Careers you never knew existed - Pet Product Technologist
Sometimes combining your passion and interests with your skills and experience can lead to the most unexpected of places. Meet our graduates whose education and experience have lead them to careers they love – and jobs we’d all love to have.
Pet Product Technologist
Have you ever watched a pet food commercial and wondered how they know their product tastes better, lasts longer, or gives your pet that all-important shine on their coat?
Believe it or not, this isn’t just marketing spin. It is all thanks to the careful research of Pet Product Technologists. From coming up with concepts, developing prototypes, conducting trials and formulating the final product, Pet Product Technologists are involved in every part of the process.
You could be like
Keiran Taylor, Product Technologist at Nestle Purina, one of the world’s largest pet food producers and manufacturer of brands such as Lucky Dog, Friskies, Fancy Feast and Purina One.
This is your perfect job if
You enjoy applying a methodical approach to your work, have an eye for design, can work as part of a team, and love to learn.
What is a typical day?
A day as a Pet Product Technologist can be quite varied, but at the same time is very methodical. Keiran is in the unique position of having been a Product Development Engineer for appliance giants Electrolux before moving to Nestle Purina.
‘A typical day there involved generating timelines and costs, creating 3D and 2D design, creating and reviewing specifications, testing prototypes, and working with colleagues in all other departments of the business to get new products delivered on time, to cost and to specification.
‘While the product is completely different at Nestle Purina, the methodologies used to develop new products is similar. In some ways, I have effectively traded CAD for formulations, prototypes for trials, and appliances for pet food.’
What’s the best part of the job?
‘Seeing it out in the public domain, at the retailers and in advertising is quite surreal.’
How do you get there?
While a background in research, science and marketing can help with aspects of the product development process, Keiran’s qualifications in industrial design perfectly positioned him for his career.
'The best way to describe the course is to say that it wasn't the usual academic patter of lectures, tutes and exams.
‘Rather, we had studios, labs and workshops where we were treated as if we worked for a design consultancy, and the course staff were very tough clients. We were ultimately expected to be proficient in all aspects of the new product development process, from market research to final tooling. We were hands on at every step of the process. We simply learnt to design new products by designing new products.’
Advice from those who have been there before
‘If you have your heart set on designing a particular product or working for a particular company but nothing is forthcoming, be open minded to working in other areas of the industry.
That first foot in the door will teach you plenty and help you get to where you ultimately want to be.
Bachelor of Industrial Design, University of Canberra (2007)
Keiran Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Industrial Design in 2007. He currently works as a Product Technologist at Nestle Purina, one of the world’s largest pet food producers and manufacturer of brands such as Lucky Dog, Friskies, Fancy Feast and Purina One.
You can connect with Keiran via LinkedIn.