Macphie of Glenverbie Ltd: Careers case study

Paul McKnight, Research and Development Manager: "I love seeing products I've developed on shelf."

Qualification: BSc in Consumer Product Management - Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Q: What does an average day involve?

A: My role involves tackling a variety of technical challenges including new products, packaging and process development. I work alongside our pilot plant, bakers, chefs, marketing, quality and production colleagues.

Macphie has a number of collaborative projects with academic and research institutes, allowing us to ensure our research and development is up to date with cutting edge science.

Q: What was your career path to your job?

A: My passion for food began at an early age. I worked as a chef to pay my way through university. After completing university I worked in product development for a number of food companies before joining Macphie as a food technologist.

Whilst working at Macphie I have been able to develop my career within the company gaining new skills and food science expertise.

I now manage two research and development technologists.

Q: What is the best thing about your job?

A: I love seeing products I have developed on shelf. My proudest achievement has been developing our new DeviliShh range of desserts. It's great working in this fast-paced environment, creating the next generation of exciting food products, packaging and processes.

Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing this career?

A: Having attention to detail and a good understanding of chemistry will enable you to have a good idea about how you can enhance the products you produce.

It helps if you have a passion for food and trying as many new foods as you can. This will open your mind to new ideas and food combinations which will drive you to think up new and innovative creations. I would thoroughly recommend the food industry to anyone considering their career options.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time?

A: I see myself continuing to lead and direct the next generation of Macphie products and assisting with the growth and development of the company.

Q: Who is your ideal dinner date?

A: Heston Blumenthal, I imagine he is quite a character and would love to discuss some of the weird and wonderful combinations he has put together. I reckon it would be quite inspirational.

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Last reviewed: 15 Mar 2011