Automation Process Control Engineer - Great Falls

$58,600 - $126,000 yearly
  • Northwestern Energy
  • Great Falls, MT, USA
  • Mar 06, 2023
Full time Engineering Programming

Job Description

Work Location: Great Falls (Preferred). Butte or Helena, MT may be considered

Pay range: $58,600 to $126,000

Employment Status: Regular Full-time

External candidates apply at

Internal candidates apply through iConnect.

About this position:

The Automation Process Control Engineer, Hydro Generation, is responsible to provide all aspects of support for the plant control systems involving SCADA systems, HMI (human machine interface), PLC (programmable logic controllers), software and programming that controls equipment at NorthWestern Energy's 11 Hydroelectric sites.

The Engineer will work both independently and on a team with internal and external individuals who have a diverse education and experience background. This is a high-visibility, individual contributor role where engineering practices and other technical skills and experience will be utilized.

We offer great benefits:

NorthWestern Energy is a fully regulated electric and natural gas utility serving Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. We employ 1,500 amazing people and serve 753,600 customers who are our neighbors in our communities. We are a top employer and offer competitive benefits, including:

  • 401K with company match up to 4% and non-elective contribution up to 7%
  • Healthcare and wellbeing programs, including dental and vision for you, your spouse and dependents, Health Savings Account (HSA), healthcare and dependent care flexible spending account (FSA)
  • Employee Assistance Program (Offering up to six free counseling sessions, per person, per issue, per year for employees, spouses and dependents)
  • Life Insurance (Company pays basic employee policy; spouse, dependent insurance also available)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Competitive pay (Scheduled performance-based wage increases and annual incentive opportunities.)
  • Paid company endorsed volunteer opportunities
  • Paid training opportunities
  • Paid time off starting on your first day, plus 10 paid holidays

Benefits may vary by position or as negotiated as part of a collective bargaining agreement.

About this job:

  • Manage and administer plant control system and historian to ensure consistency in logic, naming conventions, alarm management, etc. throughout the fleet
  • Troubleshoot, create, and modify plant control system logic to ensure the safe, efficient operations of the hydro generation facilities
  • Stay current on emerging technology, and lead efforts to upgrade and modernize the plant controls system
  • Interpret, correct, and update equipment drawings as needed
  • Serve as project manager for capital projects that are controls-related in nature and as project team member for most other capital projects
  • Help identify process improvements opportunities and develop plans to implement those improvements
  • Facilitate Root Cause Analysis activities on key controls-system related events
  • Monitor progress and performance of vendors that are providing controls-related products and services
  • Design, specify, and integrate field equipment and instrumentation with existing software and services, including sensors (pressure, temperature, flow, vibration, etc.) for monitoring and controlling plant conditions
  • Ongoing monitoring of equipment/system operations and determining impact of changes/upgrades
  • Consists of a combination of office and field work at NorthWestern Energy's industrial hydroelectric facilities
  • Work on-call rotation schedule, and in response to acute operation needs
  • Occasional travel required, up to 30% including overnights
  • Perform individual lifts and manipulate items up to 35 pounds
  • All NorthWestern Energy employees are required to adhere to company safety standards and the Code of Business Conduct & Ethics

Am I right for this job? Here's the success profile:

  • Demonstrate and maintain a good personal safety record.
  • Bachelor's degree in engineering required.
  • Able to quickly learn new technologies
  • Capability to understand complex troubleshooting, appropriate response time, and a questioning approach to effective problem solving and escalation methods
  • Working knowledge and experience in control system construction and design is preferred
  • Experience with field devices and programming of Rockwell's ControlLogix & Factory Talk View or similar is desired
  • Experience with SAP, SEL Quickset, and Bentley System One desired
  • Knowledge of NESC and NEC is desired
  • Experience with OSI Pi Historian, Allen-Bradley Control Suite, SEL Protection Relays, and Hydro governor systems is desired
  • Practical knowledge of plant control and monitoring system application software is desired
  • Practical knowledge of using SQL and ODBC to access databases desired
  • Practical knowledge of control system interface standards and protocols, e.g. RS-232, Modbus Serial, Modbus TCP, etc. desired
  • General understanding of survey and inspection techniques and microprocessor-based equipment preferred
  • Valid driver's license and satisfactory driving record
  • Must pass physical test to access all areas of the hydro plants, including climbing ladders, confined and cramped wet slippery quarters and traveling rough terrain

We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected class in accordance with applicable federal or state laws and statutes. In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act, should you have a disability that requires assistance and/or reasonable accommodation with the job application process, please contact the Human Resources department at 1-800-245-6977 or at