Principal/Senior Principal Engineer, Capital Projects

Lake County, IL, US
Jul 03, 2019
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
The primary function of this role is to lead the planning and execution of medium to large capital projects supporting the Process R&D API Pilot Plant and laboratories within the Research and Development organization of AbbVie. Process R&D supports AbbVie's pharmaceutical pipeline through process development and manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) for pre-clinical toxicology studies, clinical trials, formulation development, and registration runs.

In addition to capital project management, this function will also contribute to the development of the capital plan and long term business strategy by identification of capital improvements required to meet pipeline demands. Other responsibilities may include collaboration with process engineers, chemists and pilot plant operations on the introduction of new processes and technologies into the pilot plant and provide technical assistance with the transfer of processes or equipment technologies to commercial sites. Additionally, this role may provide technical support to the pilot plant as needed.

Key Responsibilities

  • Identifies, plans, and conducts medium- to large-size capital projects within engineering specialty requiring custom, risk-managed execution plans, investigations, and/or equipment. Manages multiple, often concurrent, projects and meets deadlines.
  • Responsible for compliance with applicable policies and procedures. Ensures quality and effectiveness of key results of major projects within function through sound design, early risk assessments, and implementation of fallback strategies. Has full awareness of the potential consequences (defects and failure modes) of design changes to established processes.
  • Maintains project controls and reporting for cost, scope and schedule; develops execution strategy including procurement; balances multiple demands within an assignment. Understands the business needs of the company when developing a project scope. Incorporates business foresight of emerging technological trends.
  • Works cross-functionally to establish scope, priorities, and schedules on multiple projects. Independently performs economic analysis and feasibility studies related to complex and often multiple competing project alternatives. Responsible for achieving the project's financial targets in support of business objectives.
  • Analyzes business forces (customers, suppliers, competitors, technologies, government regulations) in major markets to identify trends and recommend responses. Independently executes, and/or directs others in the execution of the design of processes, equipment, systems, and facilities by applying novel engineering theories, concepts, and techniques within the disciplines.
  • Applies technology in innovative ways. Combines technologies to anticipate or address customer needs; shares solutions across sites; employs proven solutions to increase effectiveness of engineering methodology or manufacturing process. Mentors others by sharing technical expertise and providing feedback and guidance.
  • Where appropriate, provides tasks/project assignment opportunities for employee development and evaluates performance. Represents the organization as the prime technical contact on contracts and projects.
  • Interacts with both senior management and external personnel on significant technical matters often requiring coordination between organizations. Submits articles for internal or external publication. Acts as a trusted advisor. Balances bottom line objectives of a project with long-term interest of customer. Is identified as a Subject Matter Expert in the discipline. Participates in internal teams to develop and align procedures and standards. May influence validation strategy.
  • Leads project teams in using established project management tools and techniques to stay within authorized budget limits and achieve the overall project and organizational objectives. Develops and maintains project management tools and processes.
  • Fosters an environment of innovation and exchange of ideas. Integrates experiences and approaches from multiple projects / disciplines to develop the best solution in the total business context. Develops standards and practices that assure the greatest return on investment and that minimal infrastructure will be required for ongoing support. Identifies opportunities for and participates on teams for process improvement initiatives.

Level and compensation will be commensurate with experience.


  • A bachelor's degree in mechanical or chemical engineering or closely related discipline is desired, or equivalent technical experience plus demonstrated competence, with a desired 8+ years of significant engineering and/or operational experience. A post-graduate education/degree is desired and may contribute towards the desired years of experience. Has demonstrated competency within a discipline.
  • Has a career history marked by a consistent series of technical contributions and accomplishments. Proven track record of managing capital projects to completion, using extensive external resources.
  • Possesses a strong technical knowledge and application of concepts, practices, and procedures in the areas of capital project management and process/laboratory facility design. Works on problems of complex scope where analysis of situations or data involves multiple competing factors. Exercises judgment and advises management as to the appropriate actions.
  • Interacts well with diverse groups within engineering and maintains strong working relationships with internal and external collaborators.
  • Listens to and understands others' points of view and articulates tactfully and respectfully one's own perspective orally, in writing, and in presentations.
  • Works well with other engineers in a collaborative, fast-paced goal-driven environment.
  • Possesses interpersonal skills to negotiate and reconcile differences.
  • Has a technical background in pharmaceutical, biologics, or similar industries (preferred).
  • Has demonstrated competency with financial systems and in fiscal control.
  • Working knowledge of government regulations including building and fire codes, FDA cGMPs, and OSHA regulations.

Key Leadership Competencies

  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross functionally with partners outside of team to enable higher performance.
  • Learns fast, grasps the "essence" and can change course quickly where indicated.
  • Raises the bar and is never satisfied with the status quo.
  • Creates a learning environment, open to suggestions and experimentation for improvement.
  • Embraces the ideas of others, nurtures innovation and manages innovation to reality.

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled