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Unilever Process Category Engineer in Chicago, Illinois

Background & Purpose of the Job

The Category Engineer position based in the Chicago - Kilbourn Factory, will manage the end to end delivery of the condiment’s category technology projects for Hellmann’s and Sir Kensington’s.  This includes direct capital project management of innovation and technology changes at Kilbourn and third-party factories.  Provides support and expertise to the day to day and reliability activities at the factory and runs trials at the factory for all pack and process changes.  Reports to Category Engineering Manager, Condiments.

Here is a preview of our Unilever, Hellman’s Mayonnaise plant:

Who You Are & What You'll Do

Organized and detail oriented to deliver projects respective safety, product quality, project timing, and cost. You will be a great partner to the on-site factory team and the off-site business category team. The Category Engineer for Kilbourn takes a leadership role over the portfolio of category projects and trials coming to Kilbourn, and they act as the factory representative to external teams (R&D, brand, procurement, suppliers, etc.), with an opportunity to expand the role to 3PM’s.

  • You're a born leader: Leads technology, capital, innovation, capacity, and value improvement projects for the dressings category. Responsible for providing estimates, options assessment, plant trials, and technical support for these projects. Carries out tasks related to project assessment, plant trials, technical support and implementation with minimum supervision. Ensures compliance with Unilever Hygiene, equipment and safety standards, specifications, and best practices. This includes formulation/process/equipment evaluations, industrial trials, preliminary engineering, project cost controls, timeline, establishment of commissioning plan, plant/equipment commissioning, production startup.

  • You're a change maker: Participates in establishing company-wide best practices and standards for technology changes and commissioning.  Technical resource to the category engineering team for new products and re-stages (innovation and renovation).  Contributes to the technology improvements for the category for processing and packaging equipment. Develops and manages checkout, testing, and start-up protocol for the commissioning of equipment, packaging lines and control systems.

  • You're a dot connector: Participates in cross-plant improvement teams. Develop strong partnership with plant manufacturing, corporate engineering and union workforce. Team member for innovation, larger restructuring, or supply chain strategic investments. Collaborate with other manufacturing engineers and category engineers in establishing best practices.  Interface directly with R&D, marketing, innovation, and supply chain planning teams to drive on-time delivery of innovation and savings projects.

  • You're a culture and change champion: Bringing new Ways of Working to the Engineering community in our continued pursuit of the lowest installed cost, while living our core values (Unilever Sustainable Living Plan)

  • You love to win, and have fun doing it: On Time In Full (OTIF) end to end delivery of assigned capital and innovation projects (typical value €0.1m - 2 Million) adhering to Unilever standards and ensuring safety as our number 1 priority.

What You'll Need to Succeed:


  • Education: BS in Chemical, Mechanical, Industrial Engineering or equivalent technical degree.

  • Experience: 3+ Years of Engineering in FMCG / foods / related Industry or gained in an engineering consultancy environment

  • Project Management, maintenance, R&D, and/or continuous improvement experience in a manufacturing environment.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; along with the ability to negotiate.


  • First-hand experience delivering or leading start-up for major capital projects ($1+ million) within Unilever or similar FMCG environment

  • Experience: 5+ Years of Project Engineering in FMCG / foods / related Industry or gained in an engineering consultancy environment

  • Experience in World Class Manufacturing (WCM), Six Sigma (Green or Black Belt), Lean manufacturing, and/or Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a plus

  • Experience working in a Research and Development team is a plus

What We Can Offer You

Culture for Growth | Top Notch Employee Health & Well Being Benefits | Every Voice Matters | Global Reach | Life at Unilever | Careers with Purpose | World Class Career Development Programs | Check Out Our Space | Focus On Sustainability


Unilever is an organization committed to diversity and inclusion to drive our business results and create a better future every day for our diverse employees, global consumers, partners, and communities. We believe a diverse workforce allows us to match our growth ambitions and drive inclusion across the business. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.  For more information, please see Equal Employment Opportunity Posters

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Persons with Disabilities

Employment is subject to verification of pre-screening tests, which may include drug screening, background check, credit check and DMV check.


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