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Marana Protected Culture Automation & Engineering Lead


Marana, Arizona
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Full Time
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Job Details

Improve lives through better harvests is Monsanto’s Plant Breeding vision in creating value for farmers.  Achieving this vision requires inspiration, innovation, and a passion for applying state-of-the-art technologies to revolutionize agriculture. Our new greenhouse site in Marana, AZ is a great example of our commitment to helping farmers have better harvests. With sustainability at the heart of the design, we plan to construct and operate a global best-in-class automated greenhouses to develop corn products for farmers. 
The Breeding organization is seeking an individual with these core qualities to lead the Automation & Engineering Team in Marana, AZ. This lead role will join a diverse and highly dynamic group to deploy innovative methodologies and apply science and analytical techniques to support development of new solutions that can be incorporated directly into nursery operations.  This is an exciting opportunity for a talented and passionate individual to join a multidisciplinary team of breeders, agronomists, data scientists and engineers who work on creative solutions to complex business problems using advanced field operation equipment, analytics and cutting edge automation techniques. In this role, the successful candidate will be responsible for:
  • Work on cross functional engineering teams and have a significant hands-on role in the design, development, assembly and documentation of these systems from the prototyping/validation stage through deployment
  • Design and develop automated greenhouse operations. These activities may include concept, planning, design and execution stages, risk assessment, prototyping/testing, design reviews, Verification & Validation
  • Lead a team of electrical, mechanical, and environmental engineers and provide technical leadership across the organization and create an environment for individuals to develop and succeed 
  • Ensure that feedback, critical conversations, coaching, and development planning are happening at all levels of the organization
  • Conduct operation research and modeling for complex workflows and develop predictive models using agronomic, geospatial or other high-dimensional data 
  • Work closely across the plant breeding organization, with other business partners, and 3rd parties towards setting strategic direction and achieving operational excellence
  • Research existing greenhouse production automation methods and propose new approaches that add value to the breeding pipeline
  • Participate in project planning and development; estimating resources, timeline and cost as well as creating functional requirements, engineering drawings, test plans, technical reports and operational documents
  • Develop and implement test protocols to validate key system performance metrics
  • Train matrix team members, support staff, and stakeholders in machine/system operation
  • Collaborate with Safety departments to comply with industry design and safety standards
  • Lead initiatives to identify and implement process improvements in operational models, enhancing timeliness, quality, reliability, safety and cost of production  
  • Communicate compelling, validated analyses to all levels of organization including peers, senior management and internal customers to drive both strategic and operational changes


Required Skills/Experience:  
  • Master's Degree in Industrial, Electrical, or Mechanical Engineering or related Engineering field OR a Bachelor's Degree and 5+ years of related automation engineering experience. 
  • 5+ years of relevant, broad engineering experience
  • Hands-on experience constructing mechanical assemblies and prototypes, design of electromechanical based systems
  • Experience in reliability, manufacturability, and engineering best practices
  • Proven track record of leading the delivery of large-scale, complex systems
  • Knowledge of automated instrumentation and equipment for production environments, with specific focus in automation
  • Strong experience with rapid prototyping techniques is required, including understanding of tradeoffs and limitations for practicality and manufacturability
  • Experience with thorough documentation of designs, design changes, and validation results
  • Experience working on or leading cross functional teams, and mentoring/training engineers
  • Developing productive and sustainable relationships with outside vendors
  • Ability to prioritize multiple projects and tasks
  • Delivering results on aggressive timetables, innovative thinking, and mentoring/teamwork skills
  • Possess the drive and self-motivation to work in the challenging, fast-paced, and continually changing environment of new product development for enabling technological innovations for unique applications in the life science production environment