Sr. Process Automation Engineer

United States, Houston (Texas)

Today, Lonza is a global leader in life sciences operating across three continents. While we work in science, there’s no magic formula to how we do it. Our greatest scientific solution is talented people working together, devising ideas that help businesses to help people. In exchange, we let our people own their careers. Their ideas, big and small, genuinely improve the world. And that’s the kind of work we want to be part of.

Lonza Houston’s Cell and Gene Therapy Facility is the largest in the world and is still growing. We are looking for professionals to grow with us in our Facilities and Engineering business unit. The Sr Automation Process Engineer will support ongoing Lonza operations through technical assistance as it relates to the manufacturing and process automation systems. The qualified candidate will be a technical resource to operations customers to ensure that instrumentation and automation systems are designed and operating to meet production needs,  assist with automation related input into the strategic planning of continuous improvements to new and existing processes, valued innovation, and long range facility planning at the site and provide mentoring and technical support to other team members.

Key Responsibilities:

Operations Support

  • Deliver 24x7x365 automation support to manufacturing operations by troubleshooting equipment, systems, and processes to resolve issues that may arise during manufacturing campaigns.
  • Provide process automation support for ongoing production operations and new equipment/process introductions.
  • Provide off-shift and on-call (as part of a rotation) support when necessary.
  • Provide on the floor operational support as needed.
  • Assist other departments in evaluating historical process/equipment data.
  • Provide SME support to other functional groups (i.e. MFG, QA, F&E, etc.).


  • Provide mentorship and training to junior members in the team; including technicians, analysts, and engineers.
  • Provide and assist in training, mentoring and development plan for site technicians, specialists, engineers and other operations personnel.
  • Effectively communicate progress and opportunities (i.e. roadblocks) to stakeholders.

Equipment/Systems - Owner, Administrator

  • Perform as owner for F&E equipment and systems.
  • Perform as system administrator for manufacturing equipment and systems.
  • Responsible for Periodic review of the automation systems.
  • Responsible for assuring various user levels have appropriate, documented training and authorization for access to F&E managed computer systems.
  • Responsibility for managing regulatory aspects of the site’s networked data collection, monitoring and SCADA systems; including CMS, BMS, and OSI Pi.
  • Responsible for backup/archiving/restoring of automation configuration and batch/recipe/methods.
  • Support or maintain the OT (Automation) network, control and I/O level networks.

Continuous Improvement

  • Increase process control by utilizing automation concepts and solutions.
  • Develop and implement site automation standards for hardware and software.
  • Develop and improve automation Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Author and/or review specifications and design documents for projects and process changes.
  • Support projects and ensure site automation standards are followed.


  • Own or support review/approval of Change Control Requests, Deviations/Investigations, Corrective/Preventative Actions, and Commissioning Test protocols. 
  • Support review/approval of Qualification/Validation protocols and related documentation, including project/master plan and assessments.
  • Support internal and external audits and regulatory inspections.
  • Ensure new and legacy systems comply with current IT/OT security policies and regulations, including FDA 21 CFR part 11 and Annex 11.

New Equipment/Process Introductions

  • Evaluates and utilize technology to incorporate innovation into process and equipment designs.
  • Interact with internal/external customers (i.e. MSAT) and evaluate process requirements to ensure the facility and equipment automation capabilities can accommodate. 
  • Develop automation requirements and specifications for new equipment and systems; including modification to existing equipment/systems, and process improvement initiatives.
  • Planning and execution of plant projects involving complex equipment changes and significant process improvements.  May be involved in capital projects or initiation of capital requests including working with Lonza Global Engineering and other site automation teams to develop future site and global automation design philosophy and standards and project implementation as necessary to achieve production success.

Hands on experience with the following systems and platforms is preferred:

  • OSIsoft PI
  • Vaisala viewLinc
  • Rockwell software suite
  • Automated Logic WebCTRL
  • Wonderware System Platform
  • Windows OS
  • DCS
  • Industrial communication networks

Perform other duties as assigned.

Key Requirements:

  • BS Degree in the Electrical, Automated Systems, Chemical Engineering field.
  • Extensive experience in supporting capital projects as it relates to automated systems: Equipment replacement, system implementations, migrations and upgrades.  Must also have a strong background in supporting day to day functions of automated systems: Maintenance, repair, troubleshooting and administration.
  • Experience in a cGMP regulated production facility is preferred.
  • Well versed with MS Office applications: Word, Excel, Teams, Outlook and PowerPoint.
  • Excellent communications skills both verbal and written.

Every day, Lonza’s products and services have a positive impact on millions of people. For us, this is not only a great privilege, but also a great responsibility. How we achieve our business results is just as important as the achievements themselves. At Lonza, we respect and protect our people and our environment. Any success we achieve is no success at all if not achieved ethically.

People come to Lonza for the challenge and creativity of solving complex problems and developing new ideas in life sciences. In return, we offer the satisfaction that comes with improving lives all around the world. The satisfaction that comes with making a meaningful difference.

Lonza is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a qualified individual with disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

Reference: R45224