Senior Engineer, Automotive Product Design (BiW and Closure)

Novelis - Novi, MI (30+ days ago)3.8

Novelis is seeking an experienced automotive Body-in-White (BIW) / Closures design engineer for a key role in the new automotive Customer Solution Center (CSC), in Novi, Michigan. The CSC is responsible to develop Closure and BIW designs in conjunction with several automotive OEMs that balance cost, mass, and innovation that demonstrate the value of Novelis products, and the senior design engineer will be responsible to develop these designs on both a broad scale while accounting for key details.

The successful candidate will be expected to both create and guide 3D design and development of these structures, weighing tradeoffs of different materials and joining methods as judged by cost, mass, and performance – structural, corrosion-resistance, and appearance, and will be joining a team of other automotive engineers proficient in automotive aluminum, structural and formability simulation, cost modeling, and joining methods. They must understand the benefits of different designs in order to develop designs that showcase the new and current alloys and product forms – aluminum intensive, with AHSS, and hybrid structures. This engineer will play a key role in engaging with the automotive commercial and technical teams to understand the OEM design approach and structural requirements and performance of Novelis material in such processes. Experience in CAE / structural modeling, joining technologies, aluminum forming, and a metallurgy background are all desirable.

The Senior Engineer will be a key member of the CSC in Novi which collaborates with other ASCs around the globe. The CSCs will promote innovations in the area of aluminum applications to provide new technical solutions to customers and internal project teams. CSCs mission is to assure the adaption and validation of innovation and new products at customers. Many North American automotive OEMs are particularly interested in closures, and hence will be a focus of this center. Closures may include side doors, liftgates, hoods, fenders, and EV battery enclosures. This role will report to the Senior Technical Manager of the CSC who will manage the priorities and strategic direction of the engineering team in Novi as described above.

This position will work closely together with the Novelis OEM customer alloy development teams, R&D application engineers, and colleagues in Novelis CSCs in Europe and Asia. Integration into a multinational team and adaption of the Novelis cultural beliefs and living the culture is key for the success of the individual and the team.


Create design concepts for Body-in-White and Closure automotive structures, evaluating tradeoffs either with OEMs directly, paired with other suppliers, or on internal Novelis projects meant to showcase new products.

Collaborate meaningfully with team members specializing in structural performance (CAE), formability, joining, and corrosion.

Actively engage with Automotive OEM design engineers to collaborate on design projects that utilize Novelis products, trading off cost, mass, joining methods, formability, and structural performance.

Maintain cost models and performance records of designs being developed through engagement with team members and OEMs, to allow Novelis to understand the value of products and make strategic decisions.

Deeply understand design details around Novelis products, and communicate barriers to adoption at OEMs – e.g. lack of acceptance of certain joining methods, etc.

Utilize experience and lessons learned to help Novelis develop new product ideas and applications, as well suggestions to improve current products that enhance trade-offs.

Help develop project proposals and meet project deliverables commitments and timelines

Complete detailed 3D CAD design work both personally and through management of outside design resources, from concept to prototype-ready.

Assist in education of automotive OEM design engineers in design with aluminum sheet through design reviews and development of design guidelines

Collect local technical needs on structural performance, share with R&D center and set up related projects to satisfy those needs.

Help evaluate pros and cons of implementation of innovative products.

propose and promote design improvement approaches including cost reduction

Help review development strategy occasionally such that Novelis development is congruent with market needs – through discussions with Product management, alloy development teams, OEM customer teams, and the R&D team



10-15 years of broad, proven experience designing high-volume designs of Body-in-white and/or door-in-white assemblies with common structural materials, such as steel and aluminum alloys

Ability to create and/or guide completion body/closure designs from concept to prototype-ready in 3D CAD.

Detailed design feasibility of parts / modules made with different materials or grades

Completion of design tradeoff studies that balance better performance and lower mass with cost efficiency.

Understanding of real-world cost drivers and barriers to implementation of new technologies.

Part and assembly design expertise for all types of BIW structures (Al intensive, AHSS, mixed metal hybrid structures and doors) and the related CAD / CAE simulation knowledge

Advanced practical understanding of the design guidelines for Al and steel BIW sheet metal parts is essential

Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical, Metallurgical or Materials Engineering. Masters degree a plus but not essential with relevant experience.

At least 10 to 15 years of relevant experience in hands-on structural design

Deep experience creating designs in standard 3D CAD systems (e.g. CATIA, NX) is preferred.

Understanding of joining methods, sheet metal forming (aluminum a plus), corrosion mitigation strategies, and manufacturing processes is essential.

Metallurgy background is a plus.

Experience understanding and incorporating findings of product (e.g. crash/ strength/ stiffness) and process (e.g. stamping) simulation models, with experience using the codes being a plus.

Experience understanding topology and shape optimization results is a plus.

Knowledge of formability characterization and testing methods, such as FLC/FLD methods using DIC, LDR/LDH, Bulge and Shear testing along with practical formability testing.

Excellent problem solving and project management skills

Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, and capability to thrive in a multinational and multifunctional team environment.

Ability to manage own workload, but effectively interface with team and outside engineering companies as needed.

Self-driven with motivation to develop new designs in conjunction with R&D and industry peers.

Drive to develop innovative solutions that balance structural needs and cost requirements is essential

Ability to travel in the local or regional area up to 30% of the time

Facilities, Amenities or Infrastructure


The Novi office, twenty-five miles northeast of the heart of the motor city, provides sales and engineering technology technical support for automotive manufacturers. The Novi team promotes the application of Novelis aluminum sheet for auto body panels and exacting performance requirements of the fast-paced automotive industry. Site capabilities include: Sale Office and Stamping and Testing Lab Markets We Serve Automotive and Transportation – Sales, Engineering and Technical Support

Last Date of Application