Director, Engineering
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.
Brampton, ON
15h ago

The MDA facility in Brampton, Ontario has 30+ years experience in designing and operating space robotics systems such as Canadarm on the Space Shuttle, and Canadarm2 and Dextre on the International Space Station.

In addition, this site develops rover technology for Mars missions, sensors for Asteroid exploration missions, as well as a multitude of terrestrial spin-offs for medical robotics and nuclear power plant operations.

MDA is currently exploring future opportunities in areas such as AI-based robotics for Lunar Gateway (the next international space station, which will orbit the moon), on-orbit satellite servicing, and next-generation space missions.

The site is currently seeking a Director of Engineering.

The Director, Engineering is a catalyst leader and change agent that leads a modern engineering workforce of over 250 people.

The Director is a member of both the MDA Government and Commercial leadership teams, and is responsible for the engineering design, development, manufacturing, delivery, and customer support of space robotics, planetary rovers, artificial intelligence-based control systems, medical robotics, and terrestrial solutions spun out of space technologies.

It is expected that the Director will fully participate in business strategy and technology roadmap development, and then continuously align, improve, and modernize engineering practices to drive enhanced business performance, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction.

The Director will lead through a significant period of growth at this site. Therefore, the incumbent must lead recruitment, retention, development, and succession of a diverse engineering workforce.

The Director must optimize business, personnel, technical and production leadership at all times, providing the most effective and engaged team possible.

In parallel, the Director will drive the adoption of next generation engineering tools, techniques, and procedures optimized for agile development, design, and manufacturing to cost, at continuously accelerated competitive schedule timelines.

It is essential that the Director is a visionary, and a passionate leader who truly owns the engineering function, and is dedicated to creating a world leading capability that continuously improves.


  • Engineering Strategy Ownership.
  • Work closely with President MDA Government and MDA Commercial to understand the company’s business strategy and shape engineering capability accordingly

  • Innovation Leadership.
  • Drive engineering teams to innovate MDA’s market offering by challenging the workforce to continuously improve our technical solutions in order to meet customer requirements, budget, and schedule

  • Bid Solution Governance.
  • Lead engineering discussions in bid development and review process to ensure proposed solution and costing aligns with customer priorities and competitive environment needs.

    Work with Line of Business leaders to ensure (1) cost estimation is right, and (2) that we are costing the right things.

  • Design-to-Cost Leadership.
  • Create an environment that challenges bid teams and program teams to continuously engage in design-to-cost approach. Encourage teams to perform Make or Buy decisions, in order to optimize cost / schedule while developing strategy for in-house vs. outsource skillset.

  • Independent Review Teams.
  • The Director of Engineering will chair independent technical, cost and schedule assessments to ensure the optimal technical solution is supported by accurate cost and schedule baselines, together with appropriate risk assessment and mitigation plans.

  • Customer Technical Interface.
  • Represent MDA Engineering capability in customer meetings & business development initiatives

  • Engineering Resource Management.
  • Work with Engineering Line Managers to hire resources, manage training and skills development, including career development and performance planning, while ensuring alignment with individual, departmental and corporate objectives.

    Coach direct reports in setting personal achievement goals, supporting relevant learning and development.

  • Engineering Resource Allocation.
  • Ensure optimal engineering talent assignment, and re-allocation when required, according to business priorities across the full bid and project portfolio.

    Oversee the forecast and planning for those resources, with the goal of meeting or exceeding individual program and overall business objectives

  • Engineering Process Governance.
  • Assumes responsibility for establishing and maintaining functional standards, systems and policies, and ensures compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory rules and standards.

  • Continuous Improvement Leadership.
  • Oversees the continuous improvement of engineering processes and procedures, including creating process improvement strategies and capital acquisitions, and selecting process improvement methodologies

  • Budget Management.
  • Create and manage departmental budget


  • BSc, BEng, or equivalent in an engineering or applied science discipline.
  • Minimum 15 years of experience and currency in relevant technical and business fields.
  • Proven past performance leading multi-disciplinary engineering teams of greater than 100 people
  • Demonstrated leadership of engineering culture change management
  • Passionate engineering leader with the motivation to develop a modern engineering workforce that will double in size within 5 years
  • Organized, self-starter comfortable engaging business and technology decision makers within MDA, within partner organizations, and with potential customers.
  • Strong leadership, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Understanding of how to align engineering practices to meet industry and market demands
  • Team player that demonstrated high level of integrity
  • Strong knowledge of relevant technologies, products, services and methods.
  • Proven financial, budgeting and planning skills
  • Strong oral, written and verbal communication skills
  • Charismatic, strong and relatable communication style
  • Result orientated and exhibits excellent critical thinking
  • Works well in a dynamic environment where some of the parameters are unknown and some change regularly.
  • Strives to provide customers / clients with personalized and efficient service.
  • Excellent verbal, written communication skills are essential to this position . All candidates must be able to obtain CGP and ITAR clearance .

    MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Inc. is an equal opportunity employer committed to promoting diversity in the workplace.

    MDA is proud to provide accommodations during the recruitment and selection process. If you require accessible formats, communication supports or any other form of accommodation, please notify MDA if you are contacted for an interview.

    Competitive Compensation and Benefits Package

    MDA provides competitive compensation and benefits packages for its employees at its many locations. As a member of the MDA team, you and your qualified dependents are eligible to participate in a benefit plan that ensures a comprehensive level of protection for employees and their families through health care plans, disability income protection, life insurance, and other employee benefits.

    The Company's retirement plans encourage employees to save for their future with a Company matching contribution in many locations.

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