Automation Engineer

Location
Frederick, MD, USA
Posted
Aug 24, 2019
Ref
req705
Hotbed
BioCapital
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
The Molecular Pharmacology Branch (MPB) mission is to improve the treatment of recalcitrant, rare and neglected cancers through the identification of potential targets, the screening of new and known agents, the identification of genomic vulnerabilities and the identification of potential therapeutic combinations using state-of-the-art molecular characterization, mechanism-of-action techniques. In support of this mission, the MPB operates four laboratories at the National Cancer Institute-Frederick campus. While the Translational Support Laboratory is a federal laboratory, the other three laboratories are operated by the contractor that holds the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) contract with the NCI (currently Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc): the NCI60 Screening Laboratory, the In Vitro Screening Laboratory, and the Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory.

KEY ROLES/RESPONSIBILITIES-THIS POSITION IS CONTINGENT UPON FUNDING APPROVAL
  • Manage all operations of the automated screening robot and associated instrumentation present on the system. Perform basic troubleshooting and correction of minor screening system failures, including responding to errors that occur during off hours. Maintain a maintenance schedule for all instrumentation on the automated system. Coordinate with biologists to ensure that all required consumables are available for the variety of screens that are run on the system. Work closely with informatics specialists to ensure that the automated infra-structure is effectively integrated into the broader Informatics environment
  • Act as a primary point of contact for biologists in the three laboratories at FNLCR with regards to basic equipment usage and maintenance. Create methods with and for laboratory staff on numerous liquid handling systems and readers. Train laboratory staff on the use and care of equipment. Work with staff for the creation of laboratory SOPs and troubleshooting routines for critical pieces of equipment and processes
  • Perform method validation routines on a daily basis for critical pieces of offline and online laboratory equipment; validate protocols for low volume liquid dispensers, plate readers, imagers and other equipment throughout the facility
  • Perform maintenance routines, troubleshooting, and correction of laboratory, building, screening system equipment, and general mechanical components; diagnose problems down to the component level and respond to errors. Ensure proper care in the use and maintenance of laboratory equipment and supplies
  • Maintain and acquire tools and supplies for repair tasks
  • Organize laboratory equipment manuals, registrations and warranties. When necessary, place service calls for scientific equipment in the laboratory. Work with vendors to recommend replacement parts for equipment and maintain stocks. Coordinate with outside contractors on repair and placement of new and existing equipment
  • Collaborate with leadership to plan for, incorporate, and integrate new instrumentation and automation technologies. Perform placement, setup, and validation of new equipment. Evaluate, develop and implement novel microfluidic and assay technologies. Design and/or implement new components and fixtures to be used within the laboratory or automated screening platform setting
  • Remain up-to-date with current and emerging trends in automation technologies
  • Prepare posters and oral presentations for internal and external groups

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS
  • Possession of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (according to CHEA) in Automation, Electrical, or Mechanical engineering or related discipline. (Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education). Foreign degrees must be evaluated for U.S. equivalency.
  • In addition to the educational requirements, a minimum of six (6) years of experience developing and supporting laboratory automation and instrumentation
  • Experience with computer aided engineering design tools and laboratory instrument control programming
  • Understanding of the underlying science well enough to drive troubleshooting and to propose technological solutions
  • Ability to lift and maneuver delivered packages
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS
  • Experience in high-throughput screening
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to multi-task and attention to detail
  • Ability to read, follow, and enforce safety procedures
  • Strong oral and written communications skills in English
  • Must be an excellent team player
  • Excellent analytical, organizational, and time management skills
  • Forward-thinking with exceptional problem-solving skills

JOB HAZARDS OR REQUIREMENTS
  • Candidate will be working with or have the potential for exposure to infectious material(s) or Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM), requiring medical clearance and immunization in accordance with protocol requirements
  • Candidate will be working with or have the potential for exposure to laser emissions, that may require a medical clearance and enrollment into the Laser Surveillance Program
  • Candidate would be working with radioactive materials and requires them to become an approved radiation worker
Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) | Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran (M/F/D/V) | Drug Free Workplace (DFW)