Research & Development Chicago, Illinois Council Bluffs, Iowa


Position at Swift Prepared Foods


Job Title:  R&D Sr. Director

Location: Council Bluffs, IA or Chicago, IL



Our Mission:

To be THE BEST in all we do.  We are completely focused on our business, ensuring the BEST products and services to our customers, a relationship of trust with our suppliers and profitability for our shareholders.  All this, we do to provide an opportunity for a better future for all of our TEAM MEMBERS.



Scope Of Position:

R&D Sr. Director role will be responsible for identifying opportunities for Swift Prepared Foods as it relates to optimal product design, process flow, new equipment needs, productivity and improved manufacturing efficiency in the bacon, RTE bacon, and cold cuts categories. Projects will be heavily focused on lunchmeat and bacon formula and process development, food safety & quality improvement, process optimization and cost optimization.


ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following; other duties may be assigned

  • Works with cross-functional team members to flawless implement new formulations, manufacturing processes and commissioning of new equipment and manufacturing lines
  • Design & execute small scale and large scale plant tests
  • Creates and manages product specifications, Manufacturing SOP’s, & HACCP updates
  • Mentor and Develop Jr. and Sr. Scientists around best R&D/Quality practices and optimal industry processes
  • Maintains accurate and complete records and R&D test reports
  • Utilizes a working knowledge of plant processes and facilities
  • Provides onsite monitoring and technical assistance to operations when testing/manufacturing new products. (Train the managers, supervisors and operators)
  • Leads commercialization of product changes and implementation of new items and processes.
  • Work closely with Engineering/Business Development and Operations to implement CapEx intensive projects.
  • Partner with Quality, Operations, Category Management (Marketing/Sales) to identify the growth and productivity pipelines
  • Identify and lead projects to drive revenue and margin growth for the organization




Demonstrated technical competence

Demonstrated motivation and creative problem solving skills

Ability to interact with others in manufacturing, lab and office environment

Must be motivated self starter that can partner with the business to identify projects and drive KPI achievement


Work Environment/Physical Demands

Mostly meat manufacturing plant locations




Pro-active self-starter, willing to accept responsibility for completion of business tasks. Must be a driven individual that can take ownership of projects and R&D responsibilities and complete all the relevant tasks required for the job with minimal oversight.

  • Excellent collaboration and organizational skills
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize
  • Must be able to work closely with many departments including Sales, Regulatory, R&D, Quality, Marketing, Purchasing, and Production.
  • Must be able to work in a food manufacturing environment and be able to flawless transition products and processes from R&D to operations
  • Clear, concise written and oral communication skills required with attention to detail and accuracy
  • Computer skills that include Word, Excel, PowerPoint


Experience/Work History:

  • Reliable work history, punctuality, and dependability
  • Bachelor’s degree in meat science/food science or equivalent with 15 years of industry experience or Graduate degree with 12+ years of experience. Or significant relevant industry experience.
  • Extensive background in food product development
  • Strong working knowledge of food safety, food chemistry and food processing
  • Cold Cuts and Bacon development experience is a must and poultry development is preferred
  • Significant Project Management experience


Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • None at this time, but may add direct reports in the future



50-75% - Plant locations and some vendor/equipment suppliers