Assistant Manager, R&D Process Development Engineering

Job Details


Job Summary

Responsible for leading and managing team to achieve project goals and strategic initiatives. Has the technical expertise coupled with the ability to coach Associates successfully while overseeing multiple projects. Use chemical/food engineering theory, experimentation, and statistical analysis to develop process definition and parameter specifications for new products. Utilize engineering approaches to drive TE, and where possible to meet Operator and optimally addresses financial implications. Develop relationships between product quality, process variables, and equipment design for new products. Optimize unit operations and overall process to ensure optimal, consistent, and predictable quality for product. Scale-up processes and work collaboratively with Operations & Engineering/Trademark Excellence/NPD Scientists/QA to successfully launch optimized new products and transfer the process knowledge necessary to maintain optimal quality.

Job Duties & Responsibilities

1. Talent Management

a. Advocates for effective execution of the performance management process by collaborating with direct report/s to set clear objectives, goals and expectations. Conducts regular coaching and constructive feedback discussions to review performance and goal progress, assist with challenges, and identify strengths and development areas, all to support Associate professional and career development, while increasing engagement and motivation.

b. Supports workforce planning and talent acquisition strategies by effectively staffing and hiring diverse talent for the organization.

c. Addresses Associate relations and performance issues in a timely manner and/or makes appropriate decisions relative to performance challenges.

2. Develop process specifications to (1) optimize quality of product and (2) ensure efficient production capabilities for new products.

a. Work closely with New Product Development scientists to learn, understand and provide engineering insight into the products as they are developed.

b. Anticipate the key potential issues in scale-up work and proactively develop potential solutions.

c. Design, conduct, & document experiments to that define relationships between product quality and processing conditions.

d. Conduct lab, pilot, and plant testing using proper design of experiments and statistical analysis.

e. Research, understand, build unit operation knowledge to understand processing parameter variables of impact and potential interactions among them and with other unit operations.

f. Determine processing parameters and their acceptable range based on quality and efficiency needs of product and process.

g. Document work through scientific reports and conduct training /alignment sessions for team (including cross-functionally) to educate them on key findings and relationships.

h. Define and optimize product quality, benefit to customers, operational capacity, and optimize capital expenditures with input from a cross-functional team.

i. Design, align on and issue test plans/ trial protocols with clear objectives/ success criteria for all product trials.

j. Define and recommend control scheme recommendations based on defined processing parameters.

k. Provide processing specifications to Operations Engineers for new equipment.

l. Review engineering drawings to ensure process parameters provided for equipment design are met.

3. Collaboratively develop manufacturing capability for new product launches.

a. Collaborate with Operations & Engineering, QA, Trademark Excellence, equipment vendors and others. Collaboratively support definition, assessment, and evaluation of potential processing equipment for new products.

b. Plan and conduct trials to develop work-in-progress specifications or other manufacturing needs to support process integration into existing processes.

c. Proactively and habitually develop conversation-starting strategies, approaches, and plans, gathering input and alignment cross-functionally toward a final state that can then be executed with full cross-functional support.

d. Lead experimentation to ensure packaging design & packaging equipment meet product specifications and TE standards.

e. With support from Operations, translate anticipated volumes to productions rates within the manufacturing process.

4. Lead product start-up on equipment for new products to create optimum conditions for product quality, equipment & process modification needs, and refine process parameter definition.

a. With support from Operations and Engineering, review and approve engineering drawings for new equipment from the perspective of manufacturing capability to make product to specified standard.

b. Co-lead with Operations and Engineering FAT/SAT review of new equipment.

c. Lead the validation of new products on the process repetitively and with extended runs, if needed.

d. Ensure proper process controls, GMP, and safety needs are in place through collaboration.

e. Transition the launch effectively to Operations.

f. Partner with Operations and Engineering to develop, document, and conduct training for Operators & Engineers on quality troubleshooting.

g. Work with Operations and Engineering to develop clear launch progression success criteria for team.

h. Set Operations and Enterprise up for success by allowing Operations to take on more and more responsibility and hands-on involvement through the transition process. Be an effective guide and teacher during the transition from reliance to independence for continued production.

5. Support other areas in Consultative Role

a. Work and collaborate closely with TE, TEDS (Trademark Excellence Development & Sensory) and NPD scientists as they define the product specifications to learn compositional and processing influences on Trademark Identity of the new product. Support NPD and slowly transition technical leadership of project from NPD Scientist to RDI Process Development Engineer once product definition has been finalized, while maintaining seamless collaboration with other functions.

b. Support New Technology Development as needed.

c. Support post-launch Trademark Advancement when necessary, through a consultative, advisory role.

d. Support R&D Starter Culture, when necessary, as agreed upon by VP R&D and SC Manager.

6. Additional Responsibilities

a. Diligently documents plans, work and results with reports and trial protocols.

b. Review written test plans, reports, results and key decisions with broader project team prior to execution or publish to optimize plan and ensure alignment.

c. Prepare and present technical presentations.

d. Demonstrated commitment to safety, quality, and food safety in the job environment.

e. Provide input into strategic plans and R&D capital planning, analysis, and alignment.

The above list reflects the general details necessary to describe the principle and essential functions of the position and shall not be construed as the only duties that maybe assigned.

Qualifications & Requirements

Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering, Food/Agricultural/Biological Engineering. Prefer additional Food Science Degree. May entertain other Engineering degrees depending on experience.

Master’s degree preferred.

Experience & Training

• Bachelor’s degree and six (6) or more years’ R&D new launch experience in food or pharmaceutical industry.

• Master’s degree and four (4) or more years’ R&D new launch experience food or pharmaceutical industry.

• Ph.D. and two (2) or more years R&D new launch experience food or pharmaceutical industry.

• Background in cheese process development engineering is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

• Sound training in statistical analysis and design of experiments.

• Clear understanding of Operations- based perspectives and process concerns.

• Strong knowledge and commitment to product quality as primary driver in product launch needs.

• Experienced in advancing quality of products as primary success criteria for new product.

• Strong project management, prioritization, strategic execution, documentation skills.

• Strong oral and written communication.

• Strong collaborative & interpersonal skills.

• Strong sense of curiosity, continuous learning & improvement, and ability to share & be open to new knowledge.

• Advanced PC skills, including Windows, Microsoft Office Suite, statistical software packages.

• Advanced knowledge in chemical engineering theory and ability to define and delineate correlations and deduce mechanistic hypotheses from correlations.

• Good problem solving, analytical, and interpersonal skills.

• Experienced in scale-up and start-up of new processes in a manufacturing environment.

• Experienced in working with equipment vendors to understand operation of key influencers of quality for the specific unit operation.


• Familiar with lab, pilot plant, and full-scale processing equipment.

• Experience in cheese-making technology preferred.




Bachelors Degree or better in Engineering – Chemical or related field.


Masters Degree or better in Engineering – Chemical or related field.



2 years: Ph.D. and two (2) or more years R&D new launch experience food or pharmaceutical industry.

4 years: Master’s degree and four (4) or more years’ R&D new launch experience food or pharmaceutical industry.

6 years: Bachelor’s degree and six (6) or more years’ R&D new launch experience in food or pharmaceutical industry.


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