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Research Engineer

At Hilmar Cheese Company we improve lives around the world through wholesome dairy products. Since our founding in 1984, Hilmar Cheese Company has been committed to innovation and sustainability. Our state-of-the art production facilities convert an abundance of locally sourced high-quality milk into a variety of nutritious cheeses, whey protein and lactose. The Cheese and Ingredients that we produce create a wide variety of retail and food service products from sliced and shredded cheeses, to protein supplements and infant formula. We are a trusted partner to premier food and beverage brands in for than fifty countries helping bring their vision into reality.


Throughout our decades of success and growth we have remained committed to our mission and values and these principles unite our people and guide all that we do.

A Typical Day

The Research Engineer is responsible for facilitating development of new products, technologies, and processes. This includes conducting research experiments at bench, pilot plant and commercial scale to develop new or improved processes to produce functional cheese and 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 functional cheese and 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, and communicate research findings and knowledge of products internally through seminars, reports, presentations, and training.
  • Has good organizational skills and ability to work with multiple projects and deadlines, maintains records and results on projects and experiments. 

What You Will Need

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field plus 3 years’ related experience or Master’s degree.
  • Knowledge of research principles and ability to perform experiments requiring precise control of process variables and execution of complicated method.
  • Strong knowledge of process engineering science and technology fundamentals. 
  • Ability to model both static and dynamic process systems. 
  • Understanding of experimental design theory, methods of data analysis, and basic statistics

What Will Put You Ahead

  • Bachelor’s degree plus 5 years’ related experience or Master’s degree plus 1 year related experience or PhD.
  • Experience working in food processing
  • Experience using common lab/pilot plant instruments/equipment.
  • Practical and applied knowledge of various dairy processing technologies and their applications in dairy manufacturing.
  • Knowledge of dairy chemistry, specifically in the field of cheese, dairy protein, and lactose chemistry.
  • Knowledge of food processing.

Physical Demands & Work Environment

The role has periods of time when the work environment is sedentary and conducted in an office environment balanced with frequent occasions that require prolonged walking or standing, lifting/ carrying/handling moderate weight objects on a regular basis.   Is required to wear PPE and have a regular presence in manufacturing and warehouse environments in both temperature controlled and uncontrolled locations. Must frequently interact with people verbally.  Specific details of the essential functions of the position is available in the Job Safety Analysis, made available on request.

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