Senior Principal Chemical Engineer for Continuous API Development and Manufacture

Groton, Connecticut
April 29 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
We are seeking a highly collaborative chemical engineer with significant continuous processing experience to join Chemical Research and Development (CRD) in Groton. The successful candidate will work in a dynamic team to develop Pfizer's strategy to deliver continuous development and manufacturing approaches to active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) candidates in our portfolio. They will help us establish a suite of continuous technologies with proven application to enhance speed, quality and flexibility in API development and manufacturing from early candidate selection through to commercial application.

CRD, as part of Worldwide R&D in Pharmaceutical Sciences, is responsible for the development of process technology for the production of API. CRD scientists engage in all facets of development from small scale synthesis in support of medicinal chemistry programs, to the development of the commercial synthetic route. CRD scientists partner with manufacturing specialists for API synthesis in kilo-lab and pilot plant facilities, as well as provide support for technology transfer to Pfizer manufacturing sites and third party facilities.

The successful candidate will join the Technology API group as a laboratory-based experimentalist. They will provide chemical engineering expertise for the development of continuous API platforms, workflows and processes. They will partner with chemists, analysts, mechanical engineers and chemical engineers from across Pfizer R&D and manufacturing organizations to assess existing continuous API platforms and design novel continuous API platforms for selected unit operations. They will prototype continuous API platforms through laboratory and plant application and progress successful platforms to modular and industry standardized units for manufacturing implementation. They will support the development of platforms and workflows to enable the delivery of integrated continuous unit operations for API development and manufacture, ensuring strong partnership with experts in PAT, automation and control. The ability to work on multi-disciplinary teams involving chemists, analysts, engineers, and technologists, and to represent CRD on cross-functional teams is essential.

  • Bring prior knowledge and experience of API continuous development and manufacture to provide chemical engineering expertise for the development of continuous API platforms, workflows and processes.
  • Partner with chemists, analysts, mechanical engineers and chemical engineers from across Pfizer R&D and manufacturing organizations to assess existing continuous API platforms and design novel continuous API platforms for selected unit operations.
  • Prototype continuous API platforms in the laboratory and Kilo Laboratory in Groton and enable for Pilot Plant and commercial manufacturing through the development of modular and industry standardized units.
  • Apply chemical engineering principles (reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, and mixing effects) to evaluate and develop scalable and robust processes for the manufacture of API using continuous technologies.
  • Develop and apply new and existing continuous process technologies to enable development and transfer of safe and scalable processes to API manufacturing facilities.
  • Leverages engineering modeling to efficiently probe the design space in the laboratory and rapidly develop optimal manufacturing processes.
  • Partner with experts in process analytical technology, automation and control to enable the delivery of integrated continuous unit operations for API development and manufacture.
  • Working in a modern automated laboratory, performs laboratory experiments to develop process understanding using a One Factor at a Time (OFAT) and/or a Design of Experiments (DoE) methodology as appropriate.
  • Performs experiments to understand reaction mechanisms and kinetics, stability, solvent exchange, etc.
  • Support technology transfer of API processes to internal Pfizer API manufacturing facilities and external suppliers.
  • Serves as a key point of accountability for new product site registration and validation activities.
  • May spend significant time at the PGS launch site supporting process validation and Pre-Approval Inspection (PAI) activities.
  • Applies chemical engineering skills and specific process knowledge to understand and resolve scale-up issues during transfer.
  • Contributes to the preparation of the CMC section of the NDA. Participates in data verification, PAI preparedness, and post submission query response.
  • Champions the development of novel laboratory development instrumentation and software modeling tools to improve process understanding.
  • Leads the development and implementation of new and existing workflows and methodologies.
  • Remains current with the process engineering and chemistry literature.
  • Collaborates and prepares internal research reports and technical presentations.
  • May collaborate and author external publications and present research at external conferences.


Required Education/Experience
  • BS/MS Chemical Engineering with a minimum of 8 years relevant chemical or pharmaceutical continuous platform and process development experience or PhD in Chemical Engineering with a minimum of 4 years of experience.
  • Experience in developing, scaling and transferring flow technologies.
  • Experience in working in a fine chemical or API manufacturing facility with a good knowledge of continuous unit operations is strongly preferred.
  • Experience in developing and applying modelling tools is preferred.

Required Technical Skills
  • A good understanding of organic chemistry and chemical engineering principles.
  • A good understanding of fundamental principles of continuous processing from a laboratory and manufacturing perspective.
  • Familiarity with in-situ analytical tools (e.g. FTIR, FBRM, and UV/Vis) and common analytical chemistry instrumentation including UPLC, HPLC, and MS.

Preferred Technical Skills
  • A working knowledge of organic and/or physical organic chemistry and chemical engineering principles.
  • A working knowledge of reaction modeling, material property prediction, and simulation using computational tools including: DynoChem, gPROMS, Visimix, Aspen, Fluent, and Cosmotherm.
  • Working knowledge of application of in-situ analysis tools to process understanding including: FTIR, FBRM, and UV/Vis.
  • Working knowledge of UPLC, MS, and NMR spectroscopy.
  • Experience of tools such as MatLab or LabVIEW and development of automation platforms.

Candidate demonstrates a breadth of diverse leadership experiences and capabilities including: the ability to influence and collaborate with peers, develop and coach others, oversee and guide the work of other colleagues to achieve meaningful outcomes and create business impact.

  • Ability to work in a laboratory environment performing experiments in a laboratory fume hood.
  • Ability to perform complex data analysis.

  • Will be required to occasionally travel internationally (0-10%) to support technology development and/or clinical manufacturing activities as well as technology transfer to commercial manufacturing.

Other Job Details:
  • Eligible for Relocation Package: YES
  • Eligible for Employee Referral Bonus: YES


Sunshine Act

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EEO & Employment Eligibility

Pfizer is committed to equal opportunity in the terms and conditions of employment for all employees and job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, disability or veteran status. Pfizer also complies with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act and IRCA. Pfizer is an E-Verify employer.

Research and Development