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Chemical Quality Engineer - Blacksburg, Virginia

United Pet Group
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  We are UPG Aquatic, a division of Spectrum Brands and one of the world's largest manufacturers of aquarium products with such brands as Tetra, Marineland and Instant Ocean, Jungle and Perfecto.

Position Summary:

Research and create formulations for potential new products, identify ingredient alternatives and procedures to meet the company’s needs for quality and innovative products. Quantify product efficacy claims as well as claims made against UPG’s aquatic product lines. Lead laboratory experiments and provide support to compounding and quality staff. Review current safety guidelines and insure compliance with applicable federal and state safety regulations. Train personnel, disseminate information and show compliance with all programs which protect the health and well-being of all associates of United Pet Group.

Essential Functions:

1. Provide leadership and guidance for laboratory, compounding, and quality assurance associates to maximize productivity and service. Develop, monitor and improve procedures for mixing, testing, and handling new or existing products. Assist personnel in Compounding, Laboratory, and Quality Assurance when new procedures are established.

2. As instructed, evaluate products made at this facility through physical testing procedures and determine their acceptability status. Test and evaluate products both in the laboratory and occasionally in the field. Review and make recommendations based on observations. Maintain laboratory and procure equipment and livestock used therein.

3. Organize and direct daily activities of Quality Assurance associates and lab techs on all shifts to support production schedules, ensuring established policies and procedures are followed.

4. Write, execute and manage validation protocols and the validation program. Recommend changes in or the establishment of new SOP’s as they relate to quality or validation issues.

5. Implement and maintain a product stability testing program to assure that products are viable for their stated shelf life.

6. Oversee, write, edit and approve investigations conducted as a result of manufacturing errors and/or consumer complaints; develop and manage defect resolution/investigation processes.

7. Coordinate with production management to maximize product reliability and minimize costs; provide for appropriate test and inspection activities throughout the production lines.

8. Oversee inspection and testing activities to ensure continuous control over materials, facilities, and products.

9. Determine standards for manufacturing defects; assist QA associates in resolving defects in manufacturing; and consult with manager and/or marketing staff when needed.

10. Serve as technical source for the company’s products and/or competitive products and accepted industry practices and techniques as required by other departments. As necessary or requested, develop ideas for changes in existing product formulations or for new products.

11. Find and acquire samples of ingredients, products and information which may have value for use in new, existing, or future products. Evaluate material to determine need for further consideration. Retain for future reference and/or act on results. Follow industry trends through available media. Determine the acceptable manufacturer, supplier, appearance, grade and quality of chemical raw materials in conjunction with Purchasing. Assure standards are met.

12. Evaluate significance of claims made against current products returned by customers/users. Report findings to Quality Assurance Manager and recommend course of action.

13. Establish aquatic product standards for the Quality Assurance testing and review them at least annually. Supply product information for answering possible questions as to hazards, efficiency and formulation of products for ensuring compliance with safety and regulatory agencies.

14. Determine the degree of product compromise when mistakes in compounding or product packaging occur. Determine product disposition with the quality assurance manager and make changes as recommended.

15. Supply information for and make changes in, and update as needed both ingredient and product Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

16. Work with associates in team effort to further company goals concerning productivity, safety, and quality.

Other Responsibilities:

1. Verify mix ingredients for Compounding or receipt of chemical raw materials when Quality Assurance is unavailable. Audit Compounding produced formulas (made for odd sizes) with the Quality Assurance Manager; ensure all are accounted for and destroyed after use.

2. Assist in the proper disposal of chemical waste.

3. Proof all aquatic formulations for accuracy in ingredients, amounts, and procedures and assure formulations in use are current. Maintain a historical file of formulations and destroy extra copies of outdated formulations.

4. Stop production lines if necessary, when a product quality issue arises which could jeopardize the integrity of a product.

5. Provide analysis of site quality metrics to the management team on a regular basis.

6. Perform other work related duties as assigned.

Critical Performance Criteria:

Product Quality - Immediate attention must be given to any known discrepancy in either the compounding or packaging techniques, procedures, and most importantly, finished product. This allows for recommendations to the quality manager, as to the extent of and/or solution to any problems.

Product Development - Feasibility of possible new product ideas or changes in existing products must be determined, small samples made or attained, and in-house testing done as rapidly as possible. This rapid potential determination allows other departments, such as Purchasing and Accounting, to get involved for a concerted effort to bring a product from idea to reality in a deliberate and timely fashion.

Product Return - Evaluation of claims, when requested by customer service, against a product must be made accurately and rapidly. Results are needed by other departments so any actions, replacement, and/or explanation, may be taken to maintain Jungle’s reputation and customer base.


Education, Experience and Skills Required:

1. Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related discipline is required. Three to five years experience in FDA-regulated industries is required; five or more years experience is preferred.

2. Supervisory experience is preferred.

3. In-depth knowledge of quality management systems and standards including Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Laboratory Practices, Process Validation and Statistical Process Control is required. Knowledge of AQL-based sampling, 5S, Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Process Improvement preferred.

4. Strong analytical problem solving skills such as Root Cause Analysis.

5. Able to perform laboratory analysis using HPLC, spectrometry, photometry, titration, hardness testing, and pH testing.

6. Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with all levels of personnel.

7. Able to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines.

8. Intermediate knowledge of MS Excel, Word, and Outlook required.

9. Ability to rapidly acquire knowledge of all chemicals used at this facility,, their characteristics, and what properties make them beneficial.

10. Ability to perform complex mathematical functions involving percentages, weights, volumes, and metric system conversions.

11. Familiar with governmental regulations and reporting requirements relative to chemical, pharmaceutical, or food production such as EPA, FDA and best practices.

12. Good written and verbal skills.

13. Previous knowledge or experience in various areas of the pet industry preferred but not required. A knowledgeable hobbyist can be substituted for pet industry experience.

14. Able to organize and prioritize work to meet deadlines; able to work independently.

15. Ability to supervise other employees in the QA department and laboratory as needed.

Applications are only accepted through our website. E-mailed resumes will not be considered for the position. No phone calls please!

To apply, please visit: http://unitedpetgroup.iapplicants.com
Primary Skills: Chemisty
Salary: Between TBD - TBD
Experience Required: Experienced, 3 years minimum
Clearance Level: none
Travel: 0 %

Other Details: Please visit our website to apply


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