Chemical Process Engineer
The Chemical Process Engineer will manage and provide leadership for process improvement projects in support of manufacturing operations within the silica, Hypercarb and bonded media areas, including capital projects as well as other continuous improvements.
The role will seek to optimize existing processes, equipment and practices through application of continuous improvement techniques, promoting best practice, improving process control and implementing process automation where appropriate. The job holder will be responsible for ensuring project scopes, schedules and budgets are achieved. The Chemical Process Engineer will also support new product introduction, scale-up, technology transfer and process validation activities.
The business unit manufactures Hypersil silica and Hypercarb (porous graphitic carbon) as well as various HPLC, GC, GCMS and SPE chromatographic packing materials. These products are sold to a worldwide market made up predominantly of pharmaceutical companies, universities, hospitals, government institutions and a wide range of industrial companies in varying fields. The Runcorn production team work normal business hours although some of the processes do continue to operate outside of these.
- Process Improvement - lead continuous improvement activities for existing processes, using techniques such as Lean & TPM to deliver step-change improvement in equipment, process control, product quality, capacity, productivity and standard operating procedures.
- Troubleshoot current manufacturing processes to identify and implement engineering solutions to address safety, capacity, quality and cost improvements.
- Provide robust operating solutions through the interaction of machines, materials, methods, manpower and environment. Monitor production processes and assess performance data to continually look for innovative ways to reduce process cycle times, increase yield and drive other improvements such as reducing process variability.
- Initiate, direct and execute validation/qualification protocols for new products, processes, equipment and systems.
- Quality - implement actions to improve product quality, for example through the reduction of process variation and detailed understanding of the link between process parameters and product quality attributes.
- Work with the production teams to develop solutions to issues identified through product non-conformance and process deviations.
- Be responsible for relevant aspects of the ISO9001 quality management system, such as equipment design and calibration.
- Safety - be familiar with and apply relevant safety standards such as COSHH, REACH, PUWER and other regulations. Be familiar with safety assessment techniques such as HAZOP and risk assessment.
- Equipment - specify and lead capital projects to provide new equipment and production facilities, for example: additional laboratory space, increased production capacity or process automation.
- Determine root cause of equipment failure and make improvements to prevent recurrence, for example through changes in specification, operations and/or maintenance and use of techniques such as FMEA. Maintain a register of equipment details, including specifications, change control and history.
- Record Keeping - Generate, communicate and keep up to date technical documents, procedures and records in accordance with statutory requirements and company policy.
- Support new and existing manufacturing processes by generating process flow diagrams, engineering line drawings, instrumentation drawings and design packages.
- Develop and implement engineering procedures and equipment operating / maintenance practices as required. Utilise the document and change control systems.
- General - Participate in Practical Process Improvement (PPI) teams, in particular providing technical / process engineering guidance.
- Develop and maintain equipment and process improvement plans.
- Provide technical support to the production teams / Team Leaders as required.
- Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering.
- Proven experience in a relevant process manufacturing environment, for example in the manufacture of specialty chemicals.
- Experience of leading process improvement through application of techniques such as lean, TPM, 6-sigma.
- Knowledge of quality systems (ISO 9001, 13485 standards), process validation and equipment qualification; experience in a GMP environment is useful although not essential.
- Chartered status / working towards chartered status of I.Chem.E.
- Demonstrated ability to lead projects, ideally including new product introduction / technology transfer.
Desired Skills and Knowledge:
- Ability to work effectively in teams with colleagues from all levels of the organization.
- Strong demonstrated technical capability applied in practical situations, including process measurement and control and general engineering principles.
- Problem solving using a range of structured techniques to identify root cause and corrective actions.
- Project management skills; prioritization of multiple tasks; ability to manage a wide range of activities; initiative and results orientation.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Good IT skills – e.g. use of MS Office, AutoCAD, statistics software.