Thanks very much for your votes guys! Super chuffed! Hope you all learned something new!
Quality & Technical Assistant – Discovery Flexibles, Dundee (2013), Placement Student – Worldwide Powder Group, International Paint, Newcastle (2 x 6 month placements 2011-2012), Shop Assistant – ASDA Hamilton (2008-2012)
Process Solutions Engineer, Global Chocolate R&D
Mondelez International Research & Development (Cadbury, Milka, Toblerone all rolled into one!)
I look at how chocolate behaves as a solid and liquid to help make tastier, more exciting chocolatey treats!
Hi! I’m Ross, I’m 25 years old and for the last year and a half I’ve been working in Bournville (better known as the home of Cadbury’s chocolate!)
In a nutshell, I like to find out how and why things happen.
For chocolate, this includes investigating how liquid chocolate flows, how the liquid develops solid structure and how the solid chocolate snaps.
As part of the global research and development team, I also work closely with chocolate factories all around the world to help solve problems and improve production lines that literally make tonne’s of chocolate goodies every hour.
In my spare time I love to cook, read, play the guitar, pretend I’m a rock god and have recently developed a small addiction to the new Star Wars video game!
My Typical Day
I’ll carry out trials in the pilot plant, run simulations, analyse different types of data, talk to some wonderful people and taste test new products (work perk!)
It’s hard to sum up what you do on a typical day…
Some of the things I’ve been up to in the last month include:
Practical trials! Making and testing samples in the pilot plant (a magnificent combo of a lab and a kitchen!)
Simulation! To answer questions like “can we make 250 tonnes of product in an hour with this equipment?” and “will this new product design break before it hits the shelf?”
Meetings! with some chocolate experts
Data Analysis! Looking at data and making decisions on what it shows us
Sharing! Writing reports and presentations to share knowledge and results
Volunteering! At Bournville we do lots with the local community
Travelling! Both in the UK and around the world
What I'd do with the money
I’d either spend it on (a) chocolately science demonstrations or (b) promoting what it means to be an engineer
OK. I haven’t quite made my mind up…
My first option is to run some science sessions where we explore what chocolate really is, talk about all the stuff it goes through before it reaches the shop and look at how much science and engineering goes into such a small and yummy treat. The best way to do this is through some hands on
I’d use it on some sessions where we promote what it means to be an engineer in the real world. This would involve sessions at schools and universities to show the massive amount of engineering needed to keep the world we know working.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Daydreaming, singing Scotsman
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Tuna pasta. Nice. Simple. Tasty!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I did a 10 km mud run / obstacle race last year. It wasn’t fun at the time…
What did you want to be after you left school?
I’m pretty sure this changed every month
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not a lot. Maybe once or twice.
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
When I first joined Mondelez, I helped make samples for Puddles! It looked a lot different in from the ones in the shop now but it’s awesome to say “I helped make that!”
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?
Probably a chemist or an industrial designer
Tell us a joke.
What’s E.T. short for? He’s only got little legs! (I know. It’s terrible. Please don’t judge me!)