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R&D Imagineer Princ

Apply Now Apply Later Job ID 529012BR Location Glendale, California, United States Business Disney Parks & Resorts Brand Walt Disney Imagineering Date posted May. 01, 2018

Job Summary:

The Principal R&D Imagineer - Materials spearheads initiatives that creatively apply new materials and material processes to innovate Walt Disney Imagineering’s design and fabrication of physical entertainment experiences.

This role collaborates across multiple WDI project teams and theme park sustainment groups to identify and prioritize opportunities for novel materials approaches that achieve creative goals and business objectives. This individual connects internal stakeholders to industry-leading third-party vendors/partners to investigate approaches, test mockups, and ultimately deliver production-ready solutions across Disney’s portfolio of theme parks, cruise ships, resorts, and experiential entertainment venues worldwide.

This is an experienced project leader with a broad Materials Science expertise and exceptional collaboration and communication skills. Successful candidates will have demonstrated experience working across organizational boundaries to understand requirements, prioritize goals, and deliver viable materials recommendations. They must be able to translate high-level creative intent into specific material requirements, and reconcile the business impacts that material choices will make in the design, construction, and sustainment of a physical asset.

This is a well-rounded strategic thinker who is passionate about solving complex problems by leveraging their scientific expertise and ability to partner across creative and technical disciplines. They are a proactive self-starter who can take initiative and manage multiple projects simultaneously. They enjoy a dynamic, interdisciplinary creative and engineering environment where their work has the power to impact billions of dollars of investment and hundreds of millions of Disney Guests worldwide.


  • Develop a thorough understanding of Walt Disney Imagineering’s unique design, engineering, and delivery processes to continually identify opportunities for new materials approaches that improve creative quality while reducing total lifecycle cost (e.g. props, set work, buildings, architectural ornamentation, rockwork, etc.)
  • Keep up-to-date on the latest materials and manufacturing processes across entertainment, hospitality, construction, and related industries – and relate those new advancements to WDI’s unique needs and processes
  • Proactively partner with WDI project teams to identify unique and high-value opportunities for new materials to achieve desired creative goals or business objectives
  • Translate novel creative intent of WDI projects into material requirements, and work across industry vendors and partners to identify, test, and recommend novel products, processes, or solutions to meet those goals
  • Build a strong ongoing partnership with theme park operating and sustainment partners to understand the long-term implications of design choices and materials selections on reliability, maintenance, and show quality
  • Propose new initiatives that enhance Imagineering’s ability to design and deliver high quality, sustainable assets, including pitching high-level executives for project funding and resource support
  • Manage the scope, schedule, and budget of multiple initiatives, including budgets, resource plans, milestone schedules, and talent management
  • Contribute to multiple projects as the sole materials expert on a multi-disciplinary project team, and as the leader of a small team of interns, consultants, vendors, and third-party partner
  • Communicate program updates, achievements, and needs to senior leadership on a regular basis
  • Identify and collaborate with outside vendors, partners, and consultants to source and test new materials and material processes for the unique needs of Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Act as a positive and collaborative representative of WDI R&D and contribute to the culture and community of the department, adding value to the organization outside of direct assignments

Basic Qualifications:

  • Broad expertise across multiple materials science and engineering topics, including: mechanical properties of materials and mechanical characterization, chemical properties of materials, polymer formulation, and reliability of materials (e.g. wear, weathering, strength)
  • Demonstrated experience applying materials science to the design, engineering, and fabrication of physical assets, buildings, or sets
  • Excellent written and verbal communicator who can succinctly distill and persuasively present complex topics to drive action and inspire others
  • Proven collaborator who thrives on collaboration across a multitude of functional groups and creative/engineering disciplines

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior experience evaluating the total lifecycle cost of operating assets, including products or buildings
  • Demonstrated experience working with multidisciplinary creative and engineering teams to bring a product to market
  • Experience with materials research and development, including the development of test plans
  • Prior experience in the theme park, hospitality, or location-based entertainment industries

Required Education

  • A subject B.S., M.S., Ph.D., or comparable industry experience in Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry (Organic or Inorganic), Chemical Engineering, Applied Physics, or related field

About Walt Disney Imagineering:

Founded in 1952 as WED Enterprises to design and build the world’s first theme park — Disneyland — Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) is where imagination and creativity combine with cutting-edge technology to create unforgettable experiences. WDI is the creative force that imagines, designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions and cruise ships worldwide. Imagineering’s unique strength comes from its diverse global team of creative and technical professionals, who build on Disney’s legacy of storytelling to pioneer new forms of entertainment. The Imagineers who practice this unique blend of art and science work in more than 100 disciplines to shepherd an idea all the way from “blue sky” concept phase to opening day.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc., which is part of a business segment we call Walt Disney Imagineering.

Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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