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Applications Development Specialist - Industrial Starch

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Date: 04-Jul-2019

Location: Decatur, IL, US

Company: Tate & Lyle


Business Unit/Function

Primary Products / Industrial Starch


June 2019


Decatur, Illinois 




Reports to (Title)

Technical Service Manager, Industrial Starch

Manager One Removed (Title)

SVP Industrial Starch

Key Relationships

Customers (Technical/ R&D, engineering, manufacturing, management, and procurement), Tate & Lyle Sales, Technical/R&D, Manufacturing/Engineering, Suppliers, and External Technical Partners



The Applications Development Specialist is responsible for assessing customer needs and providing technical solutions in support of the Industrial Starch product line to maximize value creation. This will be accomplished by building strong relationships with customers and understanding their processes and technologies to provide enhanced solutions.  This position will include customer technical support, applications development, and new product development projects.  This position requires <20% travel.


About us:


Love food? So do we. In fact, we pride ourselves on being food people. For more than 150 years, we’ve been driven by our passion to create food that people love. No matter your role or expertise, you’ll be helping us make food extraordinary across the globe to improve lives for generations. Join us and experience what it’s like to work with people who are passionate about food and strive for the extraordinary.


Tate & Lyle is a leading supplier of Industrial Ingredients to customers throughout areas such as paper, adhesives, building materials, and many other specialty applications. We work in partnership with our customers, to understand each unique process and application, then bring together our expert resources to formulate and develop the right solutions. This collaborative and comprehensive approach is how we’ve become one of the world’s leading industrial starch companies. The Applications Development Specialist is a critical role within the Industrial team. Customer focused, innovative, collaborative, results oriented individuals in this role directly contribute to the achievements of the product line and the strong reputation Tate & Lyle holds among the industry.  This role is responsible for supporting growth of Tate & Lyle ingredients by driving development and innovative formulation within industrial market segments.




  • Drives customer needs assessments with cross-functional team to identify technical needs or opportunities.  Develops and deliver appropriate data and technical information for sharing with the customer.  Supports customer interactions through deep category expertise and ingredient performance knowledge.  Ensures solutions are customer-relevant and clearly communicate value to customers.
  • Represents the team during technical customer interactions, establishing and building relationships with customer contacts, gathering key feedback and input in order to respond to customer needs with appropriate timeliness and with the most effective solution.
  • Supports new business development opportunities by providing product or technology feasibility, market information, risk assessments, and performance insights.  Understands established and competitive technologies, ingredients, and solutions to ensure shared commercial success.  Creates compelling value propositions.
  • Leverages T&L capabilities and broad-range of products and expertise to explore and develop solutions.  Clearly demonstrate and document the value of working with T&L and the solutions provided.  Recognizes the issues that must be resolved and can be innovative on multiple solutions paths to drive to a mutually beneficial solution.
  • Effectively questions and explores concepts, sources and information to better understand customer needs and how to apply solutions.  Partners with T&L sales colleagues and the customer to explore and identify the most mutually viable solution that meets the customer’s needs.  Adapts and delivers compelling value propositions to expand sales and drive value.
  • Plan, Organize, Conduct, and Support customer trials, lab work, and technical projects to support and fulfil commercial strategies, including technical reports and data analysis; coordinating with customers and field teams as needed.  Clearly and logically plans projects, designs and performs experiments that are consistent with best practice research methods.  Develop and perform lab analyses.
  • Provide thorough written documentation of projects and methods/training documents.  Develops and communicates compelling technical insights to secure customer commitment to engage in new solutions.
  • Develops a broad industry network, identifies and builds key relationships both internally and externally who are critical to solving customer needs.  Advocates the sharing of insights and technical knowledge with cross-functional stakeholders to drive continuous improvement and share the voice of the customer.
  • Accountable for delivering to the high level of standards and quality set within T&L and expected by our customers and partners.
  • Travel required to cover customers across North America in applications from paper (printing and writing, packaging, tissue, etc.), adhesives, building materials, and many specialty applications.  Estimate travel at <20%.



  • Safety engagement
  • Industrial Product Line Target Contribution Margin – Overall target as well as specific supported customer margin growth
  • Industrial Product Line Value Creation Portfolio Projects Execution (Contribution Margin)
  • Customer feedback and engagement
  • Ability to navigate and understand customer processes and provide solutions
  • Ability to perform acceptably in the lab – assessment




Customer/Market Driven – Understands and anticipates customer/market aims, needs, processes and success measures, to better develop and position solutions that have real impact. Actively seeks feedback and uses market insights to deliver customer value at every stage of the research, development and delivery process. 

Commercial Savvy -- Combines insights on technical expertise, the external environment and our customers business with a deep understanding of Tate & Lyle to drive commercially astute business decisions consistent with our strategic objectives.

Technical Solution Development – Plays a critical role in developing and applying a strong technical understanding of T&L products and solutions, partnering with customers in the development and problem solving processes.  Thinks creatively, analytically, and holistically, employing innate curiosity to explore problems and generate impactful solutions.

Research and Process Effectiveness -- Leverages internal processes and systems to execute work in a manner that meets scientific and professional standards; carries out rigorous and high-quality research that elevates Tate & Lyle’s brand as a world-class solutions provider.

Collaboration and Influence -- Seeks out colleagues, customers and external partners to create more effective solutions. Operates across the matrix and integrates work across functional and geographical boundaries, to increase shared learning, speed to market and financial impact. Acts as an advisor, both internally to drive the direction of Tate & Lyle and externally to inform thinking and action when solving complex problems. Leverages a deep understanding of stakeholders, partners and customers to influence and collaborate effectively.

Results Focused -- Takes accountability for delivering world class solutions. Pro-actively takes ownership and shows initiative in leading and contributing to high-quality and timely work.


BS or higher in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Polymer Science, Materials Science, or related field



Experience in technical service, applications development, product development, materials science, solution formulation, manufacturing, or process engineering  



Knowledge specific to the position:


  • Knowledge and experience in the Starch Industry preferred
    • Carbhydrate chemistry, polymer science, etc.
  • Knowledge in application fields where starches are or could be used
  • Paper coating experience and knowledge preferred.


Skills (Key technical/functional skills required):

  • Product or materials formulation and development
  • Strong analytical thought and lab/bench development skills
  • Test method development and execution
  • Computational and Engineering Math
  • Problem Solving
  • Project planning
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to comfortably communicate with all levels of internal and external organizations
    • Technical and Business writing
  • Curiosity, open-mindedness
  • Data analysis
  • Development and research processes
  • Microsoft – Word, Excel, PowerPoint





  • Safety
  • Integrity
  • Respect


  • Partnership- We work together as one global team to deliver for our customers.
  • Agility-We have the courage to act quickly and allow others to experiment and learn.
  • Execution-We deliver long term results, balancing today’s needs with tomorrow’s possibilities.


  • Comply with all environmental standards, procedures and work instructions at all times
  • Report any environmental violations or near misses in order to prevent any impact upon the local environment, its inhabitants and Tate & Lyle
  • Adhere to the safety policies, procedures and site rules
  • Fully participate in the safety programme, including reporting any incidents (or near misses) and participating in audits
  • Demonstrate understanding of the STOP Work Authority and be able to apply in any unsafe situation
  • Working knowledge and application of Tate and Lyle Life Saving Principles in day to day job
  • Participate in at least one emergency drill
  • Complete all required EHS facility trainings


Nearest Major Market: Decatur