Position: R&D Food Process Engineer
Department: Research & Development
Reports to: Director Research and Development
Location: San Juan Bautista, CA
Summary: The R&D Food Process Engineer will lead the development and optimization of new or existing product and processes of fresh-cut vegetables, from seed selection to final customer. The R&D Food Process Engineer is knowledgeable about process engineering, physicochemical properties of foods, microbiology, and has an understanding of how machinery is designed, functions and interacts with food. Under the supervision of the Research & Development Director, the R&D Food Process Engineer will lead the design, coordination and execution of research and trials; he/she will develop recommendations accordingly and help drive product and/or process decisions for the business.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Conduct research trials for the optimization of fresh-cut unit operations to maximize efficiencies, quality improvement and cost reductions of new and existing processes and/or products, including proof of concept testing, technical feasibility, scale-up and manufacturing trials of proposed projects.
- Collect and analyze data, deduct the significance of the experimental results and provide conclusions, recommendations and next steps to team members and stakeholders in technical project reports.
- Determine quality and/or process improvement parameters by identifying and applying root cause analysis, activities and statistical methods relevant to manufacturing processes intended to eliminate or significantly reduce non-conformances. Establish (where relevant) statistical confidence by identifying sample size, acceptable error and determining confidence intervals.
- Advise on the design, optimization and commissioning of new equipment, including recommendations for validation, verification and monitoring of process controls.
- Serve as technical advisor for new product development on new or existing products and operational specifications.
- Supports Operations, Transportation, Marketing and Sales teams for product launches.
- Support R&D laboratory activities and management, including lab equipment maintenance and development of R&D SOP’s.
- Support open communication between R&D and Technical Services, FS&Q, Manufacturing, Ag Supply and other business units to accomplish common project goals and milestones.
- Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; benchmarking state-of-the-art practices; and participating in professional societies.
- Other duties as assigned.
Education and/or Experience
BS Food Engineering, Food Technology, Food Science, Agricultural Engineering or related field. Advanced degree is preferred.
5+ years of commercial experience in food processing, preferably in the fresh-cut produce industry.
Other Skills and Abilities
- Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Office suite of applications (Word, PowerPoint and Excel).
- Excellent data management and analytical skills, statistics (Statistical Decision Making, ANOVA, DOM, SPC, etc.) mathematical reasoning and related software (Minitab, Statistica, Microsoft Office Package).
- Excellent verbal and communication skills.
- Candidate must be highly organized, data driven and detail oriented.
- Candidate must be team oriented and able to work independently. Self-starter.
- Strong problem solving skills. Utilize root cause analysis and structured problem solving methodology to identify root cause, develop and implement solutions.
- Candidate must be able to handle several projects in a fast-paced environment.
- Knowledge of Spanish language will be a plus.
Candidate must be able to travel up to 30% to our various harvesting and processing geographical areas.
Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. M/F/D/V.