Senior Automation Engineer, Site Services

South San Francisco
California, United States of America

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The Position

Job Title: Automation Engineer

Reports to: A. Paul Van Buskirk

Location: South San Francisco

The Automation Engineer provides technical support for Facilities Data Technologies (FDT) staff, is skilled at providing end user support in a complex, continuously operating environment.  The Automation Engineer position supports the critical automation and technology infrastructure at the SSF Campus (South City and the Dixon sites).  This individual ensures the efficient, safe and effective operation of the Facilities Data Technologies systems supporting 5.9 million square feet of executive, commercial, manufacturing, research and development functions. Possesses the ability to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical users.  Possesses broad-knowledge with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Information Technologies, and Data Management systems. Contributes to producing end user documentation, software support and training materials. Lead or participate in business initiatives, IT projects, process improvements, data design, and inspection prep/support activities by providing subject matter expertise.


  • Provide onsite and/or remote technical support to FDT customers and team members including services per Service Level Agreements in support of a 24x7 mission critical environment.
  • Support multiple department applications across the SSF site and the North America Roche network.
  • Lead or participate on interdepartmental/global teams, process improvements, or new system design.
  • Design automation systems and related process instrumentation for utilities systems supporting manufacturing processes.
  • Works on complex issues where data analysis requires an in-depth evaluation of variable factors including organizational impact.
  • Represents Facilities Data Technologies as prime contact on initiatives and projects.
  • Spends greater than 50% of time on significant business directives including project governance, customer directed requests and strategic Automation defined initiatives.  
  • Program and integrate control systems utilizing a wide range of industry acceptable Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Human Machine Interfaces (HMI)
  • Identify and resolve hardware and software application conflicts. Perform upgrades to hardware/software and arrange for hardware repairs when necessary. 
  • Serve as internal escalation point for focused support team’s technical support staff (e.g. Rockwell, Matrikon, etc.). 
  • Perform process and equipment validation by developing and executing control system verification as well as change control documents in accordance with current Good Manufacturing Process (cGMP) guidelines.
  • Install and troubleshoot communication networks.
  • Review and approve instrumentation and electrical wiring diagrams as per ISA standards.
  • Provide process automation support required to maintain Utilities and HVAC systems and other Site Operations owned equipment.
  • Develop and maintain documentation on systems, such as hardware and software manuals, system site guides, internal procedures, change control, license agreements, and service contracts. Ensure systems backups are appropriate and occurring at the proper intervals to maintain business continuity.
  • Work within a team (external or internal) environment, develops technical solutions to complex problems which require the regular use of ingenuity and creativity.
  • Designs new processes and identify opportunities for continuous improvement and pursues changes and upgrades to the systems as warranted.
  • Analyzes equipment performance data and alarms with users to identify equipment with continuous problems and work to resolve issues
  • Supports Capital projects as a subject matter expert - review project scope of work, preliminary design concepts, cost estimates and project documentation including proposals, project budget and associated documents. Responsibility may include directing the activities of contract engineering personnel.
  • Theoretical and applied knowledge of classical statistical process control, continuous process control, S88 Batch programming and cGMP


  • 8 - 12 years’ experience as an Automation Engineer/Control Systems Engineer with emphasis on OS, Application and hardware. Must have strong experience in systems-based approach to process issues and improvements.
  • BS or MS degree or equivalent in Chemical, Mechanical, Industrial or Electrical Engineering.
  • Expected to work independently under limited direction.
  • Establishes own work priorities and appropriate timelines and due dates.
  • Provides direction and technical direction to team members and customer groups.
  • Outstanding customer service and interpersonal skills, with the ability to work in a team environment. Communicate clearly with technical and non-technical audiences, both verbally and in writing. 
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to prioritize tasks among many competing requests. Professional appearance, attitude, and demeanor. 
  • Looked as a mentor to other team members and customer groups. Experience supervising and coordinating support contractors is strongly desired.
  • Experience supporting Utility (Water, Steam and Compressed Air systems) and HVAC systems is required.
  • Software experience with Rockwell RSLogix suite and FactoryTalk required.
  • Experience supporting mission-critical production systems with a scale of over 300 users a plus. Experience in support of applications within FDA-regulated (GxP) environments would be beneficial. 
  • Clear understanding of multi-platform interfacing (eg: Siemens, PLC etc) is required.
  • Strong knowledge of Control Systems and Instrumentation.
  • Strong knowledge of basic network concepts (e.g., TCP/IP, Windows Networking, Ethernet) required. OPC, BACnet and MODBUS networking experience a plus.
  • Lean or Six Sigma (Green or Black) Belt Certification is a plus.

Who We Are

A member of the Roche Group, Genentech has been at the forefront of the biotechnology industry for more than 40 years, using human genetic information to develop novel medicines for serious and life-threatening diseases. Genentech has multiple therapies on the market for cancer & other serious illnesses. Please take this opportunity to learn about Genentech where we believe that our employees are our most important asset & are dedicated to remaining a great place to work.

The next step is yours. To apply today, click on the "Apply online" button.

Genentech is an equal opportunity employer & prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin/ancestry, age, disability, marital & veteran status. For more information about equal employment opportunity, visit our Genentech Careers page.

At Genentech, we share salary ranges with applicants during the recruiting process, if requested. Third party salary estimates may not be accurate or up-to-date.

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