Failure Investigation Engineer in Sunnyvale, California at Cepheid

Date Posted: 11/1/2019

Job Snapshot

Job Description

Job ID: CEP004471

About Us

At Cepheid, we are passionate about improving healthcare through faster, more accurate diagnostic tests. With our GeneXpert® System, we’ve taken the most sophisticated molecular technology and packaged it into an automated, easy-to-use format that has quickly become the platform of choice worldwide. From the largest laboratories to small physician offices, our game-changing solution delivers critical answers when clinicians and patients need them most. Through strong molecular biology capabilities and ongoing product innovation, we are focused on developing tests for healthcare-associated infections, sexual health, critical infectious disease, virology, and oncology applications. Come join our vision for a better way and help make life better for us all! For more details, visit us at or follow us on Twitter (@CepheidNews).


  • Business Context: Each failure investigation team consists of approximately 3-7 individuals focused on diagnosing and resolving technical issues and providing technical recommendations. Issues may arise from both internal and external customers, including, but not limited to, production, customer complaints, and development. Teams typically focus on medium and high complexity issues for resolution requiring a quick turnaround time. The teams also provide key feedback to development organizations on guidelines for quality and reliability expectations.

    Introduction to the role: We are looking for someone who is curious, observant, and is dedicated to continuous learning in a fast-paced environment. The associate will lead and coordinate medium to large scale investigations with guidance from senior associates and management. In addition, the associate will develop expertise in risk and impact assessment and will be relied upon as an expert with in-depth technical knowledge of all aspects of Cepheid products. In this position, they will support and document investigations to determine root causes of various failures. They will evaluate and recommend corrective actions to guide continuous process improvement.
    • Support failure investigations elevated from customer field complaints
    • Design and execute experiments as part of investigations
    • Work with cross functional teams to implement corrective actions
    • Communication of results and investigation progress to management
    • Provide recommendations for investigation direction and/or countermeasures
    • Prototype and evaluate potential mitigation and corrective actions
    • Analyze historical data to identify trends and areas for investigation
    • Perform failure trending and analysis on key performance metrics and manage data for team review
    • Continuously document progress during investigations and prepare final reports
    • Investigate failures through established root cause analysis techniques and methods, such as data analysis and physical inspection
    • Recommend and implement improvements to current workflows, procedures and techniques

Job Requirements



    Education or Experience (in years): 

    • Bachelor’s degree or higher in biological or engineering related discipline
    • 2 or more years of relevant professional experience

    Knowledge and skills: 

    • Understanding of PCR and Cepheid products
    • Learn through on-the-job training
    • Statistics experience
    • Ability to work independently and cross-functionally
    • Excellent organizational and communication skills (oral and written)
    • Excellent writing and documentation skills
    • Experience working in a laboratory

    Physical requirements/abilities: 

    • Pipetting
    • Sitting or standing at a lab bench
    • Operation of machinery
    • Occasional lifting


    • This role requires the associate is hands-on in the laboratory, including the use of hazardous chemicals and clinical specimens.


    • Experience with design of experiments (DoE)
    • Experience with test automation including scripting
    • Experience with root cause analysis techniques and documentation of results
    • Experience working in a biology lab environment with clinical specimens
    • Experience working in a manufacturing environment and/or within manufacturing operations under cGMP, ISO and FDA regulations
    • Experience working with and running Cepheid products
    • Experience with MiniTab analysis software
    • Familiarity with microfluidics

Danaher Corporation Overview

Danaher is a global science & technology innovator committed to helping our customers solve complex challenges and improve quality of life worldwide. Our world class brands are leaders in some of the most demanding and attractive industries, including life sciences, medical diagnostics, environmental and applied solutions. Our globally diverse team of 71,000 associates is united by a common culture and operating system, the Danaher Business System, which serves as our competitive advantage. We generated $19.9B in revenue last year. We are ranked #162 on the Fortune 500 and our stock has outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 5,200% over 25 years.
At Danaher, you can build a career in a way no other company can duplicate. Our brands allow us to offer dynamic careers across multiple industries. We're innovative, fast-paced, results-oriented, and we win. We need talented people to keep winning. Here you'll learn how DBS is used to shape strategy, focus execution, align our people, and create value for customers and shareholders. Come join our winning team.
Danaher is committed to competitive compensation that typically has key components including base salary, variable annual incentive compensation based on personal and company performance, and long-term incentive.