Senior Controls and Automation Engineer

Number of employees


Moses Lake, WA, United States

Posted on: 2024-04-23

Category: energy

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Employment type:

Full time

Experience required:



Salary not provided

About the company:

We are Sila—a next generation battery materials company dedicated to accelerating energy transformation for a more sustainable future. 

Our next-gen anode material is the first significant chemistry improvement to lithium-ion batteries to reach the market in 30 years. Our silicon anode material is a simple drop-in replacement to graphite and significantly boosts the energy density of lithium-ion batteries without compromising performance. 

Today, Sila science powers innovative consumer electronics. Tomorrow, it will fuel our EV future and the electrification of everything. 

We work directly with leading consumer electronics and automotive OEMs to help accelerate product roadmaps, and partners with battery manufacturers commercial cell production. Our partners include BMW, Daimler, and ATL.

Sila Nano works directly with leading consumer electronics and automotive OEMs to help accelerate product roadmaps, and partners with battery manufacturers commercial cell production. 

Sila Nano’s first products significantly increase the energy density of state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries. Our materials are manufacturable economically at scale and are drop-in replacements to existing battery manufacturing processes.

About Us

We are Sila, a next-generation battery materials company. Our mission is to power the world’s transition to clean energy. To create this future, our team is building a better lithium-ion battery from the inside out today. We engineer and manufacture ground-breaking battery materials that significantly increase the energy density of batteries, while reducing their size and weight. The result? Smaller more powerful batteries that can unlock innovation in consumer devices and accelerate the mass adoption of electric cars to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. We're tackling one of the biggest challenges of our time every day, and together we're redefining what's possible. Are you ready to be a part of a team committed to changing the world?

Who You Are

You are a detail oriented, self-starting and capable Controls and Automation engineer. You take pride and have exceptionally high standards in your work.  You are eager to apply your talent and expertise to new applications in SILA’s Moses Lake facility. You will be part of the commissioning of SILA’s very first mass-scale manufacturing line, as well as the first SILA engineering team in Moses Lake. Given your experience, you will have the chance to optimize and influence our equipment strategy from a Controls and Automation Engineering perspective to ensure the highest equipment and facility uptime and reliability. You have exceptional cross functional communication skills and have worked and coordinated with external and internal resources to drive projects to full closure. Using a combination of deep process, operations and mechanical engineering knowledge, you will efficiently solve control and automation issues at the core as well as suggest and implement improvements to the equipment and plant design for SILA’s next phase production equipment. You will also play a significant role in our long-term success by leading process throughput, performance, reliability and safety improvements; ensuring that the operations team can consistently deliver more of our product to a growing list of customers! You will be given the chance to help reports deliver great results, learn, and grow.

Responsibilities and Duties  

  • Work collaboratively with other teams (Equipment Architecture/Design, Data Systems, Manufacturing, Process Development) to develop, deploy, maintain, troubleshoot, optimize, and improve machine control code and electrical subsystems for synthesis tools and facilities.
  • Ensure operational excellence of machines and their dependencies
  • Improve and debug hardware and equipment-driving software throughout the company.
  • Contribute to internally developed software libraries that are used across the company, from research to production-scale tools.
  • Develop meaningful, robust self diagnostic test algorithms for machines incorporating data from process databases and document them rigorously.
  • Establish working relationships with external vendors and services.
  • Participate in cost-benefit evaluations and feasibility studies.
  • Review and approve control and automation design documents, including specifications, drawings, and P&ID
  • Ensure that all of Sila’s installations are designed, controlled and installed in compliance with applicable codes, standards, and regulations.
  • Develop optimal spare part and redundancy strategy for all of Sila’s control equipment.
  • Use Sila’s available tool and operational database to develop predictive maintenance procedures.
  • Provide technical guidance and support to other team members.
  • Keep abreast on new developments in the field of instrumentation and control systems as well as market trends.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements 

  • Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, Control Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field
  • 5+ years of experience in industrial control engineering, preferably in a manufacturing equipment engineering environment
  • Experience writing Structured Text and familiarity with other IEC 61131-3 languages.
  • Strong fundamental understanding of field-deployed electronics, sensors, and motion components.
  • Implementation of industrial Fieldbus communication protocols (EtherCAT, Profinet, EthernetIP, Modbus, etc.) and standard networking protocols.
  • Familiarity with industrial electrical design, including: wiring diagrams, industrial network architecture, control panel design, power distribution, and protocols for process automation. Experience with unique and challenging industrial electrical safety requirements.
  • Understanding of how to integrate machines with facility/business interfaces (SCADA, MES, ERP, etc.).
  • Ability to do object-oriented programming (C#, Python) 
  • Experience with writing and executing SQL queries.
  • Experience designing HMIs and writing the underlying code is a plus.
  • Experience with revision control software (Git) is a plus.
  • Experience in a chemical, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, or food handling plant is a plus.
  • Knowledge of codes, standards, and regulations for equipment associated with chemical production facilities.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Physical Demands and Working Conditions

  • Pass a respirator fit test and be able to wear respiratory protection on a daily basis
  • Wear personal protective equipment including, but not limited to, a lab coat, gloves, safety glasses, and steel toe safety shoes
  • Move items up to 50 lbs with the assistance of lift equipment and carts
  • Move long distances (such as from building to building) and be stationary for extended periods of time
  • Reach low shelves or items on the floor
  • Enter spaces narrower than 3 feet
  • Climb stairs or over containment walls
  • Precise and repetitive handling of a range of material quantities
  • Operate a computer and other office equipment, such as a laptop, copier/printer, etc in a fixed location

The starting base pay for this role is between $106,000 and $134,000 at the time of posting. The actual base pay depends on many factors, such as education, experience, and skills. Base pay is only one part of Sila’s competitive Total Rewards package that can include benefits, perks, equity, and bonuses.  The base pay range is subject to change and may be modified in the future.

Working at Sila

We believe that building a diverse team at Sila helps us amplify our individual talents. We are an equal opportunity employer and committed to creating an inclusive environment where good ideas are free to come from anyone. We are proud to celebrate diversity and all qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, national origin, or any other status protected by law.

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