Principal Scientist, Food Materials Science

Req #: 1705840
Location: Reading, England UK
Other Locations:
Job Category: Research Development Quality
Job Description

Optimizing the way we deliver ingredients, flavour, and texture and well-being credentials is a critical aspect to delighting and bringing joy to our consumers and insuring the growth of our company. This role is part of a global Flavour and Materials Sciences research team within the Global Research and Nutrition Sciences organisation dedicated to establishing fundamental scientific understanding and discovering technologies that will enable breakthrough competitive and sustainable advantage for our categories and overall business.


The team has scientists based in East Hanover, USA, Reading, UK and Singapore. The role will report into the Associate Director Flavour and Materials Sciences team and will collaborate closely with colleagues in the other centralised global research teams (Lipids, Protein, Carbohydrates, Crop Science) as well as category teams (Biscuits, Chocolate, Chewing Gum/Candy, Powdered Beverages and Meals) to define the technical challenges and technical strategy that will deliver technology platforms in area of materials science research. 


The materials science research team undertakes a wide range of critical research platforms designed to deliver breakthrough technologies in areas of physical chemistry of particles/solids materials, soft matter research including emulsions, colloids and foams, as well as fundamental texture understanding including role of oral processing to link to preference and satiety.


The holder will be the Global Technical Leader for Materials Science Research tasked with setting strategy for the business, leading the execution of technical platforms to understand the full range of material properties, their interactions and how to manipulate/improve their functionality to enable discovery of technologies that can be reproduced and protected across a number of categories. The role will support the technical development of junior colleagues as well as develop and lead external collaborations.



Primary Accountabilities 

This role will satisfy a wide range of research interests in the area of physical chemistry and materials science, spanning multiple categories and food types, from polymeric gum bases to candies, biscuits, beverages and chocolate. In each case, the scope could vary from expert consultancy to leader of multi-million dollar new-to-the-world technology discovery and development:


  • Understand material/particle properties, interactions and mechanisms during formulation and processing to manipulate/improve functionality and structure build-up and stability in such a way that the growth strategy of Mondelēz International will be fulfilled and breakthroughs may be reproduced and protected.
  • Use technical expertise to identify, develop and create new business opportunities. Identify, define and solve complex business problems by applying broad technical knowledge as well as in-depth knowledge of technical specialty.
  • Act as a leader on complex projects and/or scientific activities by organizing, executing, and interpreting assignments that yield outstanding results and impact business goals.
  • Be the technical lead for project tracks in the area of materials sciences, more specifically, in the interactions of multi-functional solid materials/ particles. This would include their role in crystallization, structure build-up, texture and flow properties and solid state behavior. To develop new tools either, analytical or simulations for the advanced characterisation of solid material/particle surfaces and their interactions in complex, multi-component systems.
  • Maintain current knowledge of developments inside and outside the company that are pertinent to the job and activity efforts through continuous education and training.


  • Lead several projects or multiple project tracks with applications to multiple categories, globally. Projects focus on Mondelēz International priorities typically delivering significant savings/additional revenue and involve leading cross functional teams or supporting ambitious growth plans in developing markets. Contribute the assessment of project value.
  • Mentor and guide the work planning of junior team members and supervise the technical execution and quality of their day-to-day work.
  • Take new research ideas and research findings and communicate and ‘sell’ them to the organization for growth, quality or margin improvement.



  • Update and communicate progress and results to platform manager or other relevant stakeholders, effectively structuring and presenting status updates / proposals to influence partners or share with higher management.
  • Operate with a high degree of technical independence, working with limited management direction.
  • Build and manage internal relationships with peers and other technical specialists in R&D.
  • Deliver results and interpretation, draw conclusions with business relevant recommendations at review meetings, write technical memos, author technical reports and IDFs (where necessary).


External Collaboration

Maintain and create an external network with relevant suppliers and academics. Represent company in external organizations.

Closely monitor scientific developments within the field of expertise through e.g. involvement in external scientific institutions, government bodies & industry relevant committees.


  • Work to the highest standards of safety and quality by ensuring that appropriate COSHH, risk assessments and SOPs are read before starting work. Ensure training records and other required documents are accurate. Help maintain a clean, tidy and safe working environment.


  • Know the legal and compliance responsibilities of the position; raise questions and concerns when faced with, or you learn of, an ethical or compliance issue; apply integrity in all aspects of professional conduct.




Key Requirements:

  • Educated to degree level in a relevant scientific discipline (PhD preferred) or relevant experience 
  • Proven significant experience in Materials Science/Physical Chemistry with a proven track record of scientific/technical achievements relevant for the position.
  • Proven ability to lead projects at a senior level
  • Ability to work independently and problem solve with demonstrated idea and technical leadership skills.
  • Clear communication, written and verbal and proven track record of presenting research projects or other scientific data at seminars & other scientific symposia.
  • Scientific rationalisation of complex analytical data to providing practical technical solutions.    
  • Excellent organizational skills, including time management and priority setting.
  • Driven to work in a science driven organisation.
  • Strong networking, influencing & cross-selling skills, ability to develop commercial relationships.
  • High degree of autonomy.
  • Ability to apply scientific understanding to experiment planning (formulating hypothesis) and analysis of results (validation of results against hypothesis)
  • Fluent English (written and spoken)




  • PhD level qualification in relevant scientific discipline
  • Experience within an FMCG environment
  • Practical research experience in industry
  • Experience in molecular modelling techniques and application



We pride ourselves on having a high performing and collaborative culture where we offer support and development to enhance your career and develop your knowledge and skills.


In return for your commitment, drive and enthusiasm, we offer an attractive benefits package within a highly successful International business that offers financial rewards and resources, including bonus scheme, contributory pension, life assurance, generous holiday allowance and a flexible benefits programme.



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