Job Summary

The Pilot Plant Manager will manage the activities of the pilot plant in the Food Science department and the design, set-up and operation of food processing systems. This individual will work with industry representatives to conduct research projects with faculty supervision, work with faculty and students to design and implement research projects and develop and coordinate workshops. Additional duties will include but are not limited to:

  • Assisting faculty with teaching pilot plant classes
  • Participating on department committees; serve as department liaison for laboratory safety and chair the departmental safety committee
  • Supervising and mentoring undergraduate students
  • Exercising discretion and providing input for short-term and long-term goals for projects in collaboration with the advisory committee
  • Participating in on-going development and refinement of efficient procedures and protocols
  • Assuming full responsibility for the safety, operation and continued development of the pilot plant
  • Working with Purdue’s radiological & environmental management (REM) group and with the university safety on the chemical management committee
  • Developing relationships with industrial and entrepreneurial clients
  • Serving as primary contact working directly with entrepreneurs
  • Developing protocols, directing the setup, testing methods and completing the final trial reports
  • Ensuring staff’s completion of industrial testing in a timely manner
  • Responsible for acquisition of new pilot equipment
  • Attending industry conferences and work with equipment manufacturers and food processing companies to receive quality pilot plant scale food processing equipment and related equipment
  • Working with faculty to develop and coordinate industry and government specific workshops and teach several sections of the workshops including unit operations, sanitation best practices, CIP in food processing, and regulatory requirements
  • Supporting teaching of food processing and food product development classes
  • Reviewing workloads and reassigning tasks as required to ensure timely completion of projects


  • Bachelor’s in Food Science, Agricultural Engineering, Process Engineering, Packaging Engineering or related discipline
  • 4 years of experience with processing, research methodology, high technology equipment or related field
  • Familiarity with food processing and preservation principles
  • Strong leadership, management and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to utilize independent judgment to solve problems
  • Excellent organizational skills to effectively handle multiple ongoing tasks and strive for continuous improvement
  • General knowledge of software systems including Microsoft Office applications
  • Teaching skills
  • Knowledge of operation and maintenance of various types of processing equipment, such as pumps, heat exchangers, dicers, finishers, dryers, extruder, can closer, retort, fryer, aseptic filler, etc.
  • Knowledgeable in FSMA, FDA, TTB, USDA, GMP, OSHA, and state rules and regulations


  • Food processing experience

Additional Information:

  • Purdue will not sponsor an employment related visa for this position
  • A background check will be required for employment in this position
  • FLSA: Exempt (Not Eligible For Overtime)
  • Retirement Eligibility: Defined Contributions Waiting Period
  • Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply