Senior Plant Engineer in Alexandria MN

Senior Plant Engineer
Job ID: 
Alexandria MN
Not Specified
Not Specified
Job Types:
Engineering Manager, Maintenance Manager, Plant Engineer

The vision of SunOpta is to be the most innovated, vertically integrated provider of organic ingredients and healthy food solutions.

Job Title: Senior Plant Engineer

FLSA Status (US): Exempt

Department: Engineering

Reports To: Plant Manager


This position is responsible for planning, overseeing, and coordinating activities with development, design, construction, and modification of equipment, production lines and facility. The mission of the Senior Plant Engineer is to support the growth of the business by leading and supporting certain, large ($1 million+) capital projects, analyzing systems and introducing ideas for innovation and improvement into our systems and processes to enhance our performance indicators. Key areas of responsibility include equipment reliability, sustainability and energy conservation, food safety and cost savings; process improvement and utility utilization.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provides reliability engineering expertise that supports our maintenance and reliability efforts and assures asset life at or beyond the standards.
  • Manages and owns the project and equipment capital plan and budget with final recommendations made to the plant manager on use of capital assets, equipment, modifications, and process improvements
  • Hands on Automation and Controls
  • Ensures required licenses and permits are obtained and maintained (air, water, fire, etc.)
  • Prepares bid sheets and contract specifications.
  • Tests newly installed equipment to ensure fulfillment of contract specifications.
  • Develops and owns our PSM program.
  • Manages wastewater system serving as a liaison with local authorities to ensure waste water discharge and BODs are within agreed upon limits
  • Collaborates with cross-functional groups including Production, Human Resources, Quality, Supply Chain, Warehouse, and Finance to meet production targets.
  • Develops, recommends, and implements measures to improve machines and plant equipment to maximize efficiency.
  • Oversees installation, modifications, quality control testing, operating procedure, and inspection processes adhering to engineering principles and safety regulations.
  • Models a strong sense of ownership and accountability. Shows flexibility and a "whatever it takes" attitude to get the job done right, including being on-call at nights and weekends as needed.
  • Responsible for ensuring work area is clean and organized.
  • Serves as a safety model, promoting a high level of safety awareness and continuous improvement in safety practices.
  • Ensures effective employee relations. Provides employee coaching and development. Resolves employee issues through problem resolution.
  • Follows engineering standards on sanitation design for Food safety and quality of food. Demonstrates a commitment to Quality.
  • Facilitates coordination between maintenance and operations in solving process issues.
  • Adheres to company GMP&##39;s (good manufacturing practices), safety procedures and all other quality processes.
  • Wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when required.
  • All other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Potential from 0 - 5 employees


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Bachelor&##39;s degree in a principle Engineering, Technology or related engineering discipline is required. Certified Professional Engineer is preferred.


  • 10+ years of engineering and maintenance experience in a production or manufacturing environment, food or processing industries required.
  • Automation and Controls experience
  • Experience with utilities; chiller systems; cooling towers; boilers; waste water, required.
  • Experience leading large projects ($1 million+)
  • Experience and knowledge of thermodynamics and mechanics required
  • Aseptic experience required (Tetra aseptic equipment a plus)
  • Prior experience required driving improvements in production facilities via sound engineering practices and capital deployment.
  • Experience in food or processing industries is required.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Exceptional mechanical skills and aptitude are required.
  • Knowledge of high speed fillers preferred.
  • Solid technical capability is needed.
  • Must possess excellent math skills and computer skills (experience with PC and PLC driven components is needed.)
  • Experience and demonstrated knowledge of thermodynamics and mechanics is required.
  • Knowledge of Lean Manufacturing practices is beneficial.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills are required.
  • Must have a working knowledge of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint software.
  • Prefer a candidate with SQF practical experience and training.
  • TPM or LEAN manufacturing experience is preferred.
  • Experience with utilities; chiller systems; cooling towers; boilers; waste water required.
  • Experience in thermodynamics and mechanics.
  • Aseptic experience/knowledge required (Tetra aseptic equipment a plus).

Travel Requirements:

10 % Travel is required

Work Environment/Physical Demands:

Approximately; 40 % of work is performed in an office environment. 60 % of work will involve being in the agricultural or manufacturing environment.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.



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