Associate Director, Engineering Operations #3406



Durham, NC, USA
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2024
GRAIL is a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. GRAIL is focused on alleviating the global burden of cancer by developing pioneering technology to detect and identify multiple deadly cancer types early. The company is using the power of next-generation sequencing, population-scale clinical studies, and state-of-the-art computer science and data science to enhance the scientific understanding of cancer biology, and to develop its multi-cancer early detection blood test. GRAIL is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA with locations in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and the United Kingdom. GRAIL, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN). For more information, please visit
The AD, Operations Engineering will lead multiple operations teams that oversee technical engineering support for a variety of process automation hardware, software applications, and laboratory equipment to support smooth lab operations at GRAIL. Working cross-functionally with Operations, Research, Development, Quality, and Software groups, they will drive robust equipment and automation operations with a team of talented leaders, engineers, and technicians. The successful candidate will be a scientist or engineer with a proven track record of providing engineering, calibration, and maintenance services to complex systems as well as implementing continuous process improvements ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations, and implementing and maintaining processes and programs that guarantee the quality and reliability of products. GRAIL’s testing volumes are scaling fast and require a dynamic and detail-oriented leader to help deliver our revolutionary test to as many people as possible.
Expected schedule is on-site Monday to Friday. This position requires on-call duty and needs to support weekends and holidays. Alternative locations and work arrangements could be considered for the right individual.

You Will

  • Build and manage teams at multiple sites with the diverse scientific and technical skills required to support, troubleshoot, and improve complex automation systems in a regulated environment.
  • Establish operational objectives, policies, procedures, and work plans, delegate and empower team members to maximize the system up time for 24x7 operations or the respective operational schedule.
  • Works on issues where analysis of situations or data requires conceptual thinking and in-depth knowledge of organization objectives.
  • Drive the strategy and success of larger equipment and engineering projects.
  • Coach and guide team to support their area following cGMP/GLP and Quality Management System (QMS) guidelines.
  • Make time sensitive technical decisions.
  • Responsible for OPEX spends for area of responsibility, support CAPEX planning.
  • Support the timely handling of investigations, impact assessment, Change Controls, NCRs, deviations, and CAPAs.
  • Drives a streamlined workflow of requests/work orders with KPIs measuring cost, completion time, quality, and safety.
  • Optimize resource allocation, including labor, materials, and external contractors, to meet operations goals.
  • Participate, be a role model, and adhere to GRAIL’s policies and guidelines.
  • Drive changes to ensure ongoing high-quality performance of team and equipment as part of the continuous improvement process.
  • Work closely with Quality and regulatory to implement and follow the required policies and procedures for system qualification, maintenance, and calibration

Your background Should Include

  • Ideal candidate has 10+ years of related experience with a BS or higher degree in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences or equivalent work experience. Engineering degrees are preferred.
  • Previous managerial experience in a similar work environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully lead, coach, build, lead, and mentor leaders and engineers.
  • Excellent communication skills to work as a leader and provide internal customer support.
  • Excellent time management skills to support a fast paced working environment.
  • Excellent troubleshooting and root cause analysis skills in both hardware and software.
  • Strong technical background in manufacturing operations, equipment, maintenance, calibration, and automation.
  • Experience executing within a computerized maintenance/calibration management system.
  • Knowledge Safety Training, lock out tag out (LOTO), Hazardous material, and waste handling.
  • Proven experience in leading complex engineering projects from concept to completion
  • Preferred:
  • Strong hands-on experience in technical troubleshooting and maintenance in regards to liquid handling equipment.(e.g., Agilent, Hamilton, Labcyte, Illumina etc.)
  • Experience with Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), Manufacturing Management Systems(MES), scheduling software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, Green Button Go (GBG)
  • Knowledge of molecular biology to best support equipment activities in an next generation sequencing (NGS) workflow.
  • Knowledge of IT networking and systems infrastructure.
  • Strong industrial electrical and mechanical knowledge.
  • Experience working with Illumina NGS technology platforms.
Physical Demands/Working Environment
Regularly required to stand, sit, walk, climb stairs/ladders, kneel, crouch, or wear safety gear.
Must regularly lift and / or move up to 10 pounds.
Frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
Occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
Travel up to 20% of the time
Based on the role, colleagues may be eligible to participate in an annual bonus plan tied to company and individual performance, or an incentive plan. We also offer a long-term incentive plan to align company and colleague success over time.
In addition, GRAIL offers a progressive benefit package, including flexible time-off, a 401k with a company match, and alongside our medical, dental, vision plans, carefully selected mindfulness offerings.
GRAIL is an Equal Employment Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status. We will reasonably accommodate all individuals with disabilities so that they can participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. GRAIL maintains a drug-free workplace.