Principal Automation Engineer

Located in Switzerland

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Position Summary

The AES Principal  Automation Engineer level (Principal AE) has more than 15 years of experience with projects in the BioTech Industry. The Principal AE is highly proficient in two or more of the major platform technologies mentioned in the Technology Experience section of this job description. Also an expert with Instrument Bus Technologies mentioned in the Technology Experience section. The principal AE is also an expert with MES technology integration. 

The Principal AE has consulting experience in all phases of project delivery including: FEED Study, Conceptual Design, Basic Design, Detailed Design,  implementation, testing, CQV as well as  ongoing support of GMP facilities. As well as project delivery, the Principal AE is an expert in and has experience overseeing the work of others in the developing all Lifecycle documentation for GMP regulated facilities including URS (in collaboration with client user team), FS (in collaboration with client process & automation teams), HDS, SDS, Testing Protocols, IQ and OQ. 

The Principal AE is an expert in all bioprocessing operations and equipment with experience in several manufacturing facilities.  Expertise included but not limited to: prep tanks, bioreactors, fermentation, harvest, purification (chromatography & UF/DF skids), fillers, isolators and cleaning operations (CIP / SIP).

Additionally, the Principal AE is a technical leader with the ability to manage large complex projects from conception to completion, including defining project scope, developing project plans, and managing resources and timelines. The Principal AE is able to lead and mentor teams of engineers and other technical professionals on highly complex projects, as well as provide technical guidance to senior management.


Overall Technical Leader of highly complex projects including leading teams in the delivery of:

  • The design, implementation and testing of automation system graphics, I/O database, control modules, interlocks, alarms and sequences including the development and control of all associated life-cycle documentation
  • The development of configuration standards for automation system project execution
  • The management of GMP documentation including URS, FS, DS, RTM, IQ and OQ throughout projects including creating, redlining, approval and management in various document control repositories
  • The interpretation of P&IDs, electrical drawings and control narratives as well as redlining / markup of P&IDs and electrical drawings either on the production floor or in automation panels.
  • Batch Design including documenting process sequences to be translated into automation batch documentation.
  • The design, configuration and testing of batch code including units, phases, operations, unit procedures, procedures and recipes including exception logic
  • The application of industry standards including GAMP 5, 21 CFR Part 11, ISA S88 & S95
  • Dealing with CAPAs (Corrective and Preventive Actions) including investigation, documenting, assessing root cause and providing practical solutions
  • The design, implementation, testing and integration of automated cleaning operations CIP and SIP
  • The integration of critical utilities including clean steam, WFI, purified water compressed air, nitrogen gas


In addition to leading overall project delivery, the Principal AE is an expert in the following areas:

  • Communicating and consulting with senior management
  • Mentoring others on the production floor supporting system integration with equipment including system shake-down
  • Applying LEAN principles to improve project workflows as well as ongoing operations – Make, Assess, Release, and change control processes
  • Troubleshooting the most difficult operational issues.
  • Mentoring others in the execution of regulated testing including IQ & OQ as well as leveraging FAT and SAT to reduce IQ & OQ testing.

Technology Experience

  • Emerson DeltaV
  • Rockwell family of PLCs, PanelView family, FactoryTalk View SE
  • ABB DCS 800xA
  • Honeywell Experion
  • DeviceNet, Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, Modbus, HART, Ethernet I/P


Required: Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical, or Computer Science)

Preferred Master of Science degree


Must be willing to relocate to project locations as required to meet the project needs. Locations include Singapore, Europe or US for periods of 1-3 years and possibly longer in some cases.