Assistant Director of Food and Bioprocessing Pilot Plant Operations - Food Science and Human Nutrit

Champaign, IL
Apr 14, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Assistant Director of Food and Bioprocessing Pilot Plant Operations

(Internal to Campus Search)

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois is seeking an Assistant Director of Food and Bioprocessing Pilot Plant Operations to oversee all activities in the Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) Pilot Processing Plant (PPP) and the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (ABE/IBRL) PPP and their associated spaces.


Operations Management
  • Build operational plan and administer costing strategies for the FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP facilities. Participate in annual audit and update of cost structure for internal/external users.
  • Manage annual allocated budgets, project future needs, and carefully spend resources to benefit operations. Prepare financial and operations reports as requested.
  • Supervise the day-to-day operations of students, personnel, and others within the PPP facilities and associated spaces.
  • Track inventory and coordinate annual property accounting audits for FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP.
  • Chair the FSHN Processing Advisory Committee, participate in external advisory committees as requested, and provide regular updates on facilities to relevant faculty and outside parties.
  • Serve as the primary emergency contact for 24/7 contacts by Public Safety and Facilities & Services (F&S) for the FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP.

Technical Knowledge & Assistance
  • Develop and implement technical training in the areas of equipment operation, PPP safety and sanitation techniques, fundamentals of research methodology, and data analysis relative to food processing and bioprocessing.
  • Oversee installation and maintenance of research equipment, working with University personnel and outside contractors as necessary to ensure functionality for users.
  • Coordinate with faculty to organize teaching and research projects and to ensure the availability of research equipment and personnel.
  • Provide expertise to faculty, students, and outside users of the FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP facilities to ensure safe and successful use of facility equipment.
  • Pursue ongoing professional development. Stay abreast of developing processing technologies, industry product trends, and safety programs.

Facilities Planning, Construction, & Maintenance
  • Oversee all construction, renovation, and maintenance related projects in the FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP and related spaces, including associated spaces in the Agricultural Engineering Sciences Building (AESB), IBRL, Agricultural Bioprocessing Laboratory (ABL), and the South Farms. Ensure work is coordinated so as to minimize disruption of research and other building program activities.
  • Plan and oversee all repairs and remodeling and future renovations and major equipment installations in collaboration with FSHN department leadership and Processing Advisory Committee, ABE department leadership, IBRL Director, and F&S construction team.
  • Maintain relationship with F&S project managers/shops and external contractors to maintain PPP facilities in working order.

Safety & Regulation
  • Maintain FSHN PPP to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards for Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) food grade certification. Maintain ABE/IBRL PPP to industry GMP standards (non-food grade). Create and enforce written operating procedures and complete necessary paperwork and audits to maintain certification. Coordinate and oversee any inspections of the FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP.
  • Create and implement safety plan for PPP spaces. Provide regular, documented safety trainings and ensure a culture of safety is maintained for all users of the facilities to provide a safe and secure work environment.
  • Serve on College of ACES safety committee and regularly update faculty, students, and other users of PPP facilities on safe use practices. Liaison with safety groups on campus to ensure compliance with various regulations.
  • Engage campus safety groups to manage comprehensive safety audits of the FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP, focusing on identification and mitigation of hazards.
  • Consult with research personnel and staff on experiment and/or process-specific safety needs. Implement processes as needed for work in the FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP.

External Relationships
  • Serve as initial point of contact and representative of FSHN Department and IBRL for all FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP related inquiries.
  • Liaison with university Corporate Relations and College of ACES Advancement & Development staff to build capacity of PPP facilities. Understand industry needs of equipment capabilities and student training, and implement programs to ensure PPP facilities and programs meet these needs.
  • Coordinate and oversee relationships related to the FSHN PPP and ABE/IBRL PPP, including corporate and alumni contacts.
  • Oversee FSHN PPP partnership with university Dining Halls, Student Sustainability Farm/Crop Sciences, and Student Sustainability Committee. This includes overseeing processing of produce for use in campus dining halls and management/training of student internship program.
  • Foster new relationships and collaborations with others on campus for PPP facilities.
  • Work with funding agencies to build capacity of PPP relative to faculty research needs.
  • Represent Department and College at conferences, meetings, and other related activities as requested.

  • Bachelor's degree in Food Science, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Technical Systems Management, Chemical Engineering, or closely related field (Master's degree preferred in fields listed above)
  • 3-5 years of work experience in supervising and training others in an educational environment
  • Knowledge and understanding of common food, chemical, and bioenergy industry processing techniques, GMPs, plant safety, and pilot scale processing equipment
  • Knowledge of/experience with research principles and research methodology
  • Experience analyzing and interpreting research data
  • Experience managing construction activities and ability to understand construction documents
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience in forming and maintaining professional relationships in an academic and corporate environment
  • Hold or have ability to obtain Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification


Commensurate with experience.


May 16, 2017


This is a regular, full-time (100%), 12-month academic professional position.


To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by April 27, 2017. The review of applications will begin immediately. Interviews may occur prior to April 27, 2017; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date. Interested applicants are invited to apply online at Applications should include a cover letter, resume, and names and contact information for three or more references. Only applicants with complete profiles will be considered. Questions regarding the search process may be directed to Ms. Audra Martin, Office Manager ( and specific questions regarding the position can be directed to Dr. Bill Helferich, Professor and Search Committee Chair (

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University's commitment to diversity, please visit

Organization Name: Food Science and Human Nutrition
College Name or Administrative Unit: ACES
Category: Academic Professional
Open Date: 04/13/2017
Close Date: 04/27/2017


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