Specialist Manufacturing Automation - Data Science

Job Description

New hires based in the US & Puerto Rico will be required to demonstrate that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or qualify for a medical or religious exemption or accommodation to this vaccination requirement, subject to applicable law.

Our Manufacturing Operations teams are the people that make our products. We work in the manufacturing plants with a "Safety First, Quality Always" mindset striving for continuous improvement. We work in the local plant connected to our global manufacturing network to ensure the highest quality of raw materials, intermediates and finished products.

At our Company Manufacturing facility in Elkton, Virginia, we currently have a Senior Manufacturing Automation Engineer position available. The successful candidate is primarily accountable for directing digital innovation initiatives at the site and will be working closely with the automation, MES, Operations, and Training teams. They will have the opportunity to apply their passion and technical skills working on various projects as a member of a multidisciplinary team.

Tasks may include but are not limited to:
  • partner with other data scientists, engineers, process Subject Matter Experts (SME) to design and build data pipelines, dashboards, and applications to serve business needs.
  • Data Engineering:
  • Based on the business standards for data, develop methods for ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) in variety of business domains (supply chain, quality, manufacturing, maintenance) using SQL queries, R/Python scripts and using other Analytics platforms such as BioG Pipeline, Spotfire®, Dataiku®, Microsoft PowerBI®
  • Maintain and administer the data collection systems (SQL servers, OSI PI Data Archive Server, OSIPI Asset Framework) for regular maintenance, patching, user access.
  • Data Science:
  • Develop dashboards using platform solutions (Spotfire, Pi Vision, PowerBI, Seeq).
  • Develop web-based apps using custom programming using R Shiny/Python Dash.
  • Develop tools for Exploratory Data Analyses (EDA), Statistical Inference & Learning, optimization algorithms, time series analyses.
  • Develop and refine process models to comprehend system capabilities and limitations.
  • Experimenting and learning new digital tools and methods from enabling technologies through data analytics
  • Project Management:
  • Identify business problems and develop a proposal for a digital/data solution that could solve it working with cross functional team.
  • Application of sound project management techniques to meet schedule, budget, benefit realization and other project objectives.
  • Executing data science project following an Agile/Lean project management format.
  • Assisting in the development and review and approval of department SOPs and other site GMP SOPs related to automation and digital activities and adheres to established quality standards
  • Teamwork & Culture:
  • Develop and provide training for digital platforms/analytical tools and techniques to the automation and process engineers, and operations personnel
  • Promote complex investigations using data analytics to help identify root cause
  • Sponsoring process automation, data historian, and reporting systems on an as-needed basis with regards to commissioning and qualification through ongoing sponsorship
  • Providing direct assistance for regulatory inspections and audits and other validation activities by serving as the subject matter expert
  • Promoting problem solving practices to identify and resolve technical and operational problems; able to partner with peers to resolve problems that cross into inter-related units

  • Minimum of a bachelor's degree in Engineering, Computer Science, and/or Data Science

Knowledge and Skills:
  • Minimum of 2-3 of industry/research knowledge with data intensive work.
  • Minimum 1 year of coding data science related programs in one or more of following (R/ Python / Matlab)
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships with team, peers and area directs both locally and across multiple sites and divisional teams
  • Demonstrated influence in achieving objectives in multiple areas of production
  • Strong comprehension of manufacturing standards/ processes and ability to translate manufacturing and business values into Automation/digital solution

Preferred knowledge and Skills:
  • Advanced Degree (MS) in Data Science/ Computational Engineering / Mathematics/ Computer Science/ Engineering
  • Demonstrated capability of publishing web applications using R Shiny/Python Dash
  • Demonstrated capability of prototyping and publishing applied statistical learning models
  • Applied knowledge of Relational databases (SQL/PostgreSQL/MySQL) query language.
  • Applied knowledge of Statistical Learning methods (supervised/unsupervised), feature reduction and generation methods.
  • Process Automation (DeltaV/PLCs), PI, PI Asset Framework, PI Vision, Spotfire, Mantis, BioG, Pipeline Pilot, Python, VBA
  • Direct knowledge with all levels of the S95 model from ERP to shop floor instrumentation
  • Lean Six Sigma comprehension
  • Knowledge of GAMP standard

Travel: 10% of the time

Working Relationships
  • Reports to the Associate Director Manufacturing Automation
  • Interacts with employees within own department, business stakeholders, and enterprise sponsor personnel
  • Interacts with representatives from regulatory agencies and external suppliers

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

EEOC GINA Supplement​

OFCCP EEO Supplement

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.

Employee Status:

No relocation

VISA Sponsorship:

Travel Requirements:

Flexible Work Arrangements:
Not Specified

Not Indicated

Valid Driving License:

Hazardous Material(s):

Number of Openings:

Requisition ID:R150843