Optimization Engineer


Elwood, IL, US, 60421

Job Description

The Optimization Engineer will be responsible for driving site level continuous improvement (CI) tools application, implementing assigned/targeted CI initiatives, and managing projects. The candidate will champion initiatives to resolve critical processes and technological related issues.  The person in this role will have knowledge of efficiency and effectiveness tools, the ability to perform problem analysis at both a strategic and functional level, and experience managing cross-functional teams and projects.

•    Identify, develop, and execute improvement projects in the areas of plant productivity, product quality, EHS performance, reliability, and profitability (Cost-Out) aligned with the site priorities and Optimization Engineering Team’s portfolio.
•    Lead cross-function teams focused on process improvement and optimization and manage the development of short-term/long-term initiatives, schedule, budget, and implementation.
•    Develop Engineering Requests for CapEx implementation of aligned improvement projects including process design input, justification, and implementation.
•    Participate in the capital project design and review process on key projects with a focus on maximizing process capability, product quality and process uptime.
•    Identify projects to improve process performance and equipment reliability by identifying and correcting root cause of chronic problems and special causes.
•    Support and promote CI initiatives throughout the site including implementation of a Management Operating System (MOS) and Production Loss Accounting System (PLAS) process and provide coaching and facilitation to area leaders and employees to ensure adoption.
•    Collect and analyze KPI, process, and quality data to drive project selection, optimization, and implementation.
•    Support strategic quality initiatives through analysis of production practices and monitoring of quality process and standards compliance within the production environment.
•    Work cross-functionally with Accounting, Finance, and others to ensure alignment on project value benefits. Validate project analysis and Cost-Out results calculations are accurate and deliver stated benefits.
•    Participate and maintain compliance related activities including internal and external audits for applicable standards and certifications such as ISO 9001:2015, EFfCI, FSSC 22000, Kosher, Halal, RSPO, ISCC+ and others.


•    Minimum of 5 years of experience is required.
•    Have working knowledge of lab practices, manufacturing practices, continuous improvement, and process optimization. 
•    Experience managing projects and cross-functional teams within chemical and/or manufacturing environments.
•    Experience with Kaizen, RCFA, SPC, VSM, LPA, DMAIC, 5 Why, FMEA preferred.


•    Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering or Engineering is required.



Stepan Company does not accept or retain unsolicited resumes or phone calls and/or respond to them or to any third party representing job seekers.

Established in 1932, Stepan Company is a major manufacturer of basic and intermediate chemicals including surfactants, polymers, as well as specialty ingredients that go into consumer, household, and institutional products such as laundry detergents, shampoos, and surface cleaners. Stepan Company currently has 22 global manufacturing locations and over 2,500 employees. We have a strong record of growth. Our growth allows us to provide meaningful career opportunities and stability to our team members. We have big goals at Stepan and know every team member will be crucial to achieving our objectives. Regardless of function, we are looking for team members who bring with them a growth mindset, an entrepreneurial spirit, and the ability to thrive in an evolving environment.


We celebrate diversity at Stepan and are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive environment. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, disability, age, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.





Stepan is a global specialty and intermediate chemical manufacturer that has been serving a broad range of industries for over 90 years. Today, Stepan is a $2.7 billion revenue company. Our continued success is driven by the passion and commitment of our 2,500+ employees around the world.

Why Work At Stepan?

  1. Stable & Growing
  2. Collaborative Environment
  3. Make a Difference & Be Recognized
  4. Committed to Safety & Sustainability
  5. Value Driven Culture

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Nearest Major Market: Chicago