Pilot Plant Operating & Maintenance Technician
Remote, South Charleston, WV
Pilot Plant Operating & Maintenance Technician work within a team structure consisting of operators, engineers, and instrument/electrical technicians who are collectively responsible for the safe construction, operation, and maintenance of small to intermediate scale chemical facilities. These operations are typically built and operated for research purposes or the generation of market development samples. As such, Pilot Plant Operating & Maintenance Technicians in our Pilot Plant Operations are required to carefully collect research data and assist with process development while also following safe work practices and being familiar with life critical procedures similar to full scale chemical operations.
The nature of AVN’s Pilot Plant Operations is such that technologies come and go as projects startup and shutdown, as is the nature of many research programs. Unlike many large chemical operations with distinct craft roles, AVN technicians will participate in constructing, operating, maintaining, and decommissioning plants over the course of a project that may last a few weeks to many months. The technologies are also varied as they come from many different types of companies and industries from around the world. The Pilot Plant Operating Technician will work with a wide variety of chemicals depending on the project requirements. Therefore, the Pilot Plant Operating & Maintenance Technician must be flexible and capable of adapting to the changing work requirements with each new project.
- Operation of small to intermediate scale chemical operations (pilot plants). This includes operating from a distributed control system as well as field operations.
- Construction of pilot plants under the guidance of AVN engineers, construction coordinator, and project managers. This includes installing tubing or small-diameter piping; rigging and mounting equipment; mounting instrumentation; etc.
- Troubleshooting and maintenance of the pilot plant mechanical equipment, including equipment disassembly and repair.
- Troubleshooting process operations and upsets in new and changing technologies.
- Execution of life critical work processes, including Lock-Out Tag-Out (LOTO), Safe Work Permits, Hot Work Permits, and Confined Space Entry.
- Communicating process status to AVN colleagues, including engineers and technicians, as well as interfacing with customer’s representatives, when appropriate.
- Execution of an experimental run plan and research-quality data collection via logbook entries.
- Sample collection and analysis.
- Maintenance of the general facilities, including housekeeping, minor repair work, environmental operations, painting, or other general upkeep and renewal activities.
- Normal work hours are Monday-Friday 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, but chemical operators must have the flexibility to work irregular hours based on project needs. In the past, this has included rotating shifts, evening shifts, 10 or 12-hour workdays, or weekend coverage. Periodic overtime will be required.
The following skills will be required for the job. Entry-level candidates will be considered if they meet the educational requirements and some of these skills may be acquired on the job, but an aptitude for this type of work is required.
- High school diploma or equivalent is the minimum requirement. However, preferred candidates will also have one or more of the following additional considerations:
- Associate’s or BS Degree in process technology, chemistry, engineering, or industrial technology.
- 5 or more years of experience in a chemical, petroleum, or intermediate scale research facility.
- A fundamental understanding of a variety of chemical unit operations, equipment, controls, and piping systems.
- Basic mechanical aptitude for construction and deconstruction of small-scale equipment and tubing and piping systems in a safe and timely manner.
- General chemical operator skills and expertise, including safe work habits and adherence to safe and environmentally responsible work practices.
- The capability to lead and execute safe work permits, LOTO’s, etc.; and the ability to take responsibility of one’s own safety and the safety of co-workers and AVN clients.
- An ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions, new process technologies, and the capacity to face new challenges on a frequent basis.
- An ability and willingness to provide leadership to the pilot plant team to achieve project objectives.
- Good note-writing and general communication skills for effective research documentation and team understanding of operational conditions and issues.
- An understanding and capability of performing basic chemical analytical techniques such as gas chromatography, titration, etc.
- Ability to lift up to 50 lbs. regularly throughout an 8 to 12-hour work shift, move construction materials, erect or relocate equipment, move drums, climb stairs and ladders, work at heights, etc.
- Ability to stand, walk, stoop, bend and twist; work in tight or closed-in spaces; and wear all personal protective equipment including respirators and chemical protective clothing.
- No experience is necessary if the candidate meets the educational requirements, but candidates with chemical operating experience are preferred.
South Charleston, WV