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Merck Senior Specialist, Engineering - Validation in Durham, North Carolina

Job Description

Our Engineers support internal and external manufacturing operations to remain operational, continuously improve and innovate. With our extensive range of facilities and environments, our Engineers have opportunities across many diverse areas including Biologics, Automation, Capital Projects, Maintenance, Safety, Process Development, Technical Services, Utilities and Validation.

Position Description:


Our Company is expanding its global vaccine production network for Vaccine Manufacturing in Durham, NC. The new facility will be used to produce the bulk active ingredient for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, comprised of sterile supply, fermentation, microfiltration/ultrafiltration, chromatography, and adjuvant production steps. Approximately 614,000 people are diagnosed with certain Human Papilloma Virus -related cancers each year.

Our Company manufactures vaccines that are predominantly utilized to eradicate these cancers globally. In recent years, countries around the world have enacted new or expanded Human Papilloma Virus vaccination programs, which has created an unprecedented increase in global demand. The manufacturing facility in Durham will play a critical role in the network of plants that produce life-saving medicines and vaccines, including our Human Papilloma Virus vaccines.


The successful candidate will be energetic and technically sound, with strong interpersonal, communication, and collaboration skills responsible for supporting FAT, IQ and OQ while specifically providing cycle development and Process Qualification (PQ) for equipment and systems supporting bulk biological processes (i.e. Sterile Supply, Adjuvant Manufacturing, Fermentation, and Purification). This is position will primarily support vaccine drug substance site readiness via Validation program implementation, partnering with cross-functional teams (i.e. Maintenance, Global Engineering, Quality, and Operations} to ensure a successful technology transfer, filing, and licensure for a new Human Papilloma Virus vaccine drug substance manufacturing facility.

Additionally, this role will contribute to the performance and results of a department, provide validation guidance, and anticipate and interpret client and/or customer needs to identify and implement solutions. Off-shift and weekend coverage will be required at times based on business unit needs and specific assignments.

Specific assignments may be focused in one area or span across multiple areas of focus.

Responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Provide validation support for commercial technology transfer and qualification studies associated with the development and implementation of processes, systems, and facilities related to vaccine drug substance and key intermediates e.g. buffers, media and cleaning solutions.

  • Actively participate on cross-functional manufacturing teams to advance projects goals and deliverables related to the vaccine process.

  • Lead validation studies and author the associated documentation

  • Participate in the equipment specification, selection/procurement, and qualification phases of vaccine capital projects

  • Collaborate with internal/external partners, e.g. Other Company sites, Procurement, Raw Material & Component Suppliers

  • Author, review, and/or edit validation documents to support regulatory filings

  • Support Change Control documentation for complex process, validation, analytical, equipment, facility/utility and/or automation changes.

  • Lead validation topics in regulatory inspections by presenting and defending validation documentation.

  • Develop technical and manufacturing documents necessary for development studies, cleaning, sanitization, depyrogenation and sterilization process validation.

  • Participate in the feasibility activities working alongside Operation's team members to develop reliable, consistent manufacturing processes that meet current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)requirements.

  • Provide documented evidence that processes are consistent and reliable through challenges against pre-established criteria.

  • May be responsible for leading teams of contractors to efficiently accomplish project goals.

  • Provide technical support to help develop and execute project plans; and obtain and analyze relevant data and prepare appropriate reports for regulatory submissions.

  • Provide contributions to the planning, design, and implementation of segments of new facilities, systems and equipment in a cost effective and timely manner.

  • Design validation studies, author and approve protocols, and ensure alignment with corporate standards and site guidance for validation.

  • Serve as mentor for less experienced teammates, assisting with technical development.

  • Author or update Validation SOPs

  • Assist in authoring the regulatory submission for the facility and present your work to multiple regulatory agencies throughout the pre-approval inspection processes.

  • Assist with troubleshooting and effectively resolving problems. Develop and implement corrective actions to unplanned (atypical) manufacturing events to ensure a consistent and reliable supply and prevent recurrence. The successful candidate should be able to examine an issue from diverse perspectives (safety, compliance, automation, equipment, process, and people) to best understand and resolve it at root cause.

  • Maintain alignment with internal Technical personnel regarding validation practices for products, processes and equipment.

  • Partner with Operations, Quality, and Automation functional areas on validation study implementation.

Position Qualifications:

Education Minimum Requirement:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering or Life Sciences with a minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience;

  • or a Master of Science Degree with a minimum of three (3) years of relevant experience;

  • or a Ph.D. with relevant academic experience.

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Experience in vaccine or biologics manufacturing within a current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) environment

  • Experience authoring technical documentation within a current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) context

  • Outstanding communication (written & presentation) skills

  • Experience with project strategic plan development and management

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Experience in bulk upstream and/or downstream vaccine processes within a current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) environment

  • Experience with facility, equipment, and process start-up in a sterile current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) environment.

  • Sanitization and Sterilization validation (SIP, autoclaves, depyrogenation ovens, VHP)

  • Cleaning validation (CIP, COP)

  • Validation experience in support of Good Manufacturing Practices process demonstration (IQ/OQ/PQ)

  • Sustaining the validated state through change management and continuing validation studies

  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as a part of a team

  • Strong technical problem-solving abilities

  • Familiarity with regulatory requirements

  • Demonstrated effective written and verbal communication skills

  • Experience with responding to regulatory questions with multiple agencies (e.g. FDA, EMA)

  • Experience with face to face presentation of technically complex subjects to regulatory inspectors

  • The ability to work well under pressure and achieve results within tight deadlines

Travel : Up to 20% of the time

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 …

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA is known as “Merck” in the United States, Canada & Puerto Rico. We are known as “MSD” in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America & Asia Pacific. We are a global biopharmaceutical leader with a diverse portfolio of prescription medicines, oncology, vaccines and animal health products.

We are driven by our purpose to develop and deliver innovative products that save and improve lives. With 69,000 employees operating in more than 140 countries, we offer state of the art laboratories, plants and offices that are designed to Inspire our employees as we learn, develop and grow in our careers. We are proud of our 125 years of service to humanity and continue to be one of the world’s biggest investors in Research & Development.

What we look for …

In a world of rapid innovation, we seek brave Inventors who want to make an Impact in all aspects of our business, enabling breakthroughs that will affect generations to come. We encourage you to bring your disruptive thinking, collaborative spirit and diverse perspective to our organization. Together we will continue Inventing For Life, Impacting Lives while Inspiring Your Career Growth.





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.

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We are an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of its manifestations.

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.

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Requisition ID: R38555