Sr. Controls Technical Specialist


Houston, TX

Patterson-UTI Drilling

The New Standard for Drilling Performance
Drill safer, smarter and faster with Patterson-UTI Drilling’s comprehensive fleet of pad-capable rigs featuring advanced walking systems to enhance your operations so you can reach your apex.


The Controls Technical Specialist will work as a part of an advanced engineering team and be a key member of the solution development team utilizing a background in PLCs, drilling controls, networking, instrumentation, electronics, and project management. They will be responsible for planning and executing a variety of PLC and control related projects to ensure they remain on schedule, within budget, and in compliance with industry accepted design, HSE and Company standards.

The successful candidate will: set high standards of performance for themselves and others; be professional in written, verbal and personal actions in any situation; seek new knowledge and experiences; have an analytical mindset that can utilize factual data to develop creative and business-oriented solutions; be able to work with minimal supervision; be self- aware and adjust accordingly to different environments and audiences

This role will work under the direction of the Manager of Controls & Automation Support.


Detailed Description:

  • Provide strong leadership and management of projects that will include working with third party contractors, Operational, Technical Services, HSE management and rig crews
  • Manage multiple complex projects and associated work scopes simultaneously, being accountable for the efficient installation of equipment on operating drilling rigs
  • Work directly with third party contractors, Operational, Technical Services, and HSE management and rig crews to assist with the execution of a wide variety of field upgrade projects including, but not limited to, PLC upgrades, drilling controls design/implementation, third mud pump/fourth generator additions, and high-torque top drive retrofits
  • Support the solution development team and translate the functional requirements of the company into the system architecture and develop the best solutions for large scale implementation
  • Provide technical support to field personnel as required to assist with troubleshooting PLC and control system issues
  • Perform red-line changes to present electrical drawings using various drafting software
  • Provide in depth training to fleet wide personnel in regard to control systems and their operation.
  • Promote a diverse and inclusive work environment where employees of all backgrounds feel included and their contributions are valued
  • Make decisions in a manner consistent with all Company policies, including the Company’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Harassment Policy


Job Requirements:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of all disciplines in the controls project management field that pertain to the construction, operation, and maintenance of drilling rigs to include motor, engine, mechanical, hydraulic, electrical control systems
  • Demonstrated knowledge of project management methodologies and tools, including cost estimating and scheduling
  • Demonstrated knowledge of code requirements pertaining to the design, construction and operation of land drilling rigs
  • Ability to demonstrate core competencies for electronics and electrical troubleshooting
  • Ability to create and modify electrical drawings based on design modification needs
  • Familiar with drilling industry standards and regulations
  • Ability to conduct training to an audience of technicians with varying levels of experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Must be self-motivated, with the ability to oversee and motivate others and influence decisions, capable of identifying problems and recommending alternative solutions
  • Must be a self-starter able to take initiative, make decisions and drive for results. Must demonstrate a high level of professional integrity and demeanor
  • Strong written and oral communication skills with demonstrated ability to conduct effective presentations and written report preparation
  • Able to effectively make technical decisions and manage change requests
  • Ability to effectively lead and manage cross functional teams, manage conflict and provide for development of staff
  • Ability to regularly travel as needed to visit work sites and support business units; may occasionally require extended travel to remote locations and/or overnight stay(s) outside normal office area
  • Ability to safely navigate work sites with occasional walking, climbing, standing, stepping, etc., during normal operating conditions (day/night, outdoor hot/cold weather) including proper use of designated personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Ability to proficiently use MS Office Suite to develop presentations, correspondence, reports, and schedules (Word, Excel, Power Point, Project etc.).


Minimum Qualifications

  • High School Diploma or GED equivalent
  • Experience with SIEMENS Step 7 and CX-One programming as well as standard communications protocol (DeviceNet, Profibus, Profinet, CANBUS, etc.)
  • 3+ years of experience with controls/automation (preference within the drilling industry) and working knowledge of VFD, SCR, and PLCs used in the oil and gas industry or related field
  • 2+ years of project management related to VFD/PLC control systems


Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related discipline
  • 3+ years’ of operational experience working for a drilling contractor or closely related service
  • Experience with NOV/Amphion and SLB systems and controls
  • Experience with Yaskawa, GE, and ABB VFD systems


Work Environment

This position requires work both indoors and outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions, including precipitation, cold / heat, high wind, and turbulent conditions.  The position will be regularly exposed to the typical conditions of the local area where the rig is located. This position must work with an emphasis on safety for themselves and others including coworkers and third parties.  They must be able to work closely with others assigned to the drilling rig under time-sensitive deadlines including potential emergency response situations. They must be willing to work extended schedules that will include working days; and occasionally nights, weekends and holidays. Frequent travel to other Company offices and drilling rig work sites, often in remote locations, is required during normal rig operating conditions (day/night, outdoor hot/cold weather), and employee will be expected to properly use designated personal protective equipment (PPE).