• Senior Automation Engineer

    Job Locations US-NC-Durham
    Posted Date 3 weeks ago(10/24/2018 7:18 PM)
    Job ID
    2018-2477
    # of Openings
    1
    Category
    Engineering/Validations/BioProcess
  • Overview

    Ready to join a team committed to moving gene therapies into the clinical and commercial settings for patients and families devastated by rare neurological genetic diseases? AveXis is advancing cutting-edge science to treat rare and life-threatening genetic diseases starting with our clinical-stage, proprietary gene therapy candidate, AVXS-101. We are in the midst of an incredible journey, and are looking for passionate individuals to join us on this important mission.

     

    AveXis, Inc., a Novartis Company, is a clinical-stage gene therapy company, dedicated to developing and commercializing novel treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. Our initial product candidate, AVXS-101, is our proprietary gene therapy product candidate currently in development for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, Type 1, the leading genetic cause of infant mortality, and for the treatment of SMA Type 2. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has granted AVXS-101 Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of all types of SMA and Breakthrough Therapy Designation, as well as Fast Track Designation for the treatment of SMA Type 1. In addition to developing AVXS-101 to treat SMA Type 1 and Type 2, we also plan to develop other novel treatments for rare neurological diseases, including Rett syndrome (RTT) and a genetic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene.

     

    AveXis is seeking a Senior Automation Engineer who is responsible for leading the automation design team for our gene therapy manufacturing facility.  The engineer will also be responsible for maintaining, troubleshooting, and modifying the GMP and non-GMP control systems.  Systems include plant wide SCADA, BMS, 3rd party local control systems, freezers, air handlers and chillers.

    Responsibilities

    • Lead the design, configuration, installation, and maintenance of automation software (SCADA) and associated hardware; including interacting with other teams as necessary.  Provide oversight or participation on all automation aspects of future projects including integration of 3rd party equipment to the plant SCADA and BMS systems, data concentration, batch reporting, and data retention.  
    • Prepare scopes of work and manage automation contractors as required to complete required work within project timelines.
    • Develop project objectives working with user requirement and business plans.
    • Determine equipment or system specifications and most cost-effective technology to be implemented.
    • Participate in discussions with internal business partners on priorities, timelines and transparent sharing of information.
    • Establish equipment specifications in standard documentation – User Requirements (URS), Functional Specification (FS) and Detail Design Specifications (DDS/HDS/SDS).
    • Take programs from concept thru execution while managing all stages in the process utilizing a strong set of project management tools.
    • Responsible for maintaining procedures to meet GMP requirements, CFR’s and internal company policies.
    • Participate and/or lead new product implementation product transition processes to ensure smooth transition from process development into GMP manufacturing.
    • Drive operational excellence and continuous improvement.
    • Partner with Quality to ensure a quality and compliant manufacturing environment.
    • Problem solve any technically related issues impacting production.
    • Support 24x7 site-based operations after startup.
    • Create and update procedures to drive operational efficiency and compliance.
    • Implement and revise SOPs to conform with standards and policies.
    • Deploy, maintain, and upgrade manufacturing applications.
    • Perform investigations of non-conformances related to automation systems.
    • Analyze and interpret data, and make sound technical recommendations on continuous improvements and non-conformance remediations.
    • Execute change controls to update and upgrade automation systems and equipment.

    Qualifications

    • Minimum B.S. degree in Engineering, Computer Science, or related technical field.
    • A minimum of 8-10 years of experience in biotech or pharmaceutical based GMP manufacturing operations including experience in cell culture, recovery, purification, aseptic fill/finish.
    • Experience programming, troubleshooting, and maintaining site SCADA/HMI systems (e.g. FactoryTalk View SE, iFix, Wonderware).
    • Experience programming, troubleshooting, and maintaining site PLC/BMS systems (e.g. ControlLogix, S7).
    • Experience programming, troubleshooting, and maintaining site data historian (e.g. FactoryTalk Historian).
    • Experience in system level validation testing.
    • Proven experience applying S88 in an automated environment.
    • Working knowledge of field wiring practices and panel design, experience with troubleshooting and start-up of control systems, and familiarity with instrumentation.
    • Knowledge of industrial communication protocols such as MODBUS, Ethernet IP, etc.
    • Experience writing and executing change controls.
    • Able to develop MS SQL queries.
    • In-depth knowledge of FDA regulations particularly 21 CFR part 11 and GMP systems.
    • Applied knowledge of Quality by Design, six-sigma, and operational excellence tools in creating efficient and high quality processes and end products.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
    • Experience managing 3rd parties (both in-sourcing and outsourcing).
    • Strong project management skill set with extensive experience in strategic / tactical planning, demonstrated ability to perform long-term project planning.
    • Ability to prepare contingency plans and logically work through complex issues in a pressure filled atmosphere.
    • Provide technical support on all manufacturing issues when driving towards issue resolution.

    Approximately 10% typical travel required, with increased travel during startup.

     

    The level of this position will be based on the final candidate’s qualifications.

     

    Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 

     

    AveXis is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, genetics, disability, age, sexual orientation or veteran status.

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