Technical Innovation Engineer - Automation & Robotics


Chicago, US, 60654

At Barry Callebaut, we are on a journey to transform the cocoa and chocolate industry. As the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, our actions truly shape the future of our industry. We are a business-to-business company, serving the entire food sector, from the cocoa bean to the finest chocolate product. We are a company with a purpose, we believe in doing well by doing good and reinvesting in the communities we operate. We have a long-standing commitment to sustainability and our goal is to shape a sustainable cocoa and chocolate future. We are headquartered in Zurich, and have more than 12,000 passionate Employees working in more than 40 countries worldwide. We are very proud of who we are and what we do. And of course, we are always looking for talented people to help us have a positive impact on our industry and beyond!

About the role: 


Barry Callebaut is a global organization poised for growth; a company that has embraced the vision to delight its customers while out-performing its competitors, a business that is committed to sustainability, has innovation in its DNA, is a leader in complex manufacturing and supply chain solutions and is focused on being a best-in-class employer. Barry Callebaut seeks diverse and passionate people who thrive in a dynamic environment, focused on continuous learning, living BC’s Values, and of course, loving chocolate.

The Innovation Engineer is responsible for identifying and delivering transformative advancements that redefine the landscape of our industry.  Focused on enhancing efficiency, sustainability, and quality, the role is committed to pioneering new approaches, processes, and technologies that revolutionize how we produce and deliver chocolate, compound and cocoa-related products.

The Innovation Engineer reports to the Director Center of Expertise Technical Innovation in the CSD organization and collaborates closely with all levels of the organization to foster a culture of creativity, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Striving to develop and implement cutting-edge technology & solutions while acting as a change agent, the Innovation Engineer will foster a culture of innovation and improvement within our organization. The position requires a dynamic individual with a strong background in automation and robotics within the food manufacturing and packaging sector, with a proven track record of implementing innovative solutions, and the ability to lead cross-functional teams. The role is pivotal in developing and defining the future of Barry Callebaut’s factories, ensuring that Barry Callebaut meets the challenges of tomorrow and strengthens its position as the Heart & Engine of the Chocolate and Cocoa industry. 



Key responsibilities include: 

Cross-functional collaboration:

  • Collaborate with Process Excellence, Ci&TS, COE Digital, COE Assets, Engineering Execution, and Operations teams to identify areas for improvement and innovation in existing and new processes.  
  • Work closely with other departments to roll out pilot projects and support the eventual global rollout.
  • Foster a collaborative environment to encourage idea generation and cross-functional problem-solving.


Technology Assessment:

  • Lead efforts to identify, evaluate, and integrate new automation and robotic technologies relevant to process equipment design and manufacturing.
  • Establish and nurture strategic partnerships with external technology providers, research institutions, and industry experts.
  • Stay abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and competitive landscapes to identify opportunities for innovation.


Project Management:

  • Lead the planning and execution of innovation projects related to process and digital equipment, ensuring adherence to timelines and budgets.
  • Provide leadership and direction to cross-functional project teams, fostering a culture of accountability and excellence.
  • Define an innovation funnel process and manage the innovations portfolio, including stage gate reviews and approvals of key stakeholders.


Prototyping and Testing:

  • Direct the development and testing of prototypes for new process equipment and digital innovations, ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations.
  • Analyze results and iterate on designs to optimize performance and efficiency.


Risk Management:

  • Identify potential risks and challenges associated with new technologies or processes, and develop strategies to mitigate them.
  • Ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards in all innovation efforts.



  • Lead the development of automation and robotic solutions to further enhance Barry Callebaut’s efficiency and speed to market.
  • The role will serve as global lead of technical innovation, responsible for communicating, leading and supporting at all levels of the organization across all our operations.
  • Partner with region, business and functional leaders to introduce and leverage industry best practices.
  • Ensure full alignment on innovation and digital initiatives focusing on internal and external customer needs.
  • Cross-functional role, with connections to a large variety of internal and external stakeholders, ranging from engineering and innovation, over process development and manufacturing, to supply chain and digital.



About you:


  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or equivalent through experience
  • 10+ years of experience in designing, supporting and implementing automation and robotic solutions for the manufacturing sector 
  • 5+ years of experience in managing engineering-related projects
  • Food manufacturing experience a plus
  • Strong background in equipment, digital and process equipment design
  • Experience with GMP design of food factories 
  • Knowledgeable in MS Office Suite, SAP and engineering software
  • Affinity & interest in Industry 4.0 developments (e.g. MES, Smart Tech, Data mining, Google tools, …)
  • Strong leadership skills along with proven capability to deliver results and build high-performance teams 
  • Solid problem-solving and decision-making abilities with a data-driven approach 
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to effectively articulate technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders 
  • Drives results and delivers on commitments 
  • Strong ability to coach, develop and inspire team members 
  • Entrepreneurial, flexible, with a strong work ethic
  • Highly motivated to bring change to an organization and are passionate about innovation and new technologies.
  • Thrive in an international and multicultural environment.
  • Solution-oriented negotiator
  • Ability to create partnerships with Suppliers
  • Confident and assertive facilitator and presenter, able to influence and motivate stakeholders from multiple levels in an organization
  • English - advanced level
  • Travel requirements: 0 - 35% depending on the project cycle
  • Able to build relationships and contacts with suppliers and colleagues over different regions - high availability/flexibility (time zones) and ability to visit Barry Callebaut sites



What you can expect from Barry Callebaut:


  • Competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package
  • Paid time off, plus 12 paid holidays, plus your birthday off
  • Environment that welcomes workplace flexibility 
  • An atmosphere where diversity is embraced, and inclusivity is second nature. We call it #OneBC! Just ask our champions with the Americas Women’s Forum and the Racial Equality Forum!
  • Ability to grow personally and professionally within an organization that values development and internal career growth
  • Be part of our mission in making sustainability the norm through Forever Chocolate with priorities centered around prospering farmers, zero child labor, carbon and forest positive, and creating 100% sustainable ingredients in all of our products.  

At Barry Callebaut, we are committed to Diversity & Inclusion. United by our strong values, we thrive on the diversity of who we are, where we come from, what we’ve experienced and how we think. We are committed to nurturing an inclusive environment where people can truly be themselves, grow to their full potential and feel they belong. #oneBC - Diverse People, Sustainable Growth.

If you want to learn more about Barry Callebaut, please find further information here.

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Nearest Major Market: Chicago

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