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Senior Controls Engineer (I,II,III)



South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Position Summary
We are seeking an innovative and highly motivated controls engineer who will contribute significantly to the development of our advanced cell therapy manufacturing platform.
The primary focus of this position will be the design, implementation, and test/verification of control systems that form the core of our hardware platform. You will lead the architecture design and implementation of these hardware platforms, and help work with the software, mechanical and systems teams to bring up and validate new automation systems. This individual will interface across many parts of the company to develop novel products used in the cell therapy and gene therapy world.
Candidates should enjoy working in a fast-paced, mission-driven environment, and be prepared to tackle a broad selection of challenges as the company grows.


  • Lead the development of control and electrical systems integrating custom and off-the-shelf laboratory instruments and PLC-based control hardware
  • Drive component selection, prototyping, bring-up, debugging, documentation, manufacturing and test
  • Develop PLC control software using Structured Text and leveraging object oriented programming methodologies
  • Develop unit tests and functional tests for PLC code that you write, participate in code reviews, and leverage Git for version control and code management
  • Participate in design reviews and provide input to identify issues and drive design choices
  • Collaborate with the software team to develop robust, well documented software interfaces to hardware
  • Collaborate with external stakeholders including Systems Engineering, Quality, Mechanical Engineering, Process Development, etc. for project planning, requirements development, and architecture development
  • Collaborate with external suppliers and contract manufacturers
  • Develop test software in Python, C# or other languages to validate subsystems during manufacture


  • Bachelors or Masters degree in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering or equivalent experience is required
  • 5+ years industry experience developing control systems for customer-shippable life science instrumentation or comparable equipment
  • 2+ years of experience in medical device design preferred
  • Experience as a technical/engineering lead on multiple projects incorporating motion control and basic process control
  • Experience with at least one major PLC platform (Siemens TIA Portal, Beckhoff TwinCAT3, B&R) or experience with hardware control using real-time operating systems (RTOS) such as VXWorks, QNX, INtime, etc
  • Experience reading and interpreting electrical drawings
  • Hands on experience with wiring, configuring and troubleshooting electrical and control systems
  • Proficient with IEC 61131-3 based languages with a focus on Structured Text
  • Proficient with object-oriented programming and have an understanding of how to apply OOP concepts to control software
  • Proficient in the design of safety systems following IEC/ISO/RIA standards
  • Understanding of the proper integration and usage of safety relays, safety PLCs, light curtains, E-Stops, etc
  • Experience with fieldbus technologies such as EtherCAT, Profinet, EtherNet/IP
  • Experience with one computer programming language such as Python, C#, Java
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced, collaborative start-up environment
  • Self-awareness, integrity, authenticity, and a growth mindset
This is Cellares
Cellares is the first Integrated Development and Manufacturing Organization (IDMO) and takes an Industry 4.0 approach to mass manufacturing the living drugs of the 21st century. The company is both developing and operating integrated technologies for cell therapy manufacturing to accelerate access to life-saving cell therapies. The company’s Cell Shuttle integrates all the technologies required for the entire manufacturing process in a flexible and high-throughput platform that delivers true walk-away, end-to-end automation. Cell Shuttles will be deployed in Cellares’ Smart Factories around the world to meet total patient demand for cell therapies at global scale. Partnering with Cellares enables academics, biotechs, and pharma companies to accelerate drug development and scale out manufacturing, lower process failure rates, lower manufacturing costs, and meet global patient demand.
The company is headquartered in South San Francisco, California with its commercial-scale IDMO Smart Factory in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The company is backed by world-class investors and has raised over $355 million in financing.
Leveling will be based on overall experience, education, and demonstration of knowledge throughout the interview process.