R&D Tech Services Scientist/Engineer

Cyrus O'Leary's Pies

Tarboro, NC


Working for Sara Lee:

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery became a stand-alone company in 2018 when it was purchased by Kohlberg and Company (private equity) from Tyson Foods. We have the feel of start-up in many ways, though we are an established brand with a strong customer and consumer base. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, continually seek process improvements and a strong sense of customer service, then this is the right type of environment for you. 

Our vision is to be the world’s most beloved bakery by creating irresistible foods, growing with our customers, and delivering value for all. We believe that each of us has unique points of difference and experience to offer. We believe that there is always a better way, and we will never be satisfied with status quo. We believe simplicity enables speed. We believe in integrity above all. We live for food, and we “wow” consumers and customers through collaboration and innovation. 



The R&D Technical Services Scientist/Engineer will be responsible for the execution of new product introductions, modifications, and improvements; establishing detailed critical attributes for process controls that deliver the defined product.  This entails closely working with internal and external plant members, R&D developers/scientists, innovation teams, and in some instances, customers. This role proactively leads specific commercialization value creation initiatives that directly impact the speed to market or cost competitiveness of our products as well as ensuring their long-term success at the bakery.    

The R&D Technical Services Scientist/Engineer will be heavily engaged in the CQV process, partnering with R&D Scientists in establishment of initial specifications through defining or proving capability of unit operations as well as capabilities and limits of process/line. Additionally, he/she will be on point in identifying challenges during commissioning and leading process validation to ensure continued success at the bakery level.  Working closely with the other technical team members, this role will drive collaboration in trouble shooting product/process issues actively teaching structured problem-solving techniques, complete product/process data collection and analysis, and facilitate the hand off of projects from development to production operations in the commercialization process. This individual is critical in the establishment and execution of processing specifications. 


Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • As a member of the innovation team, work with R&D to ensure engagement with the marketing, project management, technical and finance team member is harmonized to support new product introduction, reformulations, and any supply chain improvement projects.
  • Partner with R&D scientists to execute trial formulas and formula changes as well as developing and establishing specifications and center lining the current production processes.
  • Act as a liaison with the bakery for all new product introductions to ensure alignment of the bakery.
  • Ensure bakery team leaders are informed of product projects, their objectives, requirements and timelines in a time sensitive fashion. 
  • Coordinate new product introduction and change management projects.
  • Ensure that trial coordination and prework to ensure successful plant trial execution.
  • Coordinate formula alignment between Optiva (Product Lifecycle Management System) and NetSuite (ERP system) while ensuring the supply chain master data is accurate and updated.
  • Coordinate communications on trials (Plan, Brief, Execution, Debrief) project sponsor is fully engaged, supportive and clear on project plans, resources and deliverable status. 
  • Enable a culture of motivation, coaching and development of diverse, high performing and highly engaged teams to meet established goals and build organizational capability. 
  • Other duties as assigned.


The position responsibilities outlined above are not to be construed as all encompassing.   Other duties and responsibilities may be required and/or assigned as necessary.

Knowledge and Skill Requirement:

  • Technical degree or in Food Science, Process Engineering, Manufacturing, or related field preferred
  • Experience in bakery production, bakery QA, or food manufacturing highly recommended
  • Minimum of 5 years work experience in a manufacturing environment
  • Skilled in working cross functionally and communicating effectively across multiple levels within the organization
  • Must have strong organizational and team leadership skills.
  • Able to effectively work with cross functional departments within the organization.
  • Excellent problem-solving and data analysis skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong computer skills with experience using Word, Excel, Access, Power Point. 
  • Experience in Manufacturing and PLM Systems 

Physical Requirements: 

  • Must be able to wear personal protective equipment while performing job. (i.e. safety glasses, ear plugs, bump cap, hair net, steel toe rubber boots, autoclave gloves, goggles).
  • May be required to work in hot or cold environments with varying noise levels
  • Must be able to constantly stand, walk, bend, push or pull for duration of shift, which may last up to 12 hours.
  • Must be able to support flexible production schedules, at time supporting shift coverage or specific trial schedules. 
  • May be required to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • May work in Production or Warehouse storage areas
  • May be required to climb ladders/stairs


Travel: Approximate 0-10% travel required and ability to safely and effectively walk the facilities and grounds.

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.