Associate Principal Engineer - Innovation

Location: St Joseph, Missouri
Opening ID: 25636
Job Family: Engineer
Date Posted: Jan 14, 2022


Job Description

Why Join Altec?

Come join the Innovation team as an Associate Principal Engineer.  This incumbent will effectively support and help Altec differentiate our products with innovative features through the deployment and management of our Patent Strategy and advancement of identified technologies.This position has remote work capabilities.

Building on 90 years of growth and success, Altec specializes in the design, manufacture, sale, and service of aerial devices, digger derricks, cranes, and specialty equipment, supporting customers in over 100 countries throughout the world.  Altec is an innovative, financially sound company that is leading the industry and setting the standard of excellence.

Should the selected candidate meet the qualifications of a more experienced level in the career path, the job level may be adjusted.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in engineering required
    • A degree in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Agricultural Engineering preferred
  • Minimum of eight (8) years’ experience in engineering required
  • Demonstrated Product Design and Development abilities
  • Exposure and understanding of stage gate product creation process
  • Excellent analytical, problem solving, oral and written skills required
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks with fluid team structures
  • Ability to be comfortable with ambiguity and thrive on change



  • Owner of Patent Idea Collection, Assessment, Selection, Patent Application Process.
    • Manage the Invention Memo process. Facilitate and participate in the collection of innovative (i.e., useful and novel) ideas from the entire breadth of Altec. Facilitate the timely Technical Readiness Level (TRL) rating by the Advanced Development group and, for those IMs that clear the TRL hurdle, the Marketing Attractiveness rating by the Market Management group. 
    • Manage the patent application process with our outside patent counsel.
      • Share selected IM with attorney (to whom our IM is referred to as a “disclosure”).
      • Participate in discussions between inventor and attorney.
      • Review patent application drafts, particularly striving for broadness of claims.
      • Respond to various attorney requests: patent continuations, office actions, maintenance fees, etc.
  • Coordination and Evaluation of Advanced Development Efforts
    • Manage opportunity review board for proposed advanced development/technology efforts
    • Participate in resource planning, priority assessment, and scoping efforts
    • Effectively communicate progress towards desired Tech Readiness Levels and support technology portfolio efforts
  • Manage Intellectual Property for Altec
    • Develops Intellectual Property Strategy for Altec working with internal and external resources.
    • Participates in the evaluation of ROI on enabling technologies and IP
    • Identifies gaps in patents in competing technologies and provides management recommendations.
    • Maintain the listing of granted patents, and the products into which the patents are incorporated, on the Altec website. This approach is allowed under Federal statute and is lower in cost than marking each unit.
    • Coordinate appropriate parties during the IP ownership negotiations with 3rd parties
  • Maintain and disseminate knowledge of competitor’s patent activity.
    • Utilize PatSnap functionality to notify us when a Patent Office Action takes place involving a competitor.
    • Historically, the Utility Expo (formerly ICUEE) provided an opportunity to discover potential new capability or infringement by competitors.
    • Communicate significant events to the appropriate associates, e.g., engineering manager, market manager, leadership team members.
    • In cases of potential infringement, coordinate Altec’s response between our leadership and patent attorneys.
  • Owner of the Innovation Award process.
    • Maintain the policy with Engineering Leadership, HR and Legal.
    • Initiate technology scouting by reaching out to academic and other external institutions
    • Ensures that the Innovation Idea Pipeline is maintained
    • Compile and publish the master list of awardees. Communicate same with HR Payroll each quarter for award payments to awardees.
    • Coordinate with Engineering administration on the timely issuance of award certificates to inventors.
  • Perform PCP Patent Reviews
    • Meet with PCP team to discover potential patentable solutions. When found, the originator (often the lead engineer) creates and submits an Invention Memo, which is then put through the IM assessment process.
    • Meet with PCP team to discover potential infringement cases. The Innovation Manager performs an initial patent search and may subsequently request our patent attorneys generate a “freedom to operate” opinion.
    • Report back to the project’s PM the results of the investigation.

Customer First  -  Enjoyment of Work  -  Family- Financial Stability  -  Integrity  -  People Are Our Greatest Strength  -  Quality  -  Spiritual Development  -  Teamwork

Altec offers a competitive salary that rewards performance and dedication, along with a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • Medical, Dental and Prescription Drug Program
  • Retirement 401(k) Program
  • Vacation and Holidays
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Tuition Assistance Program
  • Employee Assistance and Mental Health/Substance Abuse Program
  • Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

Altec Industries, Inc. and its affiliates are equal opportunity employers and maintain affirmative action plans to recruit, retain, develop, and promote qualified individuals without unlawful consideration of race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Altec strives to maintain a work environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, where associates are treated with respect and dignity.



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