Senior Automation Engineer

Organization: 
Genomic Health, Inc.
Job Location: 
Redwood City , CA
Job Description: 

This Senior Automation Engineer II will ensure the use of best practice engineering principles in development of new and improved robotic workflows, evaluation of analytical instrumentation for qPCR, DNA sequencing, and related methods for the development and ongoing commercial use of Genomic Health's unique and powerful clinical diagnostic assays. Based on input from cross-functional stakeholders, he or she will ensure the definition of clear and complete process requirements for laboratory processes including those for functional/analytical performance, throughput, cost, operability, maintainability, and serviceability.

The successful candidate will manage automation engineers with expertise in liquid handling robotics, mechanical engineering, and software engineering. Activities include adaptation of manual processes to automated platforms, mapping existing process and determining areas for improvement, de novo process development, integration of existing automation, and process troubleshooting. He or she will be expected to become expert in all of Genomic Health's laboratory processes and associated systems such as our LIMS, and to contribute engineering expertise to the ongoing evolution of Genomic Health's overall technology strategy.

This Senior Automation engineer II and his or her team will participate in or lead cross functional teams working in a variety of areas. These include ongoing support and improvement of the commercial patient sample testing processes used in our Clinical Laboratory and the specification, characterization, integration, and implementation of robotic platforms and analytical instruments in all Genomic Health laboratories, especially our Clinical, Development, and Research laboratories. He or she will ensure that these laboratory processes are highly robust, scalable and meet stringent functional performance standards.

These processes include nucleic acid extraction and quantification and downstream analysis by quantitative RT-PCR and next generation sequencing technologies. These efforts will be highly cross-functional and will require excellent communication and collaboration with colleagues in Process Engineering, Assay Chemistry, Biostatistics and Data Management, our Clinical and Development Laboratories, Program Management, Research, Analytical Sciences, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance, and other groups.

The successful candidate will be working cooperatively in a dynamic and interdisciplinary laboratory environment, adapting quickly to change and new technical challenges, providing strong technical and managerial leadership, and providing mentorship and career development opportunities for his or her staff. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are required to ensure success throughout the development lifecycle, from gathering requirements to providing ongoing support for transferred processes. This is an excellent opportunity for a team player to participate in the growth of a fast-paced, pioneering company that is developing systematic approaches to applying genomic technology to health, disease, and medical practice.

- Drive collection of process requirements from cross-functional stakeholders
- Develop and execute plans for the development of laboratory processes for sample handling and analysis
- Manage and mentor a small staff of engineers, maximizing their impact by involving them strategically in projects that require their specific expertise
- Evaluate new processes and technologies for potential use in Genomic Health applications
- Contribute to or oversee the improvement of existing Genomic Health laboratory processes through process mapping and analysis and the development of cost and capacity models
- Provide leadership in the design, execution, and interpretation of process characterization, optimization, and validation studies, including the clear and complete documentation of these in study protocols and reports
- Develop, optimize, and implement automated platforms for the commercial, development, and research laboratories
- Design and document new test methods to measure equipment performance
- Train others in the proper use of GHI equipment
- Provide troubleshooting support for our Clinical, Development, and Research laboratories

- B.S., M.S., or Ph.D. in a relevant engineering discipline
- 8 + years of relevant engineering experience in development of laboratory processes and/or technology platforms
- Familiarity with standard molecular biology techniques such as nucleic acid isolation, RNA/DNA quantification, PCR and RT-PCR, DNA sequencing
- Experience with programming and operating liquid handling robots, and knowledge of TECAN EVOware scripting language is desirable
- Demonstrated mechanical aptitude relevant to automated liquid handlers and other general laboratory equipment
- Familiarity with principles such as Six Sigma, Robust Design, Lean, Kaizen, etc.
- Familiarity with assay development, optimization and troubleshooting
- Experience with using Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)
- Ability to quickly adopt and apply new methods and technologies
- Proficiency in using word processing and spreadsheet applications
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing and verbally
- Demonstrated management skills

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