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Job: Associate Director, Automation, Merck & Co., Durham, NC

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General Information

Job title:
Associate Director, Automation
Job location:
Durham, NC  27701 United States
Requisition code:
Date posted:
Job category:
Employment type:
Full time

Job Description

Job Description

Our Engineers support internal and external manufacturing operations remain operational, continuously improve and innovate. With our extensive range of facilities and environments, our Engineers have opportunities across many diverse areas including Biological, Chemical, Automation, Capital Projects, Maintenance, Safety, Process Development, Technical Services, Utilities and Validation. 

Our company is expanding its global recombinant vaccine production network by investing $650 million and adding a 225,000-square-foot building within the footprint of the Maurice R. Hilleman Center for Vaccine Manufacturing in Durham, NC. The new facility will be used to produce the bulk active ingredient for the HPV vaccine, comprised of fermentation, microfiltration/ultrafiltration, and chromatography steps. 

Approximately 614,000 people are diagnosed with certain HPV-related cancers each year. Our company manufactures the two vaccines that are predominantly utilized to eradicate these cancers globally.  In recent years, countries around the world have enacted new or expanded HPV vaccination programs, which has created an unprecedented increase in global demand. The manufacturing facility in Durham will play a critical role in the network of plants that produce life-saving medicines and vaccines, including our HPV vaccines.

Position Responsibilities:

The Associate Director Manufacturing Automation is responsible for managing the team in Durham, NC facility for the assigned area process control systems, while actively supporting an inclusive team culture.

Responsibilities may include but are not limited to;

  • Directing the technical activities of a professional staff to achieve facility business objectives with on the production shop floor support as needed

  • Providing technical leadership for the assigned area and systems to ensure a compliant and reliable supply of product and on time project execution

  • Providing direct support for regulatory inspections and audits and other validation activities by serving as the subject matter expert

  • Leading individual and team development through approved HR guidance and practices, while maintaining staffing at the agreed upon level any by actively engaging in efforts to recruit talent that supports a diverse and inclusive culture

  • Providing guidance on system activities to the Integrated Process Team (IPT) leadership team with overall accountability for team and system performance within area of responsibility

  • Providing guidance and ensuring that the team follow established standards, principles and governance;

  • Providing technical guidance/support for key review and approval of automation incidents, Quality Notifications (QNs), system commissioning and qualification, change control, and other key automation related processes

  • Assisting in the development and review and approval of department SOPs and other site GMP SOPs related to automation and digital activities

  • Supporting problem solving practices to identify and resolve technical and operational problems; able to collaborate with peers to resolve problems that cross into inter-related units

  • Adapting and implementing area plans and priorities based on IPT scorecard to address local business challenges

  • Other duties requested by Management.

Working Relationships:

  • Reports to the Director Manufacturing Automation

  • Manages and interacts with employees within own department

  • Frequent interaction with employees from other departments

  • Interacts with representatives from regulatory agencies and external suppliers

Education Minimum Requirement:  

  • Bachelor's Degree or higher in Engineering, Computer Science, or related Technical area

Required Experience and Skills:  

  • Minimum eight (8) years of experience in a production regulated industry (part or all of the eight years providing manufacturing automation services) – OR – Master's or MBA degree with six (6) years' experience – OR – PhD with three (3) years' experience

  • Two or more years of direct people management experience

  • Minimum of five (5) years of experience in a GMP manufacturing automation related role and direct experience with SDLC and change controls

  • Direct experience with at least two of the three platforms 1) Process Automation (DeltaV), 2) PLCs, and 3) PI/InfoBatch (or equivalent)

  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships with team, peers and area leads

  • Demonstrated leadership in achieving shared objectives in a matrix organization

  • Strong understanding of manufacturing principles/ processes and ability to translate manufacturing requirements into Automation/digital solution

  • Proven track record of analytical skills, problem solving and attention to detail

  • Able to demonstrate the Company Leadership Principles and Enterprise Leadership

  • High personal integrity, credibility, and energy

  • Excellent communication and influencing skills

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills in English

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Direct experience with all levels of the S95 model from ERP to shop floor instrumentation and working knowledge of S88

  • Lean Six Sigma Experience

Our Manufacturing & Supply Division is committed to be the most trusted supplier of bio-pharmaceuticals worldwide. Our facilities, along with our external contractors, suppliers, and partners, create an interdependent global manufacturing network that's committed to delivering a high quality, reliable supply to customers and patients on time, every time. 

Who we are …

We are known as Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA in the United States and Canada and MSD everywhere else. For more than a century, we have been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Today, our company continues to be at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions and advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and animals around the world.

What we look for …

Imagine getting up in the morning for a job as important as helping to save and improve lives around the world. Here, you have that opportunity. You can put your empathy, creativity, digital mastery, or scientific genius to work in collaboration with a diverse group of colleagues who pursue and bring hope to countless people who are battling some of the most challenging diseases of our time. Our team is constantly evolving, so if you are among the intellectually curious, join us—and start making your impact today.


In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

Current Employees apply HERE

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.

For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:

EEOC Poster

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Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination

We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another's thinking and approach problems collectively. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully 
Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company.  No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails. 

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Requisition ID:R134735

Job Requirements

(see job description above)
(Job number: 4051067)
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