Principal Research Engineer I/II, Process Engineering Sciences

Lake County, Illinois
Apr 10, 2021
Required Education
Bachelors Degree
Position Type
Full time
About AbbVie
AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow @abbvie on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

The Development Sciences Drug Product Development (DevSci DPD) organization within AbbVie develops and characterizes drug product formulations, combination products and manufacturing processes to provide clinical dosage forms and devices to enable the development of AbbVie’s pipeline, and ultimately to provide commercial drug products, combination products and commercial manufacturing processes.  

AbbVie is seeking a highly motivated and experienced scientist with a proven track record of process development to serve as a Principal Research Engineer I/II in Process Engineering Sciences reporting to the Senior Director of Process Engineering Science in Lake County, IL. The Principal Research Engineer I/II is responsible for the design, development, optimization and tech transfer of manufacturing processes for oral drug products in the AbbVie pipeline.

This position will be an integral part of the product development teams and will have strong collaboration with the Formulation and Analytical functions, the Drug Product Pilot Plants, and the Operations Commercial Manufacturing functions. The Principal Research Engineer II will lead process development programs in Lake County, IL and will have direct reports.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead teams developing the drug product process for oral drug products within the AbbVie pipeline.
  • Accountable for scale-up activities, design space definition, and technology transfer to commercial plant.
  • Ensure group deliverables are completed within established timelines, budgets, resources, and in accordance with regulatory, quality, and safety requirements.
  • Collaborate with other functions within AbbVie to align a broad range of strategies that directly support drug development programs; these include but are not limited to other areas in Development Sciences, Drug Product Development, Regulatory Affairs and Commercial Manufacturing Operations.
  • Supervise one or more direct reports and engage proactively in their development.  Evaluate staff performance and actively support staff development. 
  • Mentor and train functional colleagues and assess current and emerging business challenges enabling functional goal achievement.
  • Ensure development of technologies that drive engineering excellence and scientific innovation that improve the future capabilities and productivity of the greater organization.
  • Source and identify emerging scientific trends from multiple internal and external sources and assess relevance. Integrate trends into functional short-term objectives. Advance cross-discipline technology and direction through generation of data.
  • Generate new scientific proposals and lead those efforts. Anticipate and critically evaluate scientific or regulatory advances or competitive threats and respond with appropriate new strategies.
  • Advance scientific expertise within function. Proactively demonstrate leadership by advising and sharing knowledge and expert opinions with subordinates, peers, and senior management.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s, Master's, or PhD in scientific or engineering field with typically 14-16 (Bachelor's), 12-14 (Master's), or 6-8 (PhD) years of related work experience.
  • Experience in drug product process development and scale-up from pilot plant to a commercial facility.Demonstrated leadership of technical teams and effective cross-functional communication.
  • Strong technical background in oral drug product manufacturing unit operations including blending, wet- and dry-granulation, tableting, film-coating, milling and extrusion.
  • Proven ability to solve critical business and scientific problems.
  • Understanding of cGMP, regulatory and process safety requirements.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Advanced degree in Engineering

Key Competencies:

  • Ability to communicate and influence others, develops team members, drives technical excellence, and inspires continuous improvement.
  • Builds strong relationships with peers and cross-functional partners to enable higher performance.
  • Connects ideas from disparate fields, integrates data and information quickly, and takes risks to achieve the highest performance.
  • 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.

Significant Work Activities
Yes, 15 % of the Time
Job Type
Job Level Code
Equal Employment Opportunity
At AbbVie, we value bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds to develop new and innovative solutions for patients. As an equal opportunity employer we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.