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Department: 110308 - Kannapolis Research
Location: Kannapolis, NC
Essential Job Duties:
North Carolina State University is seeking an experienced food pilot plant leader (Research Associate) to coordinate activities in food and beverage manufacturing of known processed foods and scale-up of new product developments in collaboration with entrepreneurial companies in the new North Carolina Food Innovation Lab on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.
This Research Associate will be expected to be engaged with the entire NC Food Innovation Lab consortium (NC Dept. Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and NCSU Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences) to encourage entrepreneurial companies to establish in North Carolina. This position will work alongside the Director to encourage companies to use the facility. This is a technical expert pilot plant position. The expectation for the hired applicant is coordination of all aspects of research and development (R&D) for the pilot plant operation to support product development from assigned projects. The Research Associate will demonstrate joint accountability (with R&D product developers) for project success by assembling, evaluating, maintaining, and optimizing prototypes and pilot runs, and capturing relative formulation, such as sequence addition of ingredients and processing parameters. The position will be expected to stay up-to-date on the latest food processing equipment.
The Research Associate may need to attend, along with our customers, co-manufacturing bench and plant trials to ensure successful commercialization of products. This position will manage the food safety plans, and will schedule requested activities with proper equipment allocation for R&D pilot plant facilities. Prototype and bench samples' production/storage/shipping, raw ingredients/bench samples inventory management and documentation management will be in scope for this position. All product specifications must meet or exceed all product requirements, regulatory standards, including but not limited to Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Global Food Safety Initiatives (GFSI), US Department of Agriculture, or other quality and food safety requirements.
This position will operate under minimal supervision from management and have discretion to recommend the best process given equipment in our pilot plant to manufacture finished products.
Coordination of benchtop and pilot line activities to support various product development projects/initiatives: from ordering ingredients to production/evaluation/optimization of prototypes to packaging and labeling prototype samples.
Assist in developing database and maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) for all equipment in the pilot plant.
Establish, validate, and execute food safety manufacturing plans for pilot plant operation.
Establish and maintain inventory management system for all pilot plant parts and supplies; raw and trial ingredients, packaging supplies and finished products (benchtop and relevant commercial samples) by maintaining agreed upon stock levels through re-ordering samples and adherence to shelf-life (working closely with R&D team to achieve these duties).
Establish, validate, and execute master sanitation schedule for the pilot plant facility.
Ship and receive samples to/from various sites and personnel via appropriate carriers.
Set-up, operate, clean/sanitize, and coordinate maintenance of pilot plant equipment.
Lead ideation efforts with customers to identify best unit operations to produce a wide variety of plant-based products.
Collaborate closely with Senior Product Developers and Professors during product pilot runs.
Participate in training and workshops the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab offers.
Relevant post-Baccalaureate degree, or relevant Bachelor’s degree plus 3 or more years of independent research experience. May require terminal degree and licensure.
Knowledge of chemical composition, structure and properties of substances, chemical processes, production techniques, produce specifications, safety, and food storage and handling techniques.
Demonstrated ability to move products from prototype to commercialization.
Knowledge of packaging and related equipment.
Hands-on food manufacturing experience.
In depth knowledge of regulatory requirements from FDA and USDA as well as state and local health and food safety code.
Previous experience with HACCP and cGMP requirements.
Required license or certification:
Position Number: 00106444
NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.
Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148. Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree verified at www.wes.org. Degree must be obtained prior to start date.
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