An interesting part of my job is the fact that I get to combine chemistry with developing new food products and I get to work on chocolate and biscuits all day long.
I’m Robert, I’m an associate principal scientist at Mondelēz. Mondelēz are one of the biggest snacking and confectionery companies in the world. So my job is to build models where we are able to predict the reactions and interactions of the food chemicals in our foods products such as biscuits, chocolates or candies.
Minimum qualification for the role: Undergraduate science degree is essential. A postgraduate masters is recommended and a PhD will help you progress your career. Previous experience in roles such as an associate scientist, scientist and senior scientist before becoming an associate principal scientist.
Salary range: £50,000 to £60,000. A mid-to-senior role.
Teamwork is crucial to my day to day job. Any project I work on has to have a technical person, a modeller, which would be me, and a person doing measurements and all three are equally important and all the contributions are crucial to delivering a successful project.
So I definitely bring a lot of chemistry to my day-to-day work as well as some computing skills where I have to use quite state of the art software. Mondelēz being a global company means that I’m working on projects with teams based all around the world so it involves a lot of calls as well.
I’ve always been interested in chemistry since I was a boy and I find it fascinating that you can influence chemical reactions to get to different products including food items, so by understanding the chemical reactions and interactions you can influence, for example, the flavour or the texture of a food product.
Through my chemistry studies, I could work in a variety of different industries. I actually started out working in the pharmaceutical industry, developing medicines and then I moved into the food industry after that.
There are many rewarding careers in chemistry. Even industries that you wouldn’t think would employ or require a chemist. Even then by bringing a chemist’s point of view, you would bring a great contribution to the team.
I really love my job so in the future I see myself still working as a food chemist, helping to build even more models in the development of our products and working in food chemistry is the best thing I can do.
Want to find out more?
Look for local companies that offer work experience or work shadowing
Talk to your chemistry teacher and career adviser at school or watch science videos on YouTube
Explore your study options in chemistry
Read A day in the life of a laboratory manager at Mondelēz (2014) . This website lists roles in food chemistry so you can find out mroe about the qualifications that employers look for.
First published 2020