Research Technical Specialist

at Distell
Location Stellenbosch, South Africa
Date Posted Oct 23, 2020
Category Engineering / Technical Jobs
Job Type Full-time



Identify, research, analyse, scale-up, optimise and support implementation of new intrinsic raw materials, product matrices (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), processing and production in order to support new product- and business opportunities.


Key performance areas would include, but not limited to:

  • In depth, technical understanding of raw materials and interactions thereof, production processes and final product matrices towards new innovation opportunities.
  • Identify, research and drive value engineering opportunities to support efficiencies and reduce cost.
  • Trial, research, scale-up and implementation of new methods, new product-, base-, production- and processing solutions to influence and support business innovation strategies.
  • Early risk assessment via scale up and mitigation actions and actions finalised and implemented.
  • Scout, research and support implementation of new technologies as part of Distell’s Intrinsic Technology Roadmap.
  • Continuously research alcoholic (wine, cider, spirit, creams) and non-alcoholic product categories to influence business by producing breakthrough intrinsic prototypes.
  • Develop and follow standard operating procedures.   Adherence to company safety & risk guidelines and principles.
  • Preparation of research proposals, funding application and business case as well as presentation of content and results to senior management and relevant cross-functional, internal stakeholders.
  • Prepare and finalise Integrated Product Process Design charts for new and existing in view of technical research focus areas to proceed to implementation.  Support and attendance during commission and 1st production of new technologies/intrinsic processes/intrinsic matrix innovation.
  • Keeping up to date with new and relevant science and technical/technology developments.
  • Perform competitor product assessment to identify new opportunities, share intelligence in terms of business impact and mobilise relevant research related investigations.
  • Respond to Technical Research related queries and troubleshoot research problems as per timelines required.
  • Perform inventory management of Technical Research laboratory tools and supplies.
  • Skills transfer and training.
  • Participate on Technical Tasting Panel.


Minimum Qualification and Competencies

  • MSc Microbiology/Process Engineering/Chemical Engineering/Wine Biotechnology or related Technical Qualification
  • Minimum of 8-10 year’s working experience in related field (alcoholic beverage industry would be an advantage)
  • Good understanding of intrinsic production processes and FMCG value chain
  • Excellence in sensory acuity for technical, intrinsic assessments
  • Good understanding of Laboratory and Cellar practices (health & safety, 5S
  • Ability to work in a dynamic, high pressure environment (within a team and on individual level)
  • Adaptable, flexible and comfortable with change
  • Self-starter, self-motivated and determined to drive results and technical solutions
  • Ability to apply previous learnings and scientific principles to new situation and challenges
  • Drive own development to ensure specialist knowledge/skills remain world class
  • Logical and independent mind to drive independent decision making
  • Excellent planning and organising skills to drive actions and implement results
  • Creative, high levels of curiosity, passionate about novel and new thinking
  • Strong communicator (verbal and written) and good presentation skills
  • Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills to influence discussions, sell new ideas, make decisions and build positive working relationships with internal and external customers for business growth.
  • Excellent computer literacy (MS Office Suite, SAP, Project Planner/Management Tools, Laboratory Information Management System)
  • Ability and willingness to work flexible/overtime when necessary
  • Travel (National & International) as required
  • Valid Driver’s Licence (EB or B)
  • Have own, reliable transport
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