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Brewing Process Engineer Job Description
The brewing process engineer provides technical support to the brewery. They are usually involved in the setup process of a brewery, helping to design and install the components necessary for beer production. They also provide ongoing support during the beer making process to ensure all technical aspects of the production line are operating correctly.
To perform this role, a brewing process engineer must have an in-depth knowledge of the beer making process and the machinery used on the production line. The brewing process engineer is typically the first point of contact when a technical problem occurs in a brewery. A person in this role may work in a single department or oversee all aspects of the production line in a brewery.
Brewing Process Engineer Responsibilities
Because there are so many technical elements in the modern brewing process, the brewing process engineer has a wide range of responsibilities.
- Develop, design and integrate new brewing technologies into the production line
The brewing process engineer will be required to design and implement new technologies for the production line. Not only will they modify existing production lines, they may be involved in designing all aspects of the production line from the ground up.
- Repairing technical problems
If a problem occurs on the production line they must be able to identify and repair it quickly. The brewing process manager must be able to recognise how much the production line is impacted by an instance of equipment failure and adjust the production timeline to match the change.
- Ensure all projects are managed on time and on budget
All technical changes must be completed to a specific budget and timeline. The brewing process engineer is responsible for ensuring timeline compliance.
- Balance delivery time with process quality
Sometimes decisions must be made about when it is appropriate to make changes to the production line. The brewing process engineer will weigh up the time cost versus the improvement in process quality and determine which changes are crucial.
- Prioritise workload to ensure maximum business effectiveness
There are usually many potential upgrades and repairs available on a brewery production line. The brewing process engineer will identify which tasks are most important and will least affect the production line’s output.
- Achieve department goals
Working in conjunction with department heads, the brewing process engineer will develop strategies to achieve production goals and to reach KPI targets.
- Be the liaison for department heads
When department heads have a technical concern, they will approach the brewing process engineer for answers. When departments are audited for performance, the brewing process engineer must determine how performance can be improved.
- Lead improvement initiatives
Modern breweries are expected to continually improve their production processes. The brewing process engineer is one of the key staff members who drive improvement initiatives. They will design and assess technological improvements to determine if they will help the brewery
- Manage projects within the brewery
The brewing process engineer will be running a number of projects within the brewery and managing the staff who are assisting on those projects. A project may be as simple as replacing a component on the production line or as advanced as helping to design a new bottling facility.
- Ensure compliance with the brewery’s standards
There will be a number of rules and regulations regarding workplace safety and budgetary spending. The brewing process engineer must ensure his work complies with those policies.
- Meet with equipment and material suppliers
A very important part of the job, the brewing process engineer will frequently meet with suppliers and make purchase orders.
- Ensure expenditure is efficient
The brewing process engineer must work to ensure the brewery gets the most “bang for their buck” and the money spent on additions to the brewery results in greatly improved productivity.
- Help create standard operation procedures
Because they help install the technology that the brewery uses, the brewing process engineer must also help develop standard operating procedures for that technology. They may also be required to create training manuals to help staff learn how machinery should be operated.
Because this job is so technically demanding, most brewing process engineers have advanced college degrees. Typically they will have:
- A college degree in electrical engineering or process engineering is ideal. Some brewing process engineers may have a degree in chemistry, food production, mechanics or another field within engineering.
- A Diploma Master Brewer qualification from the Institute of Brewing
- Training or experience using electrical systems including programmable logic controllers, automation systems, control systems, variable frequency drives etc.
- Ideally, they will also have some form of business qualification
- Six Sigma training
To be a brewing process engineer you must have a great deal of experience in the brewing industry — ideally more than 5-years. Ideally, the brewing process engineer should also have a work history that demonstrates the following:
- Project management experience
- Experience managing technical aspects of the production process
- Work experience that demonstrates high-level familiarity with mechanical and electrical assets
- Experience working within a brewery
- Experience sharing technical knowledge with staff and management
- Experience designing and implementing technology on a production line
The brewing process engineer has a wide skill set, including advanced technical, computer and interpersonal skills.
- Computer skills including the use of project management software, spreadsheets and presentation software
- Skills working with refrigeration, boilers, steam, and HVAC systems
- Strong organisational skills and time management skills
- Very strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- Proven negotiating and leadership skills with an ability to inspire workers
- Excellent communication skills and technical writing skills
- PLC programming, electrical and instrumentation skills
- Strong project management skills
- Production planning skills
- Results orientated with strong attention to detail
- Ability to improve and refine technical aspects of the production line
- Brewing process design and project Implementation skills
Looking for a Brewing Process Engineer role? View our latest roles in the beer and brewing industry.
What is the main responsibility of a brewing process engineer?
The primary responsibility of a brewing process engineer is to provide technical support throughout the brewing process. This includes designing and integrating new technologies into the production line, addressing technical issues, and ensuring process improvements are on time and on budget.
How does a brewing process engineer support the ongoing production process?
A brewing process engineer supports the ongoing production process by managing technical problems that arise, overseeing project implementations, and coordinating closely with department heads to maintain production efficiency and meet departmental goals.
What type of educational background is required for a brewing process engineer?
A brewing process engineer typically requires an advanced college degree in a relevant engineering field such as electrical or process engineering. Additional qualifications can include a Diploma Master Brewer from the Institute of Brewing and training in electrical systems and Six Sigma.
What work experience is necessary for a brewing process engineer?
Essential work experience for a brewing process engineer includes a minimum of five years in the brewing industry, with expertise in managing the technical side of production processes and experience with mechanical and electrical systems in a brewery setting.
What are the key skills needed for a brewing process engineer?
Key skills for a brewing process engineer include proficiency in computer applications, knowledge of refrigeration and HVAC systems, strong organizational and analytical abilities, leadership, excellent communication, PLC programming, project management, and a results-oriented focus on production process improvement.