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Footwear Lab Technician position with Columbia Sportswear in Portland, OR

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  • Footwear Lab Technician position with Columbia Sportswear in Portland, OR

    Footwear Lab Technician
    Location: Corporate - Portland, OR - Headquarters
    Requisition Number: 10675
    # of openings: 1


    We Have a Bit of a Reputation
    At Columbia Sportswear, we’re known for our blend of innovation, quality and value. Our family of footwear brands has grown to include Columbia, Montrail, and Sorel.

    Columbia develops performance and lifestyle footwear from sandals and water shoes to running shoes, hiking boots and now industry-leading heated boots. Columbia’s BugaTrek Omni-Heat has been selected as a top pick for snowshoeing by Outside Magazine (February 2011) and our Ravenous received both the Editor’s Choice from Trail Runner Magazine (May 2010) and Best Stability Shoe from Women’s Running (May/June 2010)

    Sorel is a premium lifestyle fashion brand, and has been showcased in Elle, InStyle, Lucky and on Oprah. Both the Sorel Helen of Tundra II and the Sorel Alpha Pac were recently featured in Outside Magazine (Buyer’s Guide Winter 2011)

    Montrail delivers premier trail running footwear for outdoor athletes around the world who expect excellence from themselves and their products. Montrail is synonymous with the best fitting, cutting-edge outdoor footwear. In 2009 the Montrail Mountain Masochist won Outside Magazine's "Gear of the Year" Award, and Backpacker Magazine named the Montrail Hardrock “Best Run/Hike Crossover”. In 2007 the Montrail Namche™ was named "Best Fast Packing" boot by Backpacker Magazine.

    The last time we checked, you didn’t get that kind of reputation without the right people making it happen. That’s where you come into the picture. Do you have what it takes to help create the world’s best outdoor footwear?

    General Position Summary:
    Augment the footwear creation process by assisting the Footwear Systems Engineer with the daily activities of the Footwear Lab under the supervision of the Product Integrity Director. The primary focus is to deliver world-class performing footwear (mechanically, thermally, moisture management, durability) to Columbia Sportswear footwear brands. This world-class status will be achieved by assisting with establishing and maintaining lab capabilities and/or executing industry leading scientifically based performance test protocols, data analysis, and timely presentation of accurate results with recommendations to project teams that may include Innovation, Development, Design, Quality and Factory personnel.

    Build and maintain strong relationships through positive, sensitive and timely interactions, while presenting impartial, data driven information. Offer results-based alternative recommendations to meet project objectives while balancing the needs of multiple groups.

    Essential Functions/Major Responsibilities:
    Develop strong team partnerships with Merchandising/Design, Development, Production, Planning, Footwear Materials Research, Quality Assurance, the liaison offices, Apparel Product Design and Apparel Materials Research to contribute to a coordinated and efficient Footwear engineering process that focuses on consumer benefit driven performance.

    1. Lab Functionality
    · Operate a full range of footwear test equipment and laboratory instruments.
    · Maintain footwear test equipment and laboratory instruments in working, calibrated, safe, and clean condition.
    Track and maintain an inventory of supplies.
    2. Testing
    · Register test specimens in database/software.
    · Prepare footwear test specimens, human subjects and equipment for testing.
    · Perform mechanical, thermal, biomechanical, and/or bio-thermal tests.
    3. Data Reduction and Analysis
    Reduce raw test data to the appropriate numerical, analyzable form and orderly maintain all unreduced data in a database.
    4. Reporting
    · Assist Engineers with writing project summary bulletins and reports.
    · Create and/or locate images to help convey significance of project results to a variety of departments with different backgrounds and objectives.
    5. Standard Operating Procedures
    · Remain current on standardized footwear test methods such as ASTM and SATRA.
    · Learn in-house non-standard test methods.
    · Learn, maintain and develop Columbia Sportswear standard operating procedures.

    Specific Job Skills:
    · Experience with footwear biomechanical, mechanical, thermal and/or moisture test methods and familiarity with associated lab equipment operation and maintenance. Operate technical equipment, computer hardware and software including keyboard. Diagnose technical problems with equipment and procedures then develop solutions.
    · General knowledge of footwear functional requirements, construction methods and manufacturing operations. Strong desire to learn more about footwear function, construction and manufacturing.
    · Strong organizational skills. Work under pressure, meet strict timelines and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Balance progress and completion of urgent projects with important projects.
    · Strong written and verbal communication skills to learn from, inform, instruct and influence various levels of management and employees within the organization as well as vendors and worldwide personnel. Motivate individuals involved in the innovation and production processes.
    · Visual acuity for various tasks. Frequently must reach, pull, employ fine finger motor skills, sit, stand, bend, crouch, and kneel while installing, servicing, maintaining and operating laboratory equipment. Occasionally navigate outdoor terrain while carrying test equipment. Lift up to 50 pounds. Occasionally operate tools/machinery that use hand and/or foot controls when servicing laboratory equipment.
    · Occasionally travel world wide on commercial transportation. Valid drivers license required; occasional travel to test sites and vendors may require use of personal vehicle.

    Bachelors Degree in Biomedical, Mechanical, Electrical Engineering, or similar OR Associates degree in science, technology or engineering and 3+ years technical experience working in a gait or footwear lab
    5+ year’s technical experience working in a gait or footwear lab
    A passion for outdoor sport and footwear performance is preferred.

    Job Conditions:
    Job may occasionally require more than 8 hours per day and/or 40 hours per week, especially during peak activity periods. Attendance at evening/weekend meetings may be required. Must balance multiple projects with competing deadlines, ensuring the timely completion of projects. Must be able to occasionally travel domestically and internationally.

    This job description is not meant to be an all inclusive list of duties and responsibilities, but constitutes a general definition of the position's scope and function in the company.

    Columbia Sportswear is an equal opportunity employer.

    Or apply online at