Appetite for Engineering 2021 – Preliminary Conference Programme

‘Learning lessons and moving forward from 2020 by exploring the opportunities offered by technology and automation’

Our programme this year will build on themes developed over recent years and feedback received from our attendees. It will also take into account recent events that have fundamentally changed the way we work. We will provide delegates with a day’s learning set in three sessions – comprising of case studies and interactive panel debates – to give them the knowledge and contacts necessary to deliver success for their businesses.

8.15 Coffee and networking

9.00 Chairpersons welcome: Chris Buxton, CEO and director of the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA), sets the scene for the day. 

9.15 Keynote presentation: Ian Wright, CEO at the Food & Drink Federation


9.40 Nik Watson, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at The University of Nottingham, will talk about how in-process sensing and machine learning can provide cost-effective digital solution for food manufacturing and talks through the barriers and benefits to achieving Industry 4.0 for the sector.

10.05 Gavin Clafton, Global Technology Manager at Unilever, will discuss the organisation's future factory program and Industry 4.0 implementation plans.

10.30 Richard Morris of the Bury Black Pudding Company will talk about his Industry 4.0 journey so far, and from where he has received help and guidance. 

10.55 Coffee break and networking

11.20 Norman Skea, Senior Engineering Project Manager at Nestlé will argue that improving the business performance of CAPEX projects with greater speed, agility and tighter control of execution requires reliable data and information sharing with tighter governance.

11.45 Panel Debate – Automation

Bob Hinchliffe –  Food robotics and automation specialist
Ed Keenan – Head of Process at Integrated Food Projects 
Graham Thomas – Site engineering manager at Bright Blue Foods, Hull

12.30 Lunch and networking


1.45 Emma Piercy, Head of Climate Change at Food & Drink Federation (FDF) will highlight the importance of the food processing sector reducing its carbon footprint and will explain the role that the FDF is playing to help its members achieve this, in particular highlighting the role that the manufacturing process can play in a more sustainable food sector.

2.10 Chris Fielden Group Supply Chain Director at Innocent Drinks. Chris will talk about the company’s journey to zero carbon at its port of Rotterdam facility. The organisations first Zero carbon factory is due to go live in September.

2.35 Amelia CockranCoca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP). Amelia will be discussing the engineering challenges that come with a typical sustainability project, to help organisations meet their CSR requirements – she will focus on a project to move from plastic to a paper straws on drinks pouches.

3.00 coffee break and networking


3.15 Gary Wyles,  E3 Leadership Development. Gary will discuss the importance of developing our people and organisations in a way that allows us to have more impact on the future than the future has on us.

3.35 Chris Edwards, Head of Quality at Müller Dairy (Yogurts and Desserts) – Bridging the skills gap as technology advances at pace. 

3.55 Jonathan Bunting,  Mondelez  - An apprentices journey. Jonathan is now in his second year on the Food Engineering course at Lincoln University. He will talk about his journey so far in the food industry, why he chose to work in the sector, and will touch on some of the high’s and low’s experienced by engineering apprentices in the food sector.

4.10 Panel debate - Skills 

Gary Wyles of E3 Leadership Development
Chris Edwards of Müller Dairy
Emma McCloud, Research Fellow for Process Technology in the Global Research and Development team of Mondelez International 
Jonathan Bunting,  Mondelez  

4.50 Chairman’s summary and goodbye