Principal Research Scientist I Engineering

North Chicago, Illinois
Jan 25, 2022
Required Education
Masters Degree/MBA
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.

Organization Description

Process Research and Development invents chemical processes and prepares active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to enable clinical trials, toxicology studies and drug product development for AbbVie’s pre-clinical and clinical drug pipeline. In addition to working with small molecules, Process R&D also develops antibody drug conjugates (ADC). We create valuable intellectual property through composition of matter, chemical processes and technologies resulting in cost effective commercial manufacturing processes. We develop the supply chain for APIs, prepare and defend CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control) regulatory content.

Chemical Engineers within AbbVie's Process R&D organization work in multi-functional teams to develop scalable processes and supply active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for safety testing, clinical trials, and formulation development. Early in development, engineers focus on ensuring the process can be run safely, identifying and addressing major scale-up issues and developing the final (API) process step. Later in the development process, engineers optimize the API process and lead process campaigns run in the R&D Pilot Plant. In the final stage of development, engineers transfer the optimized process to manufacturing and support process validation.

Job Description

The Principal Research Scientist will play a key role in the Cross-functional Modeling Forum (CMF), a broader CMC center of excellence for modeling and simulation. The mission of this Center is to address challenging problems in CMC areas by working collaboratively and cross-functionally by developing appropriate in-silico tools to enable right at first pass scale-up and technology transfer of various drug substance and drug products processes.


We are seeking an experienced engineering modeling specialist to support CMF efforts to identify and develop novel approaches and technologies geared to enhance efficiency of process understanding, development and optimization. Ideal candidates should possess an advanced degree in chemical/mechanical engineering with a strong background of modeling and simulation in the areas such as Machine Learning (ML), Computer Vision (CV), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Discrete Element Methods (DEM) and Chemical Process Modeling.  



  • Serve as a lead scientist and drive the mission of CMF
  • Proactively seek opportunities to come up with out of box and innovative solutions to cater challenging business problems through creative application of modeling and simulation
  • Build experimentally verified mathematical models for a variety of chemical/biological API/drug product processes and associated process equipment.
  • Provide deeper understanding of process/product performance using appropriate modeling and simulation tools
  • Harness power of mathematical modeling to come up with innovative process and/or equipment designs in a strongly collaborative environment involving chemists/ pharmacists/ biologists/ engineers
  • Exhibit a strong motivation to implement and advance various modeling technologies across AbbVie
  • Procure and deploy pertinent modeling technologies and computational hardware
  • Learn and venture into new areas of business interest
  • Play a strong team player in a cross functional collaborative environment thriving for world class excellence
  • Demonstrate excellent communication skills and specifically
    • illustrate strong oral and written technical communications
    • seamlessly present modeling solutions to multifunctional teams
    • educate and train colleagues on various modeling tools and techniques

  • BS, MS, or PhD in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering with at the least 6 years of industry experience in the model-based design, development and optimization of chemical processes.
  • Advanced user of open-source ML, NLP and CV packages and commercial CFD, DEM and process modeling software with demonstrated ability to build and integrate user defined subroutines and custom modeling functions.
  • Should also be well versed with languages like Django, Python, Bash and C.

Key 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.

Significant Work Activities
Continuous sitting for prolonged periods (more than 2 consecutive hours in an 8 hour day)
Yes, 5 % 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.