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South Dakota State University
Dairy and Food Science
South Dakota
Posted: 08/26/2021
Pilot Plant Research Technician – Davis Dairy Plant

The Dairy & Food Science Department at South Dakota State University is inviting applications for the position of Pilot Plant Research Technician. This position will be responsible for supporting processing and research activities at the Davis Dairy Plant, while working closely with students, researchers, and industry representatives. This is a 12 month, full-time, benefit-eligible position. This position is supervised by the Manager of the Davis Dairy Plant.

SDSU is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to offerings that address the experiences of underrepresented minorities in organizations. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.


This position will be expected to ensure proper execution of research projects within the overall schedule and operations of the Davis Dairy Plant. The Research Technician will be responsible for being a primary operator of research equipment and machines used in the Plant. Additionally, they will have responsibility for maintaining the proper function of such equipment and devices. Research supplies, including sampling devices, cleaning and quality supplies, and the overall supply inventory will be maintained by the Research Technician on a regular basis. This position will work with hourly student employees to execute research projects in the Plant and to plan work accordingly so that Sponsor objectives are achieved.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Dairy Manufacturing, Food Science, Microbiology, or a closely related field by start date;
  • At least one year of experience in operation of common dairy and food processing equipment, including pasteurizers, membrane filtration systems, evaporators, cheesemaking equipment, and spray dryers;
  • Demonstrates a level of mechanical aptitude that will allow for proper operation and troubleshooting of equipment;
  • Effective written communication skills;
  • Effective verbal communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Valid driver’s license or ability to obtain within 30 days of hire.


· Research experience in food and dairy products processing;

· Experience in the production of safe and quality food products;

· Inventory maintenance experience.


Commensurate with qualifications.


South Dakota State University offers a wide range of benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave. Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


SDSU offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity, and excellence through continuous improvement.

The Dairy and Food Science Department includes undergraduate and graduate programs in dairy production, dairy manufacturing, and food science, with 10 full-time faculty members and approximately 85 undergraduate students. Facilities in the Dairy and Food Science Department include the Dairy Research and Training Facility, with housing for 140 head of lactating cows in a modern free-stall barn and parallel parlor, as well as the Davis Dairy Plant, a state of the art dairy processing plant located on campus. Details of the department can be found at:

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of the university is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

SDSU was recognized as one of 54 institutions in the United States as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in 2014. The university’s total research expenditures are greater than $60 million. SDSU is the state’s first High Research Activity institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

Brookings is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. rates Brookings as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals, and retirees. It considers Brookings among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota.

The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grade, one middle school and a high school.

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center, and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by September 16, 2021.


SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, visit:, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, resume, and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process.

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment.

It is the policy of the University to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students. This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14.

For questions on the position, contact Steve Beckman at (605) 688-5480 or

South Dakota State University is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing SDSU prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, gender, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected class in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities. Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact: Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007. Phone: (605) 688-4128.