Project Automation Lead

Ref: 102 Date Posted: Monday 01 Apr 2024

We currently have an exciting new opportunity for a Project Automation Lead to join us at our Edinburgh Site. The available position is permanent, full time and reports to the Head of Project and Process Engineering.

The purpose of the role is to lead the company in the development and delivery of transformational process improvements involving process control and automation and management, maintenance and development of reliable process control systems across all sites.

Skills & Experience:


A proactive and confident individual with extensive experience in the development and delivery of automation or process control systems and architecture with a particular focus on the integration of IT/OT systems. Experienced in software platform development, accessing process data and providing real time reporting, industrial network architectures and resilience, business continuity risk management, and PLC/SCADA hardware / software applications. Comfortable leading a small specialised team of internal and external resource across a programme of activity over a sustained period of time.

Technical Experience

  • Minimum Degree qualified in Controls Systems / Software Engineering or similar discipline
  • Advanced PC Skills - Formula and graphs in excel, import photographs in PowerPoint, high standard of document production and report writing
  • Hands-on software programming experience, preferably on an industrial FMCG facility
  • Significant knowledge on industry leading PLC and SCADA systems – particularly Rockwell / Allen Bradley and GE
  • Significant experience of the integration of IT/OT systems
  • Extensive experience of Prince 2 or APM Project Methodologies

Health, Safety & Environment

  • Excellent knowledge of HSE Process Safety legislation relating to construction, commissioning & operation within a process engineering environment
  • Experience of leading a team in the development of process engineering safety solutions to include HAZID, HAZOP, CHAZOP, LOPA, SIL and SIS
  • IOSH Certificate in Process Safety Management – or ablility and willingness to work towards


  • Gravitas to lead a complex programme of process automation working in a matrix management team across disciplines and multiple project workstreams
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work openly and closely with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that all work is properly planned and coordinated to minimise risk
  • Act in the role of ‘Intelligent Client’ on behalf of the Operations team to ensure that the Company receives the required process automation and safety systems to operate both optimally and as safely as possible
  • Excellent oral & written communication skills

Main Responsibilities:

Leading process automation control/software solutions, process engineering safety support and developing/delivering process automation projects activity across NBD production facilities to include the following;

1. Ensuring that all aspects of work is carried out in accordance with Company Health and Safety requirements, and in compliance with current legislation, maintaining a safe working environment for employees.

2. Maintaining an awareness of the regulatory and Company standards that apply to the role such as HMRC, COMAH and H&S. COMAH specific - Understand and act in accordance with the Site Emergency Response Plan in the event of an evacuation or major incident, and regularly participate in COMAH improvement activity.

3. Ensuring that all aspects of current and future systems at all sites meet the necessary Company health and safety requirements, complying with current legislation to maintain a safe working environment for employees.

4. Leading the maintenance, optimisation and trouble-shooting of existing process control systems, including SCADA, PLCs and control networks to allow a safe transition to an integrated site wide automation platform.

5. Organising the provision of process automation control support to the Operations and Engineering departments.

6. Ensuring the provision of process automation control support at the Muirhall Site as required.

7. Leading the creation and development of internal and external business processes for identification, approval and implementation of changes to process control logic / systems following agreed Management of Change methodologies.

8. Working with the Concept / Development / Delivery leads to design and implement process control system solutions / projects, including the preparation of URS and system design specifications, project execution, testing, installation and commissioning activities.

9. Accountability for relationships with external control system service providers, establishing clear issue management processes, refining service levels and ensuring cost control in alignment with agreed budgetary levels.

Any other duties that may reasonably be required in line with your contractual role.

You should only apply to this role with The North British Distillery Company Ltd. once you have read and understood this privacy notice which sets out the personal data we will collect from you and how it will be used. The information you provide in this application, including your name, address, email address, telephone number and previous employment history will be processed by our internal recruitment coordinators to evaluate your suitability for the role. This information will be retained by NBD for the duration of this job vacancy and will be permanently deleted once the position has been filled. You have the right to ask us to amend your records, delete your personal data or stop processing it at any time but you should be aware that without this information we will not be able to consider your application for the role. If you would like further information regarding the use or storage of your personal data please do not hesitate to contact us at 0131 337 3363. Or, to see our Company’s online privacy policy, please visit our website at