Job Description

Job Title:               Sr. Food Scientist

Department:          Engineering

Reports To:           Vice President of Engineering

FLSA Status:         Exempt

Prepared Date:      1/6/21


A seasoned food industry professional with shared responsibility for initiation and execution of automation development and/or improvement in support of our clients strategic plan focused on commercial kitchen automation in the global Food Service industry. i.e. our clients food science expert.


Join our client and be part of defining the future of the Food Service industry. They are leading the disruption of commercial kitchen operations by automating food preparation jobs that are difficult to fill.  Unlike large food manufacturing facilities, commercial kitchens in the Food Service industry rely heavily on manual labor to produce food products. Automating these hard to fill jobs in commercial kitchens is what our client does.

To help them grow technologically, they seek a Senior Food Scientist with broad experience to help them tackle challenges in a new industry space. They are looking for a creative thinker and hands-on doer who can be their food processing expert partnering closely with other team members on mechanical, software/firmware, business, and operations. A great candidate doesn’t need to know everything but instead will share experience and be open to learning about other parts of the system. Initially our client could use your help with understanding the properties of the variety of pizza sauces, cheeses, meats, and various granular ingredients, and the associated impact on the design of mechanical and control systems. Our client would also like your leadership on establishing appropriate test requirements, and evaluation of test outcomes for identification of possible solutions to problems they encounter. As they scale Their systems from prototypes to production machines, you’ll have an opportunity to be hands on with creating, testing, and validating our system, and guiding the team and automation product through compliance and certification.

This opportunity is like no other providing the right candidate with new challenges, ability to have significant impact on building our clients future and redefining commercial kitchen operations. Imagine applying your knowledge, expertise and experience to doing something that has not been done before.

Within 3 months you will:

  • Become part of the team, get familiar with team members and learn what they are working on
  • Learn about the our clients system, the status of the food measurement and distribution systems, and the challenges with existing systems
  • Understand the marketing and sales requirements for additional ingredients that require development to handle

Within 6 months you will:

  • Recommend improvements to existing systems for improving measurement and distribution accuracy
  • Work with engineers and vendors to develop new measurement and distribution systems

After 6 months you will:

  • Continue development of the company automation systems for future opportunities
  • Participate in growing the engineering team by interviewing for both technical ability and cultural fit.
  • Help develop the engineering culture of Picnic to be a place talented engineers want to be.

If you have a knack for solving problems, want to be on the ground floor building disruptive new technologies, enjoy working in a demanding and rewarding environment, and are looking for a team with like-minded individuals please contact us to become part of the company and help shape what comes next.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Act as part of the engineering team, co-creates automation innovations for the Food Service industry (e.g. commercial kitchen automation)

Work with internal and external resources to identify, specify, layout and design equipment strategies for new commercial kitchen automation

Identify, and influence creation and company adoption of R&D Procedures and Processes needed to effectively develop and improve commercial kitchen automation systems

Build and share technical capabilities (such as food chemistry & impact on process-ability), classic R&D approach to product development, DOE, measurement methods etc.

Acts as a technical contributor in the development of strategic technical plans and initiatives.

Lead the identification and solution of cost savings and productivity in initiatives using appropriate technical due diligence


If assigned a direct report, carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.


Experience in test design, prototype development, and the development of required specifications

Thorough knowledge of automation impact on ingredient functionality, physical, chemical, stability and rheology attributes

Fundamental knowledge of proteins, carbohydrates, hydrocolloids, lipids functionality

Fundamental knowledge of rheology, flowability, deformability, friability characteristics and how they are affected by machine handling and temperature

Ability to transfer automation technologies from other categories or industries for novel application for the company

Ability to generate novel automation concepts

Understanding of technical fundamentals of key processes (metering, mixing, holding, causes of fowling, etc.)

Demonstrated ability to mitigate risks ensuring smooth execution of projects

Ability to travel as required in support of customer (<25% time)


Masters in food engineering, food science or related field with a minimum of 5-7 years related food processing/automation development/improvement experience.

Experience in the Food Service industry desired but not required

Experience with natural cheese desired but not required


Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents.    Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.


Fundamental understanding of modeling, experimental design, statistical principals and statistical analysis of food processing. Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts.


Strong computer skills are necessary for this position, including word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software, project management software, Internet, and CAD.


Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear and taste or smell.  The employee frequently is required to stand; walk; sit; and use hands to finger, handle, or feel.  The employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, and ability to adjust focus.


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 occasionally exposed to wet and/or humid conditions, moving mechanical parts, fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals, extreme cold, and risk of electrical shock.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


For more information, please contact Elizabeth Pereira, OPUS International, Inc. at (954) 428-3888 or