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Process Engineer

At Hilmar Cheese Company we improve lives around the world. Committed to innovation and sustainability, Hilmar Cheese Company, and our division, Hilmar Ingredients, serves customers in more than 50 countries. State-of-the art production facilities in California and Texas convert an abundance of high-quality milk into a variety of nutritious cheeses, whey protein and lactose.

A Typical Day

The Process Engineer is responsible for supporting the Company’s strategic objectives through a focus on the optimum, most cost-effective methods of manufacturing dairy products to enhance profitability, market position, and growth. This position will provide specific concentration on reducing operating costs, process capacity constraints, product losses, and product quality variation.

Job Responsibilities

•Optimize existing manufacturing processes to increase efficiency and cost effectiveness.
•Develop and implement Functional Descriptions and Process Control strategies that improve results and reduce variability. Coordinate with Process Programmers to debug and deploy in the plants.
•Identify and address opportunities for yield improvement, waste reduction, throughput enhancement, and improved process control and consistency.
•Lead troubleshooting of persistent, complex operational issues. Communicate findings and CAPA plans to other departments in clear, concise presentations.
•Ensure best-practice solutions are implemented across all areas of HCC.
•Collaborate with other SMEs to provide technical training material to Manufacturing and other departments.
•Engage with R&D team on new product development, experimental design, and plant trials. Work closely with Project Engineering on final process design and commercialization.
•Engage with Q.A. team on the evaluation and continuous improvement of in-process and finished product analytical instrumentation.
•Work with Maintenance team to ensure critical processes, control points, and measurements are properly maintained for consistent performance.
•Continuous learning through trade shows or short courses.
•Active participation and ownership in your training and development program and associated activities, classes and events, which will be held before, during, after shifts and during scheduled days off.  
•Help coach and train teammates and participate in on the job, buddy training.
•Place high priority on food safety and sanitation by understanding and executing HCC’s food safety and sanitation policies and procedures. 
•Hold self and others accountable to HCC’s food safety & sanitation guidelines and policies by communicating any food safety incident, observation, or opportunity to your leadership team or teammates. 
•Participate in food safety and sanitation root cause analysis and improvement activities when required.  
•Prioritize safety above all other job duties by having a safety first approach at all times. 
•Report any safety issues, observations, opportunities to your teams and follow up.  
•Participate in departmental safety teams.
•Annual completion of OSHA required safety training.
•Promote Company Culture
•Achieve common business goals through cooperative alignment with all departments. 

What You Will Need
  • English skills must be proficient to understand, read, write and speak English
  • Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering or related field
  • Ability to complete energy and mass balances, and collect and analyze production data using statistical techniques
  • Ability to Travel 10-15% per year
  • Ability to effectively summarize and present technical information to a variety of audiences.
What Will Put You Ahead
  • Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering or related field
  • 2+ years of experience in food processing and process optimization
  • Intermediate experience using MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint required
  • Ability to read and write PLC function block or ladder logic
  • Knowledge of unit operations commonly found in the food industry and wastewater treatment
  • Ability to develop operational models of plant processes
Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee will be required to:

  • Stand, walk, use hands to finger, handle or feel and reach with hands and arms, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl and talk or hear.
  • Stand and walk almost the entire workday.
  • Employees must be physically capable of working in any of the job tasks within their respective area.
  • Required to work at heights and in fairly small areas.
  • Pushing, pulling, reaching, bending, stooping, squatting, kneeling, handling and grasping, twisting/turning, repetitive bending.
Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to the following: 

  • Exposure to dust, fumes, smoke, gases, or other irritating substances.
  • Exposure to solvents or chemicals.
  • Exposure to slippery walking surfaces: water.
  • Exposure to marked changes in temperature and humidity depending on time of year.

Working surface is primarily concrete. Where standing is required, there are rubber mats which are one-half inch thick.

Food safety is a companywide responsibility and each employee must know their role in the manufacture and distribution of safe, wholesome, and high quality products.


This description is a general statement and does not include other duties as assigned

Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer/EEO. We participate in E-Verify.

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