PepsiCo (2013- present), United Biscuits (2011-2013), Alton Towers (2008), Driving School GB (2007-2008)
Snacks Process Development Engineer, for Europe and South Africa
PepsiCo (Research and Development) aka Walkers Snack Foods
I design tasty new snack foods like crisps and crackers; I look at what ingredients, recipes and machines we need to make them in a big factory!
I like to understand how the the ingredients in our favourite foods, along with the process we use to create them, come together to make a fantastic snack or meal we enjoy to eat. I do this at home in the kitchen, but am fortunate enough to do this for my job too. I develop baked snacks and work out how to make them on a huge scale; 1000 kg per hour of tasty crackers…yes please!
In my spare time I love getting into the outdoors. I go rock climbing, mountain biking here in the UK and I go snowboarding, SCUBA diving or site-seeing on holiday. I live with my fiancée Emma and our cat Harvie.
My Typical Day: I work in an office with a team of people from across Europe, but regularly do fun practical work in a factory too.
My work is so varied so here’s a list of things I’ll do each week or month:
Project meetings with the team to discuss what to do and how
Technical meetings to talk about the science and engineering
Eating crisps…yes, I get paid to do this!
Training and courses to learn about food engineering and the equipment we use
Analysing data and information using cool computer programs
Writing reports and recommendations
Doing experiments and testing at our research facility
Solving problems when equipment goes wrong…and it often does!
Practical work in the factory ‘scaling up’ or manufacturing our snacks
Travelling around the world – we’re a global company!
What I'd do with the money
I would build a mini demonstration display about making snack foods to inspire students to study science or engineering and work in the food industry.
I’d like to show you not just how to make food, but why. And you can help out with what you’ve learnt in school or in the kitchen. This is where you can apply science and engineering to food which is really interesting, exciting and important…since we eat it! Also, it can lead to a fantastic and varied career to earn you money…but not everyone knows it, especially throughout school years, so you’re missing out on something ace.
I would build an interactive display that demonstrates an aspect of food engineering so you can understand it too. How do you make a Monster Munch that shape, that tasty and the same in every bag? Is it cheap, environmentally friendly and good for you? Or if not, how do we make it like that? I’ll try and show you…
Lots of people at PepsiCo do work with students so they could use this when visiting schools to promote the industry and engineering. We could also use it at work when we have visits from local schools or work experience placement students.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Energetic snack muncher!
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Seeing a new snack that I developed on the supermarket shelves! nom nom nom
What did you want to be after you left school?
An engineer of course, but I also wanted to be a paramedic or join the RAF
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Everyone gets in to trouble, its part of growing up, but yes, one time I set fire to my text book when I knocked over a Bunsen burner. Oops!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A skiing and snowboarding instructor, because I love the mountains and snow
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I love classic and alternative rock in general, but Muse are my favourite by far
What's your favourite food?
Cheese and biscuits, because the combinations are endless…suggestions please…
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Climbing a huge mountain in the Swiss Alps called the Rimpfischhorn. It is 4,200 meters high!