Global Automation Lead- Research

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Job Title: Global Automation Lead- Research
Location: Durham, NC, South United States, USA
Company: Syngenta
Industry Sector: Agribusiness
Industry Type: Plant & Soil Sciences, Seed & Biotechnology
Career Type: Researcher/Research & Development
Job Type: Full Time
Salary: Competitive
Job Description: About Syngenta

Syngenta is a global leader in agriculture; rooted in science and dedicated to bringing plant potential to life. Each of our 28,000 employees in more than 90 countries work together to solve one of humanity’s most pressing challenges: growing more food with fewer resources. A diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace environment are enablers of our ambition to be the most collaborative and trusted team in agriculture. Our employees reflect the diversity of our customers, the markets where we operate and the communities which we serve. No matter what your position, you will have a vital role in safely feeding the world and taking care of our planet. Join us and help shape the future of agriculture.


About Us

Through leading innovations, we help farmers around the world meet the challenge of feeding a growing population and taking care of our planet. We are currently seeking a Global Automation Lead for the Global Seeds Research team. This role will be based in our Durham, North Carolina world-class research facility. This role will support Global Function.


Role purpose


The purpose of this position is to enable Seeds Research globally including the Genotyping function with advanced automation/robotics solutions to achieve Seeds Research goals, including but not limited to capacity increase, process consistency and quality, mitigation of ergonomic risks, etc.


This position will be accountable for the design, development, implementation and sustenance of automation strategy for Seeds Research in collaboration with stakeholders at different levels of the organization. The Genotyping labs are key enablers of both R&D and P&S so this role is key to deploy the entire suite of automation/robotic solutions needed from high throughput sample processing, nucleic acids extraction, sequencing/PCR, data processing and visualization. In addition, it must be continuously acquainted with current platforms, and how newer technologies can be integrated and streamlined in order to bring efficiencies to Seeds Research.



    Will drive the design, development, implementation and sustenance of an automation strategy for genotyping, transformation, greenhouse, plant analysis, and other functions; in collaboration and constant exchange with scientists and functional leaders across Seeds Research and Development.  In collaboration with functional leaders and automation experts collect, coordinate and help prioritize the Capital investment plans for automation equipment. Audit laboratory processes for opportunities to increase productivity, efficiency, and decrease cost. Run validation tests to ensure throughput and quality of data, conduct experiments and tests to develop automation assisted laboratory processes and provide successful solutions to process bottlenecks. Documentation and reporting of exploratory, validation, implementation, and integration results via oral or written updates to peers and supervisors. Performing all tasks and behaving in a manner compliant with and in support of all safety related company policies and practices, including completing all required Company training courses and attending local safety meetings.



Critical Knowledge


    B.S. in Automation/Robotics/Electric/Electronic/Mechanic Engineering + 5 years of experience in lab automation, Master or PhD degrees in Automation or Robotics, OR, B.S. in Biology, Biochemistry or Biotechnology or related scientific field + 5 years of experience in lab automation, + Masters or PhD or equivalent degree in Automation or Robotics, Knowledge of laboratory automation hardware and software platforms. Machine design, Product development, SolidWorks modeling, 3D printing experience. Experience building and troubleshooting mechanical, electrical, and software systems. PLC programming, motion control servos, PID, steppers, machine vision software packages. Strong project management, organizational, communication skills are required A working knowledge of automation, robotics, and liquid handling troubleshooting and repair. Industry knowledge of recent advances in laboratory automation and technology.

Critical Experience


    Experience in the design, operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of various types of laboratory equipment, including liquid handling, dispensing, and detection equipment. Experience with implementing liquid handling, robotic, and controller software solutions from a variety of vendors. Script and method writing experience. Experience in a high throughput laboratory environment.

Critical Technical, Professional and Personal Capabilities


    Ability to use MS Office, especially Word and Excel, and other standard software. Proficiency in robotic controller software Ability and motivation to learn new technologies. Ability to work well in a team and to communicate with individuals throughout the organization and across the businesses. Interpersonal skills are a must in order to both gather, as well as convey, pertinent information regarding robotic systems to a multi-disciplinary group.


Critical leadership capabilities


Set Direction

    Sets ambitious strategic goals Communicates inspirationally

Create Edge

    Steps beyond comfort zones

    Fosters a culture of creativity and innovation

Drive Results

  • Focuses energy on must-wins
  • Manages performance to high standard

Liberate Potential

  • Develop self and others
  • Recognizes and celebrates success


Critical Success Factors & Key Challenges


    Must be able to listen to the customer, be personable, and accommodating. Ability to see beyond current technology bottlenecks and help to provide a paradigm shift in applications related specifically to genotyping data production. Prioritizing and accomplishing deadline driven project timelines.

  Additional Information


    Travel Requirements – 10-20%


What We Offer:

    Full Benefit Package Medical, Dental & Vision that starts the same day you do 401k plan with company match, Profit Sharing & Retirement Savings Contribution Open Vacation Policy with a minimum of 15 days of vacation and up to 30 days with manager approval, 9 Paid Holidays Maternity and Paternity Leave, Education Assistance, Wellness Programs, Corporate Discounts among others A culture that promotes work/life balance, celebrates diversity, and offers numerous family-oriented events throughout the year

Syngenta is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or any other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.


Family and Medical Leave Act FMLA


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's EEOC


Employee Polygraph Protection Act EPPA



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Job Post Date: 05/15/22
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