, cash flow and financial goals
  • Other duties/responsibilities as assigned by the CEO
Requirements & Qualifications
  • BS in engineering or related scientific discipline, MS or advanced degree preferred
  • Experience in the Laser, Optics and photonics industry preferred
  • US Citizen or Green Card status
  • APICS certification (CPIM) preferred
  • Knowledge of Lean Six Sigma principles and tools; Demand Flow Technology (DFT), VSM, flow design, Kanban, cycle time, Takt Time, line balancing, constraint theory, Kaizen, 6S, DFT, and CpK. Application of Lean Manufacturing techniques; Six Sigma; Root Cause & Corrective Action (RCCA)
  • P&L experience required
  • Risk identification, mitigation and management
  • People development and performance management and ability to direct and coordinate activities of others, to take decisive action appropriate to the situation and business plan
  • Ability to develop presentations, present to audience; group training or status to senior level managers, excellent written, verbal communication and presentation skills
  • Material and labor quoting
  • Applies knowledge to resolve unprecedented problems or issues
  • Manufacturing requirements planning
  • Develop staffing plans and supporting overhead budgets. Strong organizational and planning skills
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, Experience with ERP systems (MAX preferred)

Critical Competencies

  • Strong executive and customer presence
  • Strategic and hands-on orientation with team
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize key points and prioritize on a real time basis
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills
  • Strong relationships and influence with different stakeholder and employee groups
  • High ethics and integrity, and a non-compromising safety orientation
  • Strong managerial courage and an ability to make tough decision

Headwall is looking for a motivated individual to join our Gratings production team at our Fitchburg, Massachusetts, facility. This position is primarily responsible for ensuring quality of our optical components, which includes incoming inspection of our optical substrates and final testing of our gratings.


  • Testing of product with Zygo interferometers, roughness tools, and other laser based testing tools
  • Inspect for scratch/dig criteria and other surface quality specifications using microscope
  • Support glass handling, cleaning, and inspection operations
  • Communicate quality or compliance concerns with urgency
  • Develop and maintain inspection reports
  • Collate data and report on trends and anomalies
  • Ensure compliance to federal and state laws, as well as company standards and specifications
  • Perform inspections across all stages of production
  • Identify areas for quality and process improvement
  • Provide support to the coating lab: clean room housekeeping, data collection 
  • Completes work order documentation describing jobs performed and enters time spent for each job promptly
  • Maintain clean equipment and work area in line with a lean manufacturing operation

Essential Duties:

  • Ability to work in clean room environment 
  • Mentor other technicians in the quality and continuous improvement processes
  • Apply basic mathematic knowledge to manufacturing process
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time and ability to lift 20 pounds
  • Familiarity with Lean manufacturing preferred
  • Proficiency with math skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Technical high school and/or associates degree in manufacturing process, optics, fabrication, math and sciences or related experience

Headwall has an exciting opportunity for a Process Engineer to contribute to the success of a growing organization. We are searching for a self-starter to help support the manufacturing team at our Fitchburg plant. The candidate will be responsible for monitoring the operations of our components, including quality and compliance. The candidate should be able to recommend and drive improvements to the process through the tracking of metrics and reporting of data.

Roles & Responsibility:
• Provide ongoing engineering support to a staff of holographic grating fabrication and test technicians working in a class (1000, 10,000) cleanroom environment
• Actively drive engineering initiatives to improve practices and procedures.
• Produce Mechanical Designs of grating fabrication & test fixtures
• Develop, Maintain and update training, SOPs and other manufacturing procedures.
• Assist with the maintenance and calibration of specialized fabrication and test equipment
• Interact with other engineers and sales staff as needed to provide timely responses to customer inquiries
• Provide support to sales for quotations

Skillsets Required:
• Design of experiments, including error analysis
• Facility in MSWord, Outlook, Excel
• Good oral and written communication skills
• Working familiarity with at least one 3D parametric solid modeling software package

Desired Skillsets:
• Statistical process controls & software tools
• SolidWorks™
• Familiarity with MATLAB™ as a problem-solving tool
• Familiarity with at least one database software package
• Optical, electrical, and/or mechanical metrology skills

Desired Experience:
• Working familiarity with at least one 3D CAD parametric solid modeling program (SolidWorks™ is ideal)
• Design of experiments, methods, procedures, and software tools
• Familiarity working with photo-polymers, especially photo-resists (desired, not required)
• Optical metrology (interferometry, profilometry, throughput, lasers, single and multi-mode fibers, beam polarizing components)
• Application of statistical process controls to improve first-pass yields, reduce cycle times, and support continuous improvements to product quality and operational excellence
• Documented experience managing and improving fabrication processes in a small but growing company that prioritizes rapid response to new product development efforts.

