Head of Engineering

Asahi UK

Company Description

Asahi UK (AUK), part of Asahi Europe & International Ltd, aims to enrich consumer experiences through innovation, high-quality service and an exceptional portfolio of premium beer, ale and cider brands including, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Asahi Super Dry, Meantime, Fuller’s London Pride and Cornish Orchards. Our aim is to be the leading super premium beer business in the UK, through a brand mix that creates a compelling proposition. At AUK we operate as an end to end business unit responsible for sales, marketing, customer operations, production, supply chain and wholesale operations in the UK & Ireland. For further information, visit

Asahi Europe & International is a subsidiary of Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, a global beverage and food company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Japan. Employing > 12,000 people, Asahi Europe & International is the custodian for leading super premium lager brands Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Grolsch, Asahi Super Dry, plus international Czech lager brands, Pilsner Urquell and Kozel. The business has world-class brewing and production facilities in 8 markets – UK, NL, ITL, PL, CZ, SK, HU, RO. In most of these markets, we are the leading brewer with full portfolio of famous brands. Commercial operations in other parts of Europe, USA, Canada, LatAm, Africa and Asia are served through our global distribution network. With state-of-the-art facilities, some of the best brewers in the world, quality ingredients, and a culture based on innovation and collaboration, Asahi offers the best quality of beer to beer lovers worldwide. More information can be found at

Job Description

We are looking for a UK Head of Engineering to join our Asahi UK Manufacturing team. The Head of Engineering will be responsible and accountable for delivering the engineering and maintenance strategy of Asahi UK (AUK) and for this to be delivered across all manufacturing sites across the AUK estate. Reporting to the Manufacturing Director, this role will be responsible for the leadership and management of engineering teams to ensure Asahi UK sites are operating efficiently and effectively to continue to produce its exceptional portfolio of premium brands.

As Head of Engineering, you will be working cross functionally to support teams in their efforts to drive quality, productivity, and end to end efficiencies, while upholding the mandatory technical standards of expected within Brewing, Quality and Packaging teams across the various sites.

Key accountabilities

The Head of Engineering is responsible for the following key outputs and accountabilities

Health & Safety

  • Implement the highest standards of Health, Safety and Environmental compliance at the site
  • Ensure that the team works to close out actions and issues identified through accidents, incidents, and near miss programme
  • Effectively identify and manage risks on the site escalating these to the AUK Operations risk management process.  Work to close out actions and manage risks
  • Actively promote a positive safety culture and maximise site personnel involvement in EHS ensuing visibility of targets, programmes, successes, and issues
  • Lead by example and coach on EHS risks and programmes
  • Promoting continuous improvement in line with business objectives to deliver the ISO45001 management system
  • Ensure that policies and procedures are implemented and understood through the teams

Engineering Strategy and Delivery

  • The creation and delivery of the engineering strategy, to be delivered and rolled out across AUK Manufacturing in line with the commercial objectives set by the business  
  • Set Engineering Goals and targets and oversee the manufacturing budgeting process
  • Improve profitability and performance by driving efficiencies and increasing standards through both continuous improvement and step change initiatives.
  • Deliver world class engineering standards across the functional landscape and drive for lean engineering processes / methodologies
  • Ensure that the team understand the strategy, their part in its achievement and the policy of maintaining & improving the individual quality & character of all products
  • Effective asset care management of the brewery plant, to ensure sustainable development of the manufacturing processes, economics of operation and safety to life and property
  • Ensures the technical development of the plant related to investments, manages all asset including machines and buildings, executes the machinery and electro maintenance for the plant and manages energy and water supplies
  • Responsible for the continuous improvement of utilities and water reduction

Continuous Improvement

  • Continuous utilities and water production regarding – unit costs of energy per hl produced, no downtime caused by the lack of utilities
  • Systems and processes for the utilities reduction (related training, reports, KPIs, audits, strategy etc.)
  • Assume responsibility for sustainable operational capability, safety, and effectiveness of technological and site assets during its life span
  • The process of planning and execution of the maintenance of the plant
  • Utilisation of external suppliers to deliver budget for planned maintenance, reliability of the equipment according to agreed standards
  • Development of a longer-term plan of investment and continuous improvement of KPIs


  • Effectively lead, manage, and coach the engineering function ensuring an integrated and collaborative approach in the implementation of business priorities
  • Partner effectively with broader teams to deliver wider business objectives, providing thought leadership and cross-functional consulting support as required
  • Manage the engineering team allocating people and resources to tasks in the most efficient and effective way
  • Provides Coaching, Mentoring and Change-Management support for Engineering function
  • Raise capability in the engineering function through deliberate and well-executed development programmes
  • Builds Engineering competency and capability across all UK sites
  • Actively supports talent management processes across all Engineering and Manufacturing areas
  • Regularly reviews performance of team members regularly against goals and operational reports with team and customers and develops & implements an action plan if any decline in performance occurs
  • Encourages, assists, supports, and coaches team members so that they are capable and competent to achieve and exceed team goals, required performance and future workplace challenges

Project Management

  • To lead and develop Capex projects to support in the delivery of the operational objectives of the business
  • Champion the sustainability strategic plans as outlined by the wider Asahi Europe and International business
  • Management of key Capital projects activities related to technical development at technical department in line with company strategy

Budget Management

  • Control Engineering budgets including management and ownership of Capex investment
  • Reduce utility costs through Continuous Improvement processes
  • Manages investment projects (and their suppliers) carried out on the plant premises
  • Manages cash-flow and ensure the expected results in time and in quality 


  • Ensure all legal requirements are always met, overseeing process control requirements
  • Establish and maintain governance protocols and management systems to ensure manufacturing legal compliance in all countries (Health and Safety, legal, environment, food safety)
  • Maintain Policies and procedures in support of the above

Travel and Misc.

  • Regular travel to all UK sites. These include but are not limited to: Griffin Brewery, Meantime Brewery, Cornish Orchards, Dark Star Brewery, Horndean depot and Woking and other sites that may be necessary in the execution of the function
  •  Any other duty as directed by management

Experience required

  • Demonstrable experience of leading an engineering function (ideally within a FMCG or manufacturing business), with a proven track record in strategic engineering leadership, delivering effective engineering strategies, policies, processes, and systems
  • Established experience in maintenance, utilities, project management and construction maintenance
  • Finance skills: cash-flow management, return on investment, fixed and variable costs nature, balance sheet, income statements
  • Experience with collaboration on investment projects
  • An understanding of manufacturing & engineering environments, systems, and governance
  • Knowledge of the broader manufacturing operations, how to drive efficiencies and collaborate with internal / external partners & customers
  • A good understanding of health and safety, especially relating to:
    • Steam generation
    • Compressed air generation
    • Refrigeration
  • Demonstrated ability to add value, reduce costs and make business improvements, drive efficiency, and increase quality
  • Proven project management experience having delivered Capex projects historically
  • Experience of operating and influencing at a strategic level, ideally having operated at a multi-site level
  • Knowledge in terms of our quality standