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Pilot Plant Operations Technician Job


King of Prussia, PA, United States

Employment Type:  Regular
Category:  Production / Operations
Posting Date:  Sep 7, 2022

This position reports directly to the Pilot Plant Manager.  Works closely with the pilot plant staff, Facilities & Maintenance team, HES, technical resources and outside contractors to successfully complete job activitiesThis is a non-supervisory support position for the organization and requires non-normal business hours support and shift work.


Key Activities & Responsibilities

Pilot Plant Operations (70%)

  • Operate various pilot plant chemical processes and wastewater treatment and utility systems in accordance with standard operating and safety procedures. 

  • Record detailed, operational data on operator run sheets and in laboratory log notebooks.

  • Perform basic troubleshooting of unexpected operations, participates in root-cause analysis of unplanned events and contribute to implementation of associated corrective actions.

  • Develop basic understanding of process control systems and communicate issues to the pilot plant engineer.

  • Perform analytical quality control tests such as capillary rheometry, % solids analysis, pH, etc.

  • Participate in commissioning and start-up activities for new processes and projects.

  • Provide emergency backup, vacancy and vacation coverage for boilerhouse operations when necessary.

  • Respond correctly to emergency situations following standardized procedures, responding in professional and calm manner by contacting appropriate personnel to take further actions per procedure.

  • Train new employees on shift. 


Maintenance & Capital Improvement (10%)

  • Utilize mechanical skills to construct new units and repair and improve various equipment systems.

  • Participate in 5S activities and other pilot plant and boilerhouse work area improvements.

  • Identify and communicates department maintenance needs to pilot plant operations coordinator and manager.

  • Ensures that safe work permitting process is followed, including issuing permits, and conducts inspections and safety checks as the maintenance and project work is being performed.


Boiler House Operations (10%):

  • Operate the site’s utilities including: water tuber boiler(s) and steam generator(s), air compressors & air dryers, secondary cooling water processes, air refrigeration chillers, wastewater holding cells, boiler chemical feed systems, and water quality monitoring and testing.

  • Perform preventative maintenance and services on boilers and steam distribution/support system which may include utilizing hand tools, laying out piping systems, installing mechanical systems, and other tasks. 

  • Complete various chemical analyses on waste and boiler water.

  • Responsible Care involvement with REACTS process after normal business hours.

  • Respond correctly to emergency situations following standardized procedures, responding in professional and calm manner by contacting appropriate personnel to take further actions per procedure.

  • Train new employees on shift. 


 Safety & Environmental (10%)

  • Participates in the department’s monthly safety meeting and may act as the department’s safety advocate.

  • Performs safety inspections and identifies and elevates safety hazards or concerns to the Pilot Plant Manager and/or site HES Manager.

  • Participates in Process Hazard Analyses, Management of Change, Pre Startup Safety Reviews, and Incident Investigations and contributes to closure of associated action items.


Context and Environment

  • Requires the ability to easily move through an operating process requiring the use of stairs, ladders, and personal protective equipment.
  • Requires non-normal business hours support and shift work.
  • Will interact and collaborate with diverse teams including operations, research, maintenance, corporate support groups, and management teams.
  • Supports the site HES policy and complies with all regulatory and internal requirements
  • Participates in HES activities provided by site management and Arkema Inc. (e.g., Behavioral Base Safety, SafeStart, etc.)
  • Supports and promotes the reporting of all health, safety, environmental, near-miss, accident or injury incidents


Required Education/Qualifications/Work Experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent required.  Associates degree or equivalent experience preferred.  Math skills are required for conducting basic calculations on the job.
  • Demonstrated mechanical skills and ability to troubleshoot equipment issues are required.
  • Instrumentation and/or electrical skills are preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in a technical lab, production or utilities environment is preferred.
  • Must be proficient with Microsoft applications and have ability to operate chemical processes with use of computer controls.  Familiarity with DCS preferred.
  • Ability to read and modify technical drawings is preferred.
  • Familiarity with federal health and safety regulations for chemical industry is desired.


Demonstrated Competencies

  • Strong problem solving skills and bias for action.
  • Ability to handle emergencies in a safe, calm, and professional manner.
  • Ability to keep accurate records and convey information to others.
  • Understanding of when to make an independent decision and when to ask for help.
  • Has interest and displays a good attitude for continued learning.  Takes advantage of training opportunities and applies skills to daily work.  Actively seeks to learn and operate multiple processes in the pilot plant.

Building on its unique set of expertise in materials science, Arkema offers a portfolio of first-class technologies to address ever-growing demand for new and sustainable materials. With the ambition to become in 2024 a pure player in Specialty Materials, the Group is structured into three complementary, resilient and highly innovative segments dedicated to Specialty Materials - Adhesive Solutions, Advanced Materials, and Coating Solutions - accounting for some 80% of Group sales, and a well-positioned and competitive Intermediates segment. Arkema offers cutting-edge technological solutions to meet the challenges of, among other things, new energies, access to water, recycling, urbanization and mobility, and fosters a permanent dialogue with all its stakeholders. The Group reported sales of €9.5 billion ($10.6 billion) in 2021, and operates in 55 countries with 20,500 employees worldwide.

The diversity of its employees is an asset that the Arkema group wants to preserve. Its non-discrimination policy applies to recruitment, salary levels and career management. The Arkema group is committed to ensuring diversity among its employees.

Arkema Inc. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Arkema Inc. complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence.

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