Food and Drink Engineering Committee

The Food and Drink Engineering Committee (FDEC) covers the entire food and drink supply chain from producer to consumer, with particular concern for the engineering related aspects, but also the economic, social, environmental and political contexts within which the sector functions.



What we do

  • Hold committee meetings at least three times a year for networking, programme planning and output review, policy formulation and continued professional development
  • Organise talks, lectures, seminars and conferences on a range of technical and societal topics relating to the food and drink sector
  • Assist the Public Affairs Team in formulating and developing Institution policy positions on national and international issues relevant to the food and drink sector
  • Author food and drink sector thought leadership reports on behalf of the Institution and participate in both public and industry focussed debates, discussions and conferences organised by other bodies
  • Provide input to national government and international body (such as the UN) consultations and inquiries into food and drink sector related topics and represent the Institution on relevant advisory groups, boards and committees as appropriate
  • Provide Institution input into the development of industry standards, codes, protocols and best practice guidance documents
  • Undertake special projects both nationally and internationally that raise public and industry awareness of the role of engineers in the food and drink sector and have impact in helping meet the major 21st Century societal challenges of population growth, urbanisation, demographic change, resource depletion and environmental risks, such as climate change and ecological degradation
  • Work closely with our colleagues on the equivalent relevant committees and groups in other engineering and non-engineering institutions.

Our objectives

  • Provide the Institution’s focal point for the food and drink sector
  • Promote and support Institution members in their professional food and drink sector related activities
  • Raise public, industry and government awareness of the benefits of professional engineering and the societal contribution of engineers working in the food and drink sector
  • Encourage adequately informed consideration of the food and drink engineering aspects in matters of public, industrial and legislative interest
  • Liaise with other food and drink engineering organisations and related technical and scientific organisations on professional matters and topics of public and sector concern
  • Support the development of relevant curricula at all levels of education and training, including continuing professional development, in food and drink engineering
  • Promote, encourage and support excellence in food and drink engineering

Committee members

Dr Tim Fox CEng FIMechE FRSA ​- Chair

Independent consultant and expert on clean energy and sustainable food systems

Tim Fox is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at Exeter University. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of both IMechE and Royal Society of Arts.

Tim has a wide range of research, engineering and commercial experience gained across many industrial sectors, including energy, chemical processing and transport. He has worked in commercial enterprises, government agencies and educational institutions in the UK, Australia, Canada and The Netherlands.

Tim sits on the IMechE’s Process Industries Division Board, with responsibility for the Division’s India Technical Centre. 

William (Bill) Dickson CEng MIMechE CEnv - Vice Chair

Energy and Utility Manager, Dairy Co-operative Arla Foods

Bill's role involves developing and driving the energy reduction strategy for the business and supporting 63 manufacturing sites globally with their utility and waste water requirements.

Bill is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and Chartered Environmentalist.  Bill has a wide range of experience of energy, utility and process projects from the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Bill has previously served on the IMeche's Pharmaceutical Committee.

Alec Anderson BSc (Hons)


Alec is a pioneering visionary engineer and innovator.

He is the inventor of a radical disruptive cereal processing technology, Koolmill which will l transform an antiquate global industry that feeds 3.5 billion people daily. Koolmill addresses 16 sustainable development goals by minimising post-harvest loss, moving the rice industry to a more sustainable future.

With three UK innovation awards, Alec was runner up at the AGInnovation Showcase (USA-2016). In China, Alec, designated as a national expert, is on the Global Foreign Expert Recruitment Program and was the only UK recipient of the West Lake Friendship Award for Foreign Experts (2010).

Koolmill competed with supercar brand McLaren to win the UKTI Sponsored GREAT British Product Award in Beijing (2014).

Dr Keith H Brewood CEng MIMechE MIFST MIFT MIMH

Senior Lecturer & Researcher in Food Manufacturing Operations and Food Engineering, National Centre for Food Manufacturing, University of Lincoln.

Keith Brewood is a specialist consultant to the food industry.

Keith is a Chartered Engineer and also a Member of the Institute of Food Science & Technology and a professional member of the Institute of Food Technology. Keith has a wide knowledge of the Food Industry gained from designing and building food factories worldwide to product and process development bringing new products to market. Keith has operated and managed food businesses at a senior level in technical, operational, commercial, marketing and CEO capacities.

Keith is a founding member of the British Contract Manufacturers & Packers Association.

