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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. 

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).

Derek Chapman MEng MIET

Design Office Supervisor, Hubbard Products Limited

Dr Maria Charalambides CEng FIMechE

Reader, Imperial College Administration

Professor David Evans

Professor of Material Culture, Markets and Consumption, University of Bristol

David's research focuses on the sociology and geographies of consumption, material culture and commodity chains with particular interests in food, sustainability and responsibility. 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.

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.

Ian Hart FIMechE

Business Development Director, Adi Group

Dr Mike Inkson C.Eng, FEI Ph.D

CEO, Sugar Knowledge International Limited

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.

Dr Catarina Marques

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

Abigail Rowden - Young Member

Graduate in Mechanical Engineering

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, 

David White CEng MIMechE CEnv

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

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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