The Outdoor Industry Jobs Marketplace

Research and Development Engineer


Posted by GRAYL on 03/07/2023

Job Basics

Industry Sector: Fishing, Hunting/Shooting, Lifestyle, Outdoor

Job Categories: Design - Engineer, Design & Development - Product

Company Type: Accessories, HardGoods/Equipment, TravelandTourism

State: WA

City: Seattle

Country: United States

Required Experience: 7 - 10 years

Job Type: Full Time

Salary: $80-90,000

Required to Relocate: No

Required to Travel: Yes

Employee May Telecommute: Yes

Job Seeker Must Live Within: Telecommute

Job Description & Requirements

GRAYL Product Development:

GRAYL PD is a small crew with a lot of big ideas. We’re standing on the shoulders of one beautiful invention: the fastest, most powerful way to push water across a filter, using your body weight instead of tiny muscles. That big idea was combined with cutting edge purification + filtration technology and polished with exceptional product design and packaging. The PD crew is supported by a brand-focused company devoted to exceptional experiences for our customers. We have lots more ideas - both for improving how we currently make safe water, and also for non-water treatment products. We need help moving ideas from concept, to prototype to product. 

Our new colleague:

As part of a small team, the R&D Engineer will dive into our potential projects, determine market potential, research materials and methods, develop concepts, evaluate feasibility and costs, build CAD files and physical prototypes, and collaborate with design and manufacturing teams to bring products to life. Critical to success in this position is to both receive in and communicate out complex ideas to a variety of stakeholders, and do so skillfully across languages and continents. 

Our ideal candidate has passion for product and solving difficult problems and personally identifies with one or more of our target markets (camp, hunt, overland, bushcraft, travel and/or military). They have a portfolio of products they have developed from concept to market, plus evidence of skill in project costing and timeline estimation. Ideally, they live in the Pacific or Mountain Time Zone and can be in Seattle 6+ times per year.

They are infectious with good energy, contribute positively to projects other than their own projects and bring a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude to their work. They possess knowledge of our target customers and use both left and right sides of their brains. They are organized, selfless, collaborative, they thrive under ambiguity and are able to change their mind as facts change. They accept constructive criticism and don’t become overly attached to their ideas.  They are much more motivated by team success than individual glory. 

The Work:

GRAYL has several ideas for brand new products that have never existed in the world. You will help GRAYL think up new concepts, estimate costing, then oversee the research, prototype development and initial design phases of production. You will be the principal investigator on three or more different research and development projects at the same time. You will perform:

  • Research feasibility of technologies, materials and potential IP conflicts. Share findings in clear, concise and convincing ways to stakeholders

  • Create pen/paper and CAD representations of the product  

  • Build prototypes - You are a tinkerer, a creator and manipulator of physical items. Put shit together using 3d printing, saws, glue and trips to Lowe’s

  • Test the prototypes- use both your own skills as well as external labs. Create protocols to see of prototypes meet the lofty standards set by GRAYL’s customers

  • Share the magic: show and tell findings with colleagues, share models, prototypes and test results with colleagues in a clear and energetic manner

  • Collaborate with product managers, developers, content strategists, user researchers, and other designers

  • Nurture GRAYL’s culture: work hard, play outdoors, love nature

  • Develop and continually revise project timelines and costing estimates

  • Work collaboratively with Product, Research and Engineering partners from concept through completion and future iterations

  • Stay on top of industry trends and emerging technologies

  • Works efficiently from home, with ability for regular travel, including internationally.

Desired Traits:

  • High-level of craft. You have excellent craft and attention to detail, understanding how small nuances interact to create a seamless, intuitive design.

  • Collaborative. You’ll work closely with our engineering and operations teams, as well as our users, to help define our product roadmap and contribute to our growth through experimentation and optimization.

  • Adaptable. Embrace iteration and work with pace, bringing vision and direction in the midst of ambiguity.

  • Dissatisfaction with the status quo. The reason things are the way they are is because they haven’t been improved. Your job is to improve them.

  • Design forward. You have a basic understanding of design principles and an eagerness to work with design-oriented professionals who make products with industry leading aesthetics and UX.

  • Tinkerer. You like making stuff. You have tools (your friends wonder why so many and what THAT ONE does?) You have access to a secure, physical work space.

Hard Skills:

  • Build digital models. You work efficiently and creatively CAD (ideally Solidworks). Bonus points for decent hand-drawing skills

  • Estimate Costing. Successful experience building updatable cost models for R&D, testing, tooling and unit-level production. 

  • Understand manufacturing techniques. Injection molding, over molding and blow molding, metal forming and casting, sewing, sonic welding, etc. Basic understanding of electronics and the principles of tool making.

  • Working knowledge of materials science: plastics, metals and fabrics. Interest and ability to rapidly become an expert.

  • 8+ years experience in R&D for physical products. Experience with high-quality packaged consumer products ideal, not required.


$80-90,000 salary + bonus (based upon company performance) up to 10% of base salary, stock option plan. Work from home and flex-work: work hard, play hard. Excellent medical/dental/eye plan, cell phone stipend, discounts on outdoor gear.


Seattle-based GRAYL® makes innovative water purifiers for international travelers and outdoor explorers so their adventures can be safe, self-reliant and awe inspiring. We are brand focused, quality obsessed and prioritize taking care of our customers. Since 2013 GRAYL purifiers have hydrated more than a million adventurers. GRAYL believes the greatest moments of life occur when one moves beyond their comfort zone, takes risks, builds connections with different cultures. GRAYL is distributed world-wide and is a member of 1% for the Planet® contributing a portion of every sale to non-profit organizations that protect and preserve the natural environment.