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Academic Hourly – Pilot Plant Technician

FSHN Pilot Processing Plant, Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Be a part of our story. WE TRANSFORM LIVES.  Everything we do is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders in a way that empowers them to expand the boundaries of science to higher levels or understanding and influence.

The Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) and Food Science & Human Nutrition (FSHN-PPP) are leading the way in food and bioprocessing research, teaching, and scale-up activities. Our facilities include over 50,000 sq. ft. of recently constructed and modernized pilot plant, laboratory, and collaborative space filled with over $15M in pilot-scale processing equipment. Our clients range from start-up businesses to Fortune 500 companies in addition to our work supporting major federal research grants, traditional classes, and continuing education opportunities for industry. We are continually adding new capabilities to our program and are excited to build upon our excellent staff.

This academic hourly opportunity is a temporary/intermittent position that will be paid hourly on a bi-weekly basis. This position is expected to require 20-40 hours per week and will require occasional night and weekend work to support program needs.

Authorization to work in the United States is required.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.


Primary Position Function:

The Academic Hourly – Pilot Plant Technician will perform pilot-scale food and bioprocessing research and technical work in the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) or FSHN-PPP. Primary responsibilities will include preparation and completion of research and testing projects, assisting with providing technical and safety training for users of the facility, and writing reports for completed projects.


Major Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Setup and prepare equipment and materials for upcoming research projects. Ensure safe functionality of equipment and all necessary materials are available per project scope. (20%)
  • Complete research projects through operation and observation of equipment, consulting with project team members to make process adjustments and modifications as required. This position will require occasional night and weekend work to support projects that require continuous operation. (40%)
  • Consolidate data and write reports of research findings. Organize, package, and prepare final samples for shipment as required. (20%)
  • Provide expertise to faculty, students, and outside users of the IBRL facility to ensure safe and successful use of facility equipment. Provide technical trainings in equipment operation and research methodology/data analysis. (20%)


Required Education:

Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, Biology, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Technical Systems Management, Food Science, or closely related field.


Required Experience:

1-3 years of experience working in a food, bioprocessing, biology, chemistry, or grain analysis laboratory. Functional knowledge of utility systems, hand & power tools, chemical handling, and research methodology required.

Preferred Experience:

1-3 years of experience working with pilot or production-scale food, bioprocessing, or grain-handling equipment.