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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 Keith Brewood CEng MIMechE - Chair

Total Food Holdings Limited

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.

William (Bill) Dickson CEng MIMechE CEnv - Vice Chair

Senior Manager, Energy and Utilities, Arla Foods

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.

Ed Koch CEng FIMechE - Vice Chair

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. 

Martyn Ralph - Vice Chair

Focused Consultancy Limited

Alec Anderson BSc (Hons)

Managing Director, Koolmill Systems Limited

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).

Farah N Bader

Saudi Goody Products Marketing Co Ltd

Nicole Ballantyne

Manufacturing Performance Redefined

Nick Belshaw

Chief Engineer, Cranswick Foods

Elliott Brown

Engineer, Element Digital Engineering

Derek Chapman MEng MIET

Design Office Supervisor, Hubbard Products Limited

Dr Maria Charalambides CEng FIMechE

Reader, Imperial College Administration

George Crombie

Engineering Director, Briggs of Burton Plc

Scott Davis

Willett Food Projects Ltd

Professor Judith Evans

Researcher - Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Food Refrigeration Operations,
London South Bank University

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.

Kati Gastrow

Procter and Gamble

Rania Harastani

Lecturer in Food Safety/Food Innovation, Greenwich University

Ian Hart FIMechE

Business Development Director, Adi Group

Dr Catarina Marques

Centre for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Research, London South Bank University

Lindsay Robertson

Honorary research fellow, School of Food and Advanced Tech, Massey

Michael Robinson

Project Engineer, Central Engineering, Warburtons Ltd

Abigail Rowden - Young Member

Graduate in Mechanical Engineering

Steve Rowe


Peter Slee-Smith CEng, MSc, MIMechE, MIET

DSEAR Business Manager, Dodman Ltd

Graeme Stephenson

Warburtons Ltd

Keith Thornhill

Head of Food & Beverage, UK & Ireland, Siemens plc

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.

Dr Stacie Tibos CEng FIMechE - Young Member

Associate Principal Engineer, Discovery & Disruption, PepsiCo International Limited, 

Daniel Wells

National Consultant Specialist UK & ROI, Spirax Sarco

David White CEng MIMechE CEnv

Senior Lecturer, Engineering Group, Harper Adams University College, Newport

Geoff Willett


David Williams CEng MIIMechE


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.

Get in touch

Have a question or would like to get involved?

Contact our Member Engagement Team

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