Leo Castaneda

CEO at AES

Leo Castañeda is the CEO and President of Automated Engineering Services, Inc. (AES), a leading provider of automation solutions and engineering services for the life sciences industry. With over two decades of experience in bioprocess automation and a deep expertise in cell culture start-ups, Leo is a visionary leader driving AES’s growth and innovation in delivering highly efficient, automated systems for biotech and pharmaceutical clients worldwide.

Under Leo’s leadership, AES has flourished into a premier engineering firm that not only offers staff augmentation and project design engineering but also manufactures its own line of advanced bioprocessing equipment. Since taking the helm in 2014, Leo has overseen the expansion of AES’s capabilities to include comprehensive solutions that integrate equipment, data, and software for a variety of scales, from lab-scale bioreactors to full commercial production facilities. His strategic vision and hands-on approach have been instrumental in guiding major projects, such as the tech transfer initiatives at Genentech’s Vacaville and South San Francisco sites, where his leadership facilitated the implementation of cutting-edge automation technologies and streamlined processes for GMP compliance.

Before founding AES, Leo’s career was marked by significant contributions to Genentech, where he served as a Lead Engineer for over a decade. In this role, he was pivotal in the design, construction, and start-up of Genentech’s $450M Cell Culture and Purification facility. His responsibilities spanned from commissioning and validating manufacturing recipes to providing 24/7 automation floor support and spearheading process improvements. Leo’s innovative work in developing automated systems, such as the automated feed system for production bioreactors, significantly enhanced operational efficiency and allowed operators to focus on other critical tasks.