Position Purpose & Summary

As a Continuous Improvement (CI) team member within Engineering and Data Sciences you will have the opportunity to partner with Cargill businesses in reaching their business and operational goals. Furthermore, your contributions will serve to grow the CI culture within Cargill and will have an impact on the professional development of those you work with.

The Senior Continuous Improvement Engineer is responsible for leading problem-solving projects that are priorities for the Cargill businesses that we serve. We accomplish this by partnering with cross-functional leadership and team members toward meeting their goals through the application of Lean Six Sigma continuous improvement (CI) methodologies. Our service spans a variety of Cargill businesses and functions and will require you to interact with all levels of the organization.

We strive to provide a unique and complementary expertise to the clients that we serve. In your role, you will be given the opportunity to manage CI projects to address some of the most significant project challenges faced in Cargill, ranging from the highly ambiguous to formidably complex. The nature of our projects is extremely fluid and requires self-motivated individuals who are willing to develop solutions on their own and in collaboration with a team of highly skilled professionals.

Our CI team is energized to work with CI practitioners throughout Cargill to advance and strengthen the CI culture. In this role, you’ll be expected to coach, mentor, and train continuous improvement team members and co-workers on a range of skills (tactical to strategic). As a valued member of a non-embedded CI team, you will be in a unique position to discover and spread best practices relating to continuous improvement across Cargill.

Primary location for this role is Plymouth, MN, USA; additional locations in USA may be considered.

Principal Accountabilities

70% – Lead problem-solving projects that are challenging (highly ambiguous to formidably complex)

  • Lead identified improvement efforts through all stages of the six sigma process (DMAIC, Lean, DMADV, etc.)
  • Research, identify, and conceptualize process and system improvements
  • Provide leadership, guidance & coaching to people involved in the projects
  • Promote the broad application of continuous improvement tools (ex. Six Sigma tools and methodology to improve process capability and eliminate defects, and Lean Manufacturing tools and principles to eliminate waste and improve flow resulting in cost reduction and capacity expansion for our manufacturing facilities)
  • Apply statistical methods and perform mathematical calculations
  • Identify barriers to project success and solicit help from project sponsors and champions as needed
  • Discover best practices relating to continuous improvement
  • Deliver sustainable results

10% – Grow and strengthen Cargill’s Continuous Improvement (CI) culture

  • Facilitate CI training sessions (corporate- and business-level)
  • Mentor Yellow, Green and Black Belt candidates across Cargill
  • Spread best practices relating to continuous improvement across Cargill

10% – Build and maintain strong client relationships

  • Build and maintain trust with clients
  • Utilize ongoing client discussions to define projects and services
  • Work directly with clients to develop solutions and resolve issues

10% – Develop yourself and others

  • Embrace the journey toward discovering your personal brand
  • Choose and take on stretch assignments
  • Identify, communicate and support development opportunities for your peers

Minimum Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Science related field
  • Minimum 5 years of post-degree work experience in a manufacturing and/or process development environment
  • Execution of lean six sigma improvement project(s) using DMAIC methodology
  • Demonstrated aptitude to use advanced statistical software
  • Experience training or mentoring others
  • Willingness and availability for 50% travel

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree (Master’s, PhD) in Engineering or Science related field or MBA
  • 7 years of post-degree work experience in a manufacturing and/or process development environment
  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) OR Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) pursuing a Black Belt; with certification from a professional organization (ex. ASQ) most preferred
  • Able to conduct business in Spanish or Portuguese
  • Experience managing Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) process improvement projects
  • Demonstrated skill using advanced statistical software (Minitab, JMP or SIMCA/Umetrics)
  • Experience training and mentoring Lean Six Sigma Green Belt candidates
  • Demonstrated proficiency of facilitation skills and techniques

Other relevant information to the position

Success Factors:

  • Passion for problem-solving and continuous improvement
  • Emphasis on collective success over individual success
  • Demand for continuous personal and professional development
  • Demonstrated safety leadership
  • Ability to simplify the complex
  • Comfortable charting path forward in uncertain and ambiguous situations


  • Ability to develop strong teams, client relationships, and new business
  • Ability to influence change in a positive spirit of cooperation and collaboration
  • Ability to create an atmosphere that encourages the expression of ideas and opinions
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills (including listening and presentation skills)
  • Creative problem-solving ability and a consultancy mindset
  • Understand business processes and systems impact


  • Successful candidates who do not already possess external certification as a CSSBB will be supported to do so by a collaborative team of Black Belts
  • Our CI engineers are mentored and supported in their assignments to achieve top customer service as well as deepening the skills of our team
  • Our CI engineers are provided the opportunity to interact with senior management, as well as the opportunity to enhance their skills in the area of technical competency, business development, client service and people development

Working Environment:

Work is generally performed in a normal work environment; however the job may take the CI Engineer into manufacturing environments where there is possible exposure to noise, chemical solutions, dust and temperatures above 80 degrees F.

This position is posted internally as well as externally.

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