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Principal Plant Engineer, Site Services

South San Francisco
California, United States of America

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The Position

As part of FSPE’s Asset Management function, the Plant Engineer supports facilities, utilities, and equipment (FUE) at the SSF site (South San Francisco and Dixon) and provides technical system ownership of critical mechanical, electrical and process infrastructure.  The Plant Engineer works as a multi-skilled engineering resource for our campus-based teams and also may act site-wide as a subject matter expert (SME) for identified systems and specific areas of expertise.  This position ensures the efficient, safe and effective operation of all FUE at an assigned campus that is part of a 5.9 million square feet site consisting of R&D, manufacturing, administrative and commercial functions.  This position applies knowledge and expertise in FUE systems to help build and maintain a significant infrastructure, enabling science and protecting our right to operate.

Core competencies required for this position include:

* Serving as Technical System Owner responsible for:

  • Ensuring equipment performance and meeting KPIs
  • Providing technical knowledge of system design, functionality and requirements
  • Maintaining our assets: keeping engineering documentation and risk/criticality assessments up to date, defining maintenance strategies and plans, including critical spare parts
  • Providing condition assessment and system oversight throughout the asset lifecycle
  • Auditing processes and documents for compliance

* Collaborating closely with other Plant Engineers, Facilities Operations and Maintenance (FOM) and our Integrated Facility Management (IFM) service provider, to provide technical and engineering support for Site Operations. 

* Proactively identifying and recommending opportunities for improvement including: reducing costs and operational risks, improving operational efficiencies, increasing quality and safety, clarifying and simplifying processes. 

* Evaluating and improving the reliability of all campus systems and ensuring business continuity through asset lifecycle management.

* Directly supporting capital projects by providing design input, specifying system requirements and overseeing installation of FUE equipment.  This includes verifying system operates as intended and identifying critical alarms and establish setpoints.

* Ensure campus FUE systems are operated and maintained according to best practices.

* Actively partnering with Site Services; Safety, Health and Environment (SHE); Design & Construction and PTAA project teams (designers, architects, general contractors, etc.) to provide guidance on the safe and efficient operations of campus systems.

Impact of Role:

* Severe business interruption risks - Our campus FUE systems are extremely important to Genentech’s business.  Failures of critical systems are not acceptable.  Highly dependent and critical research, manufacturing and other supply chain operations in the SSF Site will cease to function if systems fail.  Malfunctioning or poorly operated utility generation or distribution systems such as HVAC, cold rooms and walk-in freezers, steam, hot water, refrigerated water, glycol, compressed gases, vacuum, electrical transmission and distribution, emergency generators, water purification (DI and water treatment), lab systems (e.g. autoclaves, ovens and washers), waste handling, automation, and fire suppression can cost Genentech hundreds of million of dollars or more in lost research and product.

* Personnel safety risks – FUE systems that are not designed, installed, maintained or operated properly can injure or kill people working near these systems.  Proper evaluation, specification and installation of systems are extremely important to protect employees, contractors and safeguard Genentech’s right to operate. 

* High operation and energy costs – The short and long-term recommendations and decisions made by this individual can impact our campus system design, installation and operation costs significantly.  The SSF Campus is among the largest users of electricity in the Bay Area and in the Roche Network.  This position will work to develop site engineering, design and operations standards to minimize total cost of ownership.

* Broad level of interaction – This position will work under limited direction and continually interact with staff at various levels including senior internal and external personnel. 

Internally, this individual will determine methods and procedures for the safe, reliable and effective maintenance and operation of campus systems, and may train operators in proper use.

Externally, the Plant Engineer may coordinate work, inspections and permits with design contractors and other governmental agencies.  This role will consult on the construction and installation of campus systems and will represent the organization as a prime contact on initiatives and projects that impact campus infrastructure.  In addition, this individual will interact with IFM service providers to ensure that campus systems are reliable and maintained without impact to our operations.

* High Complexity –SSF Site infrastructure is among the largest and most complex in the industry.  These interconnected campus systems will demand in-depth evaluation and analysis of complex problems and initiatives.

* High capital costs – Recommendations made by this individual on the timing and manner by which critical campus infrastructure is replaced, modified or upgraded will directly impact multi-million-dollar capital investments.


* Bachelor of Science in Mechanical, Chemical, Industrial or equivalent field of Engineering.

* 10 or more years of relevant experience in design and operation of facilities, equipment, and utilities within high tech, industrial, life sciences, or chemical manufacturing industries.

* Experience with optimization of equipment operation.

* 3 or more years of experience working in large campus environment.

* Understanding of interface with automation and controls including: Building Automation Systems (BAS), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Data Historians, etc.

* Working knowledge of ANSI/ASHRAE, NEMA, NFPA, EPA, and OSHA standards as well as relevant chemical industry specific standards and documentation (piping and instrumentation diagrams, process flow diagrams).


* Experience and understanding of current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs and cGXP) strongly desired.

* Lean or Six Sigma Certification strongly desired.

* Experience investigating and correcting system corrosion issues

* Experience in plant engineering and R&D, manufacturing, commercial operations

* Experience in design, construction and operation of LEED certified buildings

* Advanced degree in Mechanical, Chemical or Industrial Engineering or equivalent

* Professional Engineering License in Mechanical or Chemical Engineering

* Certification in Project Management (PMP or equivalent)

This is a partial summary of required duties and responsibilities.  The performance of other duties not listed may become necessary as business conditions dictate.

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.

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