Senior Automation Engineer

San Leandro or Irvine, California, 

United States

Are you passionate about the energy transition? Join us.

Nel is a global, dedicated hydrogen company, delivering optimal solutions to produce, store, and distribute hydrogen from renewable energy. We serve industries, energy, and gas companies with leading hydrogen technology. Our roots date back to 1927, and since then, we have had a proud history of development and continuous improvement of hydrogen technologies. Today, our solutions cover the entire value chain: from hydrogen production technologies to hydrogen fueling stations, enabling industries to transition to green hydrogen, and providing fuel cell electric vehicles with the same fast fueling and long range as fossil-fueled vehicles – without the emissions.

About the position

As Senior Automation Engineer in the Development and Engineering Americas Team, you will be responsible for programmable logic controller (PLC) programming and configuration for new and existing installations at customer sites. You will develop technical solutions for PLC-based control systems. You will work within an energetic team of disciplined engineers based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Development and Engineering Americas team is part of a global development team centering around NEL’s H2Station™ Factory in Herning, Denmark. As Senior Automation Engineer you will be part of the Software Team and have functional link to the Software Team lead to ensure cross-training and alignment of automation/software engineering. Your tasks will focus on supporting projects in the Americas region, including troubleshooting PLC-program based issues and solutions in support of our Service Team and Customers. In addition, you will work on product development and application equipment engineering to support NEL’s initiatives to bring innovative products to the hydrogen fueling market. You will report to the Head of Development and Engineering Americas. 4 to 6 weeks of travel to Denmark will be expected during the first 6 months of employment to train in the structural text, object-oriented programming language of TwinCAT/Beckhoff PLCs, receive instruction on the product development process, and integrate into the Software Team. You will be encouraged to bring innovative strategies and approaches to software team for Hydrogen Fueling Stations.


  • Working on Engineering Change Orders for PLC Software changes and development.
  • Managing the IO and control system configuration for H2Station™ in the Americas Region.
  • Provide inputs into the Variation Assessment Process.
  • Programming in the TwinCAT/Beckoff structured text language.
  • Troubleshooting software-related bugs and developing innovating solutions for control and data management.
  • Working with software application, information technology, and diagnostic teams that use the raw data from H2Station™ for data visualization that is key to service management, customer interfaces, and reporting.
  • Supporting and leading document creation, including process control specifications, cause & effect matrixes, IO Lists, logic diagrams, and control narratives.
  • Managing PLC communication interfaces, such as Modbus, Profibus, MQTT, and other industry standard communication protocols.
  • Training of new Automation Engineers.
  • Managing the IEC 61511-compliant (Functional Safety) Program for H2Station™ in the Americas Region, using ABB Safety PLC and IO, including communication with third party(s)
    regarding Functional Safety Management System Certification requirements, audits, etc.
  • Supporting Engineering Management of Change (ECM) processes and workflow, including authoring change documentation, reviewing, and approving engineering changes.
  • HMI development, support, and maintenance in TwinCAT HMI.
  • Working closely with Electrical and Controls Engineers for troubleshooting and development of low voltage control systems and equipment, including 24VDC control wiring.



You possess a relevant educational background and technical experience in Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, or Controls Engineering.

Required skills and abilities

  • B.S. in Computer, Electrical, or Chemical Engineering.
  • Eight (8) or more years work experience in PLC-based control system programming and development.
  • Strong knowledge of control system safety design.
  • Familiarity with IEC 61511 and relevant standards for functional safety.
  • Strong knowledge of industrial control wiring and standards for machinery control.
  • Strong appreciation for Engineering Change Management (ECM) systems and processes.
  • Experience working with diverse team across international borders and remote workflow.
  • Fundamental knowledge of low voltage industrial (240-480V) three-phase AC power distribution and motor controls.
  • Strong knowledge of Process Control for Pressurized Fluid Systems; PID Control.
  • Experience with Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) including alarm and message generation, machine status definition, and logging of such parameters for diagnostics.
  • Experience with Electrical Hazardous Areas, and control system design consideration for machine controls in Electrical Hazardous Areas (National Electric Code, NFPA 70 Article 505).
  • Strong knowledge of fail-safe electrical design principles.
  • Communicate fluently in both written and spoken English.
  • Proficiency in MS Excel, MS Word, MS Visio.

Preferred skills and abilities

It will be beneficial if you have:

  • Experience training people on new systems and technologies
  • Experience in Industrial Machine Controls
  • Experience in Oil & Gas Industry
  • Experience Managing teams or working in dynamic teams of Software/Controls Engineers
  • Proficiency in the California Electric Code, California Fire Code, California Building Code
  • Fluent or elementary proficiency in a second language like Danish, Korean, German, or French
  • Hydrogen Fuel or Compressed Natural Gas Experience

Equal opportunity employer

Nel is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. All employment is decided based on qualifications, merit, and business need.

To apply, please e-mail your cover letter and resumé to:



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