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Analytical and Quality Lab Manager

Niron Magnetics

Niron Magnetics

Quality Assurance
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2023

Niron Magnetics is a venture-backed pre-revenue business developing the only known magnetic material with the potential to displace widely used rare earth permanent magnets at commercial scale. These rare earth permanent magnets are found in electric motors, generators, sensors, actuators, and a variety of everyday machines. They are critical to the green economy. Unfortunately, the mining and refining of rare earth materials incur harsh social and environmental costs. Further, reliance on rare earth permanent magnets represents a strategic supply chain risk, creates a geopolitical vulnerability and creates risk of supply shortages.

Niron’s Clean Earth MagnetTM is free of critical materials (including rare earth elements), which eliminates the environmental damage caused by their use. It is made up of abundant, commodity inputs enabling a secure supply chain. Niron is comprised of a team of engineers, scientists, and business leaders with a desire to make a positive impact in our community.

Niron is suported by both the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. Strategic investors include Volvo Cars and Western Digital Capital. Financial investors include Anzu Partners and Artiman Ventures. We are growing our production team as we prepare to commercialize the magnet.

About the Position:

The Analytical and Quality Lab Manager is responsible for developing Niron’s Analytical and Quality Labs into a world-class operation for development and production of Niron’s Clean Earth MagnetTM product. This role will ensure all industry best practices are applied to existing and future measurement systems and will oversee an engineering and technician team responsible for development, sustaining and improvement of Lab equipment and methods. Further, the Lab Manager will work closely with various departments to ensure schedules are met for internal customers of Lab data. This role will report to Niron’s Chief Operating Officer and will be based out of Niron’s Minneapolis, MN facility.

Primary Roles and Responsibilities:

  • SAFETY: Ensure all Lab methods and equipment are managed in accordance with Niron’s EH&S policies and procedures.
  • EXCELLENCE: Create a world-class Analytical and Quality Lab operation used for development and production of Niron’s Clean Earth MagnetTM
  • PEOPLE:
    • Manage a team of Engineers responsible for developing, sustaining and improving measurement tools.
    • Manage a team of Technicians responsible for processing materials through the Lab for internal Niron data customers.
  • MSA: Ensure all existing and new Lab equipment and methods are developed in accordance with Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) industry best practices.
  • CHANGE MANAGEMENT: Manage change for Lab equipment and methods according to Niron’s change management policies. Related to this, help with continuous improvement of these policies.
  • FACILITIES: Oversee the move of Niron’s existing Analytical Lab into its new Analytical and Quality Lab space (same building), including managing the project to re-certify all of Niron’s Lab equipment post-move.
  • PROCUREMENT: Work with procurement team to support Lab equipment procurement projects, including supporting technical specifications, reviewing vendor proposals, and monitoring procurement project schedules are completed timely.
  • TRAINING: Train the engineering and technician teams on world class measurement system disciplines
  • 6S: Ensure the Lab is operated according to Niron’s 6S methods.
  • DATA SYSTEMS: Collaborate with Niron’s Data Engineering team for new data collection automation projects and integration into machine learning systems, especially as new methods and tools are qualified.
  • FUTURE: The current role is focused on analytical methods and lab operations, but there could be future supporting activities with the Quality organization, such as ISO and Quality Management Systems development as Niron prepares its commercial pilot operations. A subset of the Analytical Lab equipment will likely be repurposed for quality and production process control at the Commercial Pilot facility.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Master’s or higher degree in the physical sciences (e.g. physics, chemistry), engineering or related field, along with a deep understanding of statistical methods.
  • Minimum 5-10 years of experience in analytical and/or quality lab roles, preferably in the materials, chemical and/or manufacturing industries.
  • Hands-on experience operating a wide range of measurement systems in commercial environments.
  • Experience with measurement systems for assessing critical powder properties throughout the material production process.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with additional wide range of materials and/or magnetic materials measurement systems and methods used during production and final product quality control.
  • Relevant certifications such as Six Sigma Black Belt, Quality Engineer, and/or Project Management.
  • Project management
  • Deep understanding of all of the MSA disciplines
  • Management and Leadership skills
  • Communicates effectively with company personnel across all levels of the organization
  • Quality and Customer mindset
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office JMP, SQL, and/or data visualization software
  • Exceptional organizational skills / high consideration for detail

For more information on Niron: