What does a Principal Process Engineer do?
Process engineers are responsible for providing the chemical or biochemical processes and equipment that ultimately extract materials from their raw states and transform them into a beneficial or saleable end product. They are also responsible for the design, implementation, control, and optimization of the product’s industrial processing phase, and they usher the product along from start to finish.
Process engineers often function as the point persons for or during the continuous processes commonly found in the chemical, petrochemical, agricultural, and mineral processing sectors. They also work in this capacity with advanced materials found within the food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. They create set specifications for the raw materials, and develop, implement, and monitor the equipment in use and the process of the materials and the manufacturing systems. They can also work in sales or design, and they sometimes work for the optimization of the sales and software processes. Process engineers need a bachelor’s degree in chemical, manufacturing, or industrial engineering. For senior positions, employers will require advanced or master’s degrees in the same subjects.
- Enhance the entire development process by reducing the time to market.
- Work with the commercial team to quote new products.
- Support the implementation of all engineering and plant strategic initiatives.
- Identify areas for improvement in process yield, cost, and product quality.
- Identify new sources of growth, including new value propositions.
- Recommend and assess technology to improve efficiency and/or safety.
- Responsible for providing technical support for capital improvement projects.
- Define and control production process including tooling and equipment.
- Responsible for all aspects of lean deployment and Six Sigma activities.
- Serve as a coach and mentor to other department team members.
- Process data analytics for industrial process monitoring, diagnostics and optimization.
- Support major investigations as SME of equipment and process.
- Compile, analyze, and interpret data related to lean projects.
- Interface with production, quality, receiving, inventory and engineering teams daily.
- Manage and develop the PSM (Process Safety Management) program.
- Prepare contract documents, plans, specifications, cost estimates, and schedules.
- Monitor work to ensure quality, and continuously promote quality first time.
- Comply and follow all procedures within the company security policy.
- Assist in the preparation of campaign summary reports as required and provide internal review of CMO reports.
- Define and defend project objectives, scope, value, and timeline.
- Initiate and support continuous process improvement efforts for all departments.
- Communicate manufacturing plans and processes to internal and external customers.
- Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in electrical engineering, chemical engineering, engineering or mechanical engineering, or equivalent experience.
- Experience with CAD software, R Language, AutoCAD, and WMS software and systems.
- Demonstrated leadership skills and capabilities, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt preferred.
- Is a critical thinker and sound decision maker with strict attention to detail.
- Can collaborate with other team members for exercises such as root cause analysis.
- Dedication to continuous improvement.
Principal Process Engineer Salaries
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Principal Process Engineer Career Path
Learn how to become a Principal Process Engineer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.
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Principal Process Engineer Insights
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“Onboarding is horrible because there is such little documentation or retention of information it's crazy.”
“Pay was good and you can learn many skills there if you are starting your career.”
“Provide a good career path grow for the employee with various training program and carrier guidance.”
“It was a great experience and I learned a lot about the chemical engineering industry.”
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“Lots of resources for learning and career growth that an individual can take advantage of.”
“Best pay I have received my whole career (I have been employed for 5+ years”
Principal Process Engineer Interviews
Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of process engineers
Process engineers spend their workdays managing the operations of a manufacturing facility. Some of their common daily tasks include monitoring the plant's production processes, testing and maintaining equipment, overseeing the safety of employees, and ensuring the factory maintains compliance with local and federal regulations.
Process engineering is a good career because the required skills are utilized in nearly every engineering sector. Along with specific engineering skills, professionals looking to become a process engineer will need to develop many professional skills, such as leadership, budgeting, troubleshooting, and risk assessment. This well-paid field offers a variety of job advancement opportunities.
Working as a process engineer can be a challenging position. It requires many highly developed skills including problem-solving, mechanical skills, mathematical skills, and analytical skills. The field is complex and constantly advancing, so remaining current on industry information and development is crucial.