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Associate Director - Robotic Machine Development

Tyson Foods

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Posted on 06/30/2022


Springdale, Arkansas, United States of America


Job Description

The Automation  organization is a start-up team at Tyson Foods that is responsible for the development and validation of innovative robotics and automation technologies and solutions that improve team member safety, optimize labor and yield, ensure food safety, and provide a framework for sustainable profitability.


The Automation organization is seeking an Associate Director who will lead the design, development, and release of a state-of-the-art robotic poultry debone machine.    This candidate will grow and manage an innovative team comprised of process Subject Matter Experts (SME’s), controls, mechanical, robotics, and software engineers and automation professionals.  This team will internally collaborate with Tyson Engineering teams and external vendors to design, develop, manufacture and  deploy this industry changing technology. 


This is a high-visibility position with significant capital commitment by Tyson to develop and scale proprietary ground-breaking technology with implications across all business units.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

This position will manage and direct a multidisciplinary engineering team along with cross-functional engagement with IT, procurement, operations, and others to deliver a robotic poultry debone machine.   You will lead your team by clearly defining the metrics of success, setting expectations and responsibilities, providing effective performance coaching, and inspiring your team members to grow and meet their full potential in their current roles and careers.  Specifics include:


1) Lead the development of the Tyson Robotic Debone system technical capabilities

  • Apply formal product design and engineering methods to organize the workflow of the team, improve internal collaboration, and traceability of the developments. These processes are essential as the development team grows.

  • Ensure Product Readiness in Installation, Operation, Maintenance and Support

  • Define methods, processes, and tools to track and report on the development activity

  • Use commercial software tools to setup and track product features, defects, versions, and wish list.

  • Continually assess and compare commercial 3rd party products and evolving operations requirements to the system capability and use the resulting gap to prioritize new feature development and cost, reliability, and delivery speed improvements

  • Setup a formal testing and validation team and processes to deliver a high reliability product.

  • Engage with sister organization to develop user friendly maintenance and training documentation and delivery methods.


2) Through engagement with the larger Tyson organization, support the deployment and startup of systems into multiple plants.  Through your team provide Level 3 support to plants.

3) Lead engagement with critical component vendors and contract manufacturers to optimize our offerings cost, reliability, and delivery timelines.

4) Collaborate with Engineering and Business Operations to develop an achievable rollout plan for these machines.

5) Hire a team to develop a parallel work stream for cutting edge R&D that improves the flexibility and accuracy of the robotic machine using computer vision, ML, and cloud connectivity.

6) Proactively engage with Tyson Legal to evaluate and protect the Intellectual Property associated with this development.




  • Education: B.S. in Mechanical/Electrical/Computer Engineering

  • Experience: 7 plus years of direct related experience with engineering related to machine design and/or robotic automation solution design with a demonstrable organized and process-minded approach to solving problems

  • 2 to 4 years’ experience directly managing teams and managing performance

  • Proven ability to mentor team members to grow in their own career and impact

  • Experience managing mechanical, electrical and software design changes and their synchronization with contract manufacturers

  • Experience working with agile development and tracking tools such as JIRA, github, Azure Devops, and with version control

  • Advanced problem-solving skills with the ability to operate within complex situations, break them down, and work with others to define the path forward

  • Highly customer focused with demonstrable inclination to gathering and receiving feedback to continually improve the quality of their deliverable



  • Education: Masters in Mechanical/Electrical/Computer Engineering

  • Ability to clearly “tell the story” and tailor messaging to partners, leadership, and stakeholders including executive levels of leadership

  • Understanding of interdependencies between technology, operations, and engineering

  • Understanding and knowledge of food production processes and solutions is desired

  • Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification or higher is a plus

  • Skills: Basic computer skills; Microsoft Office and SAP.

  • Communication Skills: Excellent written and verbal communication skills; will be facilitating operations change in diverse groups.

  • Certifications: Any Operations or management certifications are a plus.

  • Supervisory: 5-10 with anticipated growth

  • Travel: 25-35%

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Tyson foods is an American multinational corporation based in Springdale, AR that operates in the food industry

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