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Research Engineer

At Hilmar Cheese Company and Hilmar Ingredients, we improve lives around the world by being a leading producer of wholesome dairy products that contribute to the success of all stakeholders. We are one of the world’s largest and most respected manufacturers of cheese, whey protein, lactose and milk powders. We are successful for two reasons: (1) we know the cheese and ingredients business really well, and (2) we know that we can’t succeed without great people!

A Typical Day

Conduct research experiments at bench, pilot plant and commercial scale to develop new or improved processes to produce whey derived food ingredients. Evaluate current equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or improve product quality. Design measurement and control systems for the plant based on research experiment results. Evaluate new processing technologies to determine their cost, applicability, and benefits to Hilmar Ingredients’ processes. Troubleshoot problems with manufacturing processes. Provide technical support to Sales, Marketing, QA, and Manufacturing

Job Responsibilities

  • Develop new products and processes to produce new and improved dairy derived food ingredients.
  • Design and conduct research experiments utilizing analytical instruments as well as bench, pilot plant and commercial scale process equipment.
  • Evaluate new equipment and processes as part of product/process development efforts.
  • Facilitate understanding of the new product/process to Manufacturing through the development of standard operating procedures and training of operators.
  • Troubleshoot situations as they arise in the lab and the manufacturing plant(s) as processes and procedures are implemented.
  • Design measurement and control systems for the plant based on data collected in bench and pilot plant experiments.
  • Maintain current knowledge of industry trends and technologies through scientific or trade journals and professional organizations.
  • Prepares project review updates on a regular basis.
  • Maintains records and results on projects and experimental performance.
  • Communicate research findings and knowledge of products internally through seminars, reports, presentations, and training.
  • Good organizational skills and ability to work with multiple projects and deadlines.
  • 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, Food Science, Food Engineering, Food Processing and Technology, Biological Engineering, Biosystem Engineering, Environmental Engineering or a related field
  • Ability to travel by air and car up to 20% of the time to execute job duties.
  • Valid driver license and a copy of insurance card or copy of declaration page which meets minimum insurance coverage limits within 30 days of hire.
  • Knowledge of research principles and ability to perform experiments requiring precise control of process variables and execution of complicated method
  • Good knowledge of engineering science and technology as applied to dairy processes and food ingredient manufacturing
  • Understanding of experimental design, methods of data analysis, and basic statistics
  • Ability to effectively use common lab/pilot plant instruments/equipment

What Will Put You Ahead

  • Master’s degree or PhD in Science or Engineering
  • Experience working in food processing
  • Practical knowledge of various membrane processing technologies and their applications in dairy ingredients manufacture
  • Basic knowledge of dairy chemistry, specifically in the field of dairy protein chemistry 
  • Basic knowledge of food processing

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.
  • 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

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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Nearest Major Market: Merced