David Michael Evans BSc Econ, MSc Econ, PhD, FRGS, FRSA

Professorial Fellow and Deputy Director, Sheffield Food Futures Research Centre, University of Sheffield

David's research focuses on the sociology and geographies of consumption, material culture and commodity chains with particular interests in food, sustainabilty and responsiblity. He is currently working on two Economic and Social Research Council funded projects. The first explores the significance of ‘freshness’ in the UK and Portuguese agro-food sectors; the second considers innovative approaches to policy and interventions in household kitchen practices.

David is the author of 'Food Waste: Home Consumption, Material Culture and Everyday Life' Bloomsbury, 2014 and together with Hugh Campbell and Anne Murcott, 'Waste Matters: New Perspectives on Food and Society' Wiley Blackwell 2013.

Judith Evans

Professor, London South Bank University (LSBU) and Director of Refrigeration Developments and Testing (RD&T)

Judith has 30 years’ experience of working on food refrigeration operations throughout the food cold chain. Her main areas of interest are related to efficiency and energy reduction as well as design and performance of refrigeration equipment. More recently she has become involved in large scale energy storage using liquid air.

Judith is President of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) Commission C2 on Food Science and Engineering, Vce President of the CaRe (careers in refrigeration) working party and the cold chain in warmer climates working party. She is the UK's Institute of Refrigeration representative to the IIR and also an editor of the Journal of Food Engineering.

Dr Mike Inkson C.Eng, Ph.D, M.I.Chem.E, F.I.E

CEO of Sugar Knowledge International Ltd and Thermal Energy Systems

Mike Inkson originally trained as chemical engineer, but like all engineers has melded into a multi-disciplined engineer and manager.

He joined Tate and Lyle in 1972 after gaining his PhD at Manchester [UMIST] and worked for the group for 20 years, initially in the UK and then in Southern Africa and Florida.  He then joined Sugar Knowledge International Ltd (SKIL), a project management and engineering company, on returning to the UK.  He is currently CEO of both SKIL and Thermal Energy Systems, a specialist sugar industry boiler company.

Mike encourages engineering education and has been Adjunct Professor at Louisiana State University.

Ed Koch CEng FIMechE

Managing Director, ValuPoint Ltd

A global supply chain director with 22 years' experience in operations and implementing multi-site lean programs in the CPG and beverage sectors.

Ed worked at Unilever for 9-years in various operations roles before joining SABMiller as Plant Manager for the largest soft drinks facility in Africa. He subsequently held roles in capital projects, product development and as global operational excellence lead for SABMiller's 200+ facilities. When AB InBev acquired SABMiller in 2016, Ed joined the integration team to establish the new global supply function.

Ed holds a degree in mechanical engineering, an MSc in lean operations management, and has completed the PMI Project Management professional certification. 

Pat Maughan

Managing Director, Hubbard Products Limited

Pat Maughan is a member of the Daikin Group. Hubbard provide plant and equipment for cooling and heating in a number of industry sectors including food and drink, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy and storage.

Prior to joining Hubbard, Pat held executive engineering functions in the automotive assembly industry.

He has been a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Food and Drink Engineering Committee since 2015.

Keith Thornhill

Business Manager UK & Ireland – Food & Beverage, Siemens Digital Factory

Keith Thornhill is Head of Food and Beverage Automation for Siemens Digital Factory Division.

He started his career completing an apprenticeship with British Rail Engineering Ltd in Crewe and entered the automation industry in 1986. After key business manager roles. Keith joined Siemens in 2001 as a Business Development Manager in the Siemens Motion Control group and latterly as Siemens Food and Beverage Business Manager identifying the productivity, efficiency and production flexibility benefits that automation technology and the digital enterprise will deliver to the food and beverage sector

He is the Chairman of Industry Advisory Board for the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering.

David White CEng, CEnv, FIAgrE, MIMechE, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Engineering Teaching Duties, Harper Adams University

David Williams, CEng., MIIMechE, MIAgrE, EurAg Eng, MBIAC

Intel Development

After graduating in Agricultural Engineering (Design) David worked in product design and development of agricultural and construction machinery. He then managed installation and maintenance of crop storage facilities.  This led to assignments in 25 countries.

David is currently with Reading Agricultural Consultants working with insurers and litigators in cases involving both agricultural machinery and crop stores

His observations of the impacts of inadequate crop storage led him to originate the IMechE report “Global Food, Waste Not, Want Not” published in 2013.




Prizes and awards

The Committee provides nominations to the Process Industries Division's prizes and awards.

Useful information

Get in touch

Have a question or would like to get involved?

Contact our Governance and Engagement Team:

shutterstock_403209727 300

Want to stay up to date?

Sign up to newsletters

Receive news and events information from your favourite industry sectors by email.


Log in to My Account to update your preferences.