Food Process Engineer
Engineering for food quality and safety.
Food process engineers (FPEs) research and develop new and existing products and processes. They also design processing, handling, and packaging equipment. When they are hired as project engineers, they supervise the design, construction, installation, and start-up of processes. As plant engineers they keep factories running smoothly. Some FPEs manage or supervisor other workers, work in technical sales and service, act as specialized consultants, and market products.
Food process engineers work in food, chemical, biochemical, and pharmaceutical industries. Some work in government or educational institutions. FPEs work with processors, equipment suppliers, design and consulting firms, and ingredient suppliers.
Typically, engineers are curious about how things work. They enjoy solving problems. To be successful as a food process engineer, you must like math and science, especially chemistry and biology. The four-year FPE program includes calculus, chemistry, biology, physics, engineering science and design classes, and a sprinkling of liberal arts electives. In five years you can earn either a dual degree in biochemistry and food process engineering or a dual degree in pharmaceutical sciences and food process engineering.
In high school, develop as strong a background as possible in mathematics (especially calculus) and science (chemistry and biology). A basic understanding of computer programming would be beneficial, though not mandatory.
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