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Job: Senior Automation Engineer, Foundation Medicine, Morrisville, NC

General Information

Job title:
Senior Automation Engineer
Job location:
Morrisville, NC  27560 United States
Requisition code:
Date posted:
Job category:
Employment type:
Full time

Job Description

Job Location
Morrisville, NC
Req Number
Process Engineering & LIMS


Foundation Medicine, Inc. (FMI) began with an idea-to simplify the complex nature of cancer genomics, bringing cutting-edge science and technology to everyday cancer care. Our approach generates insights that help doctors match patients to more treatment options and helps accelerate the development of new therapies. Foundation Medicine is the culmination of talented people coming together to realize an important vision, and the work we do every day impacts real lives.


The Senior Automation Engineer is responsible for automating and scaling complex workflows and implementing processes for deployment in clinical laboratories at multiple sites. Involved in all aspects of assay automation development and instrument integration from concept to requirements definition, method development, optimization, troubleshooting and validation, the Automation Engineer identifies problem areas and develops solutions to reduce Turn-Around-Time (TAT), increase sample processing capacity and reduce cost of goods sold.

The incumbent leverages advanced knowledge and skills of automation to lead cross-functional teams on a variety of projects to explore, develop, optimize, test, and implement robust, scalable solutions for FMI's sample processing workflows. Additionally, this position partners with outside vendors to develop integrated robotic solutions and ensures all automated solutions fully address business and user requirements.

The Automation Engineer position requires working in a lab environment in the presence of chemicals and reagents.

Key Responsibilities:
• Develop and improve robust automated solutions utilizing Hamilton liquid handlers and other laboratory automation equipment designed to remove bottlenecks, increase capacity and reduce TAT in FMI's high throughput (24/7) Next Generation Sequencing laboratory.
• Program, optimize, verify and implement new and/or improved methods on Hamilton robotic liquid handling workstations and integrated robotic systems.
• Perform the exploration into workflows for process optimization.
• Analyze workflows, identify bottlenecks, develop solutions and lead teams in solution implementation that improves efficiency, throughput, cost, and quality.
• Generate and maintain requirements and test plan documentation.
• Integrate instrument components and perform unit testing.
• Contribute to innovation of current and new assays workflows, technologies and processes.
• Execute guard-banding, response surface and optimization studies to optimize and characterize automated methods to improve robustness.
• Provide on-site technical support of automation platforms.
• Contribute to protocol generation, report writing, and presentation preparation related to automation as needed.
• Install, test and control new versions of automated protocols on applicable instrumentation across labs and possibly across sites.
• Provide training and documentation for new or modified workflows to end users.
• Partner with outside vendors to design, develop and qualify integrated robotic solutions to enable high throughput processing.
• Provide advanced technical guidance to Automation Engineers.
• Other projects as periodically assigned.

Basic Qualifications:
• One of the three education and experience combinations: (1) a Bachelor's Degree in the Bioengineering, Biotechnology or the life sciences plus 7 years of related experience with high-throughput laboratory instrumentation; (2) a Master's Degree in fields specified above plus 5 years of experience; or, (3) a PhD without experience.
• Experience with operating and programming liquid handling robotics platforms.
Preferred Qualifications:
• Advanced Degree in Bioengineering, Biotechnology or the life sciences.
• Experience with robotic liquid handlers from Hamilton, TECAN, Agilent Technologies, or Beckman Coulter.
• Experience with developing and implementing integrated robotic systems for use in a high throughput environment.
• Familiarity with streamlining workflows and developing automated laboratory processes and instrumentation systems, including collecting and documenting requirements, developing concepts, design, testing/validation, implementing, and training.
• Experience with agile project management.
• Experience with FMEA, MTBF and test case development.
• Experience with developing, optimizing, and validating assays for use in a high throughput environment.
• Experience communicating and collaborating with internal and external colleagues and customers from diverse scientific, engineering, operational, and regulatory disciplines.
• Experience with statistical data analysis using R or JMP, monitoring data quality and troubleshooting technical problems.
• Ability to document and report troubleshooting procedures and resolutions.
• Ability to work as an individual as well as in a team environment.
• Experience with standard molecular biology techniques such as nucleic acid isolation, purification and quantitation, bioanalyzer, DNA/RNA quantitation, qPCR or Next Generation Sequencing.
• Knowledge of safety protocols in workshop, factory or laboratory setting.
• Strong written and oral communication skills.
• Detail oriented and well organized.
• Experience working in a regulated environment (e.g. CLIA, CAP, GxP, ISO).
• Previous experience working in a molecular diagnostics/clinical laboratory setting.
• Familiarity with JIRA/Confluence, Solidworks, VBscript, Python, PERL and/or JavaScript, relational databases, SQL, LIMS or other relevant enterprise software packages.
• Previous teaching or technical training experience.

Foundation Medicine is proud to be an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer and considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, age, or national origin. Further, qualified applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability or protected veteran status. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. See also FMI's EEO Statement and EEO is the Law and Supplement . If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know by completing this form . (EOE/AAP Employer)

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Job Requirements

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(Job number: 3859374)
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