Education Requirements:
• Bachelor’s degree in ME, EE, CE, or OE

Desired Education:
• Graduate level specialization in one or more relevant areas (optical metrology, photo-polymer chemistry, statistical process controls)

The Opto-Mechanical Engineer is responsible for planning and executing engineering tasks for the development and production of spectral imaging instruments and OEM components. This individual will be working closely with our small interdisciplinary team to translate ideas into high level design concepts and functional prototypes. The candidate must be a fast learner, strong problem solver, and exceptional communicator. They must have a proven ability to understand complex problems and requirements as described by customers, product managers, and scientific and engineering staff. Due to export restrictions, the candidate must be a US Citizen.

Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Design parts and assemblies in SOLIDWORKS for state-of-the-art precision mechanical, optical, and opto-mechanical devices for static, airborne, and space-based applications.
  • Analyze and present modeling and test data. Discuss results with technical staff, external partners, and customers.
  • Contribute to project teams in the preparation of requirements, cost estimates and schedules.
  • Prepare for, and participate in, comprehensive design reviews.
  • Evaluate product performance at the component and system levels via both SOLIDWORKS modeling and hands-on experimental methods.
  • Help develop and execute component reliability and qualification tests, especially accelerated aging, high stress conditions, and test to failure.
  • Develop manufacturing and quality procedures and support the manufacturing team in pilot builds and troubleshooting during production.
  • Communicate detailed technical specifications with both domestic and overseas suppliers of materials, parts, and equipment.
  • Write engineering change orders on existing products to improve designs and correct problems.
  • Meet deadlines, sustain superior personal task management, and deliver consistent high performance.
  • Occasionally travel to customer sites for equipment installation and test.



  • High proficiency in using SOLIDWORKS for mechanical design and documentation.
  • Proficiency with finite element method for stress analysis, modal analysis, and heat transfer analysis.
  • Competent with GD&T to achieve high precision results in the design process.
  • Able and efficient with modern documentation, presentation, and collaboration applications.
  • Superior oral and written communication skills.
  • Capable and self-sufficient in building and testing physical assemblies and apparatus.


  • Ability to formally organize and manage technical development projects, i.e. creating work breakdown structures, schedules, and reports.
  • Working knowledge of hand tools, machining methods, materials, and processes.
  • Proficiency in failure analysis methodology and design for cost/ reliability/ manufacturability.
  • Understanding of kinematic structures, high precision manufacturing, and dynamic assemblies.
  • Expertise in optics mounting techniques and optical systems.


  • Critical thinking skills (analysis and synthesis).
  • Ability to work alone or with others, often with minimal direct supervision.
  • Ability to communicate concisely with colleagues at all levels throughout a high technology manufacturing organization.
  • Possess the innate curiosity that motivates continuous learning.
  • The ability to manage stress by prioritizing competing tasks, communicating incremental progress, and adapting to changing priorities when business needs demand flexibility.
  • The ability to focus attention over extended periods to solve difficult technical problems.
  • The ability to “consider the big picture” becoming and remaining mindful of both one’s own role and the needs and responsibilities of other within the organization.
  • The ability to plan, follow through, and communicate the results of one’s own efforts.

Desired Experience:

  • 3+ years of experience in mechanical engineering of industrial equipment.
  • Experience in opto-mechanical systems preferred.
  • Experience in execution of engineering documentation, from design reviews and requirements documents to failure analysis and risk mitigation.
  • Proven track record of successful designs that have transitioned to production.



  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a closely related field.


  • Formal training in machining and/or other fabrication methods.
  • Formal training in CMM and/or other precision measurement instruments.

Headwall is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need. We are an official Affirmative Action Program employer. Headwall encourages any United States citizen and others who are authorized to work in the United States to apply for these positions. No agencies, please.

To apply, send an e-mail to and reference your position of interest in the subject line.