R&D Technical Manager Operations

Date: 2 Jun 2023

Location: Co. Kilkenny,, KK, IE, R95 E064

Company: Glanbia






R&D Technical Manager Operations

Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny


About Tirlán

Tirlán, formerly known as Glanbia Ireland, is a world-class food and nutrition co-operative, with a diverse portfolio of quality ingredients, leading consumer and agri brands.

A talented team of over 2,100 people manage Tirlán’s network of 11 production facilities and 52 agri retail outlets serving its communities with annual revenues of over €3 billion expected in 2022. Tirlán’s state-of-the-art headquarters in Kilkenny city and innovation centre in Ballyragget promote innovation, creativity and collaboration. Tirlán is committed to sustainability throughout the organisation through its comprehensive Living Proof programme, and the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) contained within it. For more information visit www.tirlan.com


Role Profile

Reporting to the Head of R&D Technical Operations, this position requires an experienced Scientist, Product or Process engineer with an in-depth knowledge of Spray Drying, Evaporation, UHT treatment, and food processing equipment. Good people and project management skills essential. Decision-making skills, excellent scientific knowledge, and experience in scale up from bench to pilot plant and into commercial scale also required. This individual must have the ability to work across all levels of the business whilst maximising the pilot plant utilisation. Must be willing to conduct the trials and be hands on.

This role will provide in-depth technical knowledge and direction within the pilot plant optimisation plan. Working as a team lead and reporting to key internal and external stakeholders the role will have responsibility to manage resources and deliver key project milestones. The role will liaise with all departments of the Tirlán business and externally to scout for pilot plant utilisation opportunities. This person will need to work closely with the pilot plant team to support daily operational activities. The NPD teams and New Platform teams will rely on this person’s technical knowledge to design new trial processes within the pilot plant and advise on process capabilities.


Key Responsibilities

  • Ramp up pilot plant utilisation by initiating pilot trials that add value to the business through NPD, value-add or by supporting the Operations team with process efficiency improvement projects;
  • Development of an efficiency plan for all equipment within the pilot plant that is measured routinely including uptime, throughput, and preventative maintenance opportunities;
  • Provide in-depth technical direction to the pilot plant team, R&D team and wider Tirlán community;
  • Learn all equipment operationally and train the wider R&D team on equipment usage that will lead to developing the capability across the group;
  • Technical project management ability to design, implement and provide feedback from projects arising from the Technical, Innovation and other forums;
  • Support a culture of zero harm within the Tirlán Research and Innovation Centre by engaging with management, H&S and all end users of the facility with a focus on continuous improvement;
  • Compilation of project updates and presentation on progress to the business on a regular basis;
  • Keep technically abreast of relevant developments in the field to identify new opportunities;
  • Work with Technical, Operations, commercial and QA teams to ensure seamless transfer of products to scale up and commercialisation;
  • Develop a ‘capability library’ of all equipment within the Research and Innovation centre that can be used to showcase the facility to potential revenue sources or customers;
  • Support wider business COVI opportunities and contribute to R&D COVI mandated target;
  • Consistently demonstrating Tirlán values whilst embracing a coaching culture.
  • Support desired pilot plant accreditation;
  • Part of the team’s responsibility will be to manage services across the Tirlán Research and Innovation Centre building.


Key Requirements

  • A Food Science, Science or Engineering qualification with experience in the dairy or food sector essential (PhD or master’s qualifications would be an advantage).
  • Total of 10+ years relevant industrial experience in some or all the following areas:
    • Spray drying;
    • Evaporation;
    • UHT treatments;
    • Dairy food processing capabilities.
  • Experience of product and process commercialisation from lab to pilot plant onto commercial scale and management of associated internal and external activities;
  • Experience launching consumer or ingredient products to the market;
  • Scientific team lead and people mentoring experience required;
  • Ability working as part of wider team;
  • Project and stakeholder management;
  • Delivery of projects with challenging budgets and timelines;
  • Management of third-party collaborations;
  • Desire and passion to increase utilisation of the Pilot Plant and maximising revenue to the Tirlán business.


If you are interested in this position, please apply with an up-to-date resume.


Join our Talent Pool

Considering a new career in Tirlán but this isn’t the role for you?! Then why not register your experience & sign up for career opportunities at www.tirlan.com/careers.


Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
Tirlán embraces diversity, equal opportunity and inclusion. We are committed to building diverse teams where different perspectives drive innovation and growth. We strive to create an inclusive workplace where people can bring their true self to work and achieve their full potential.

At Tirlán, we celebrate diversity, because we know that our individual strengths make us stronger together. We welcome and encourage interest from a wide variety of candidates, and we will give your application consideration, without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender perception or identity, national origin, age, marital status, or disability status. 

At Tirlán our culture will celebrate individuality, knowing that together we are more.

Tirlán owns leading consumer and agri brands such as Avonmore, Kilmeaden Cheese, Millac, Solmiko, Truly Grass Fed, Premier Milk, Wexford, mymilkman.ie and GAIN Animal Nutrition. 


About us:

The farmer-owned co-operative has a first-class track record of success in the global market. Rooted in a rich heritage of family farming and embedded in its communities, Tirlán has evolved to bring the passion of its farmers and their high-quality milk and grains to the international marketplace. Using modern-day technology and applying the best processes to its milk pool of three billion litres and its premium grains portfolio, Tirlán now exports to more than 80 countries.  Its award-winning brands are household names in Ireland, and include Ireland’s number one consumer dairy brand, Avonmore.

The organisation draws on a wealth of experience to deliver exceptional products and tailored nutritional solutions including Kilmeaden, Wexford, Truly Grass Fed, Solmiko, CheddMax and GAIN. Tirlán has a strong market presence in the UK, France, Germany, UAE, the US, North Africa, Japan and China.

Tirlán is a Values Based Organisation - www.tirlan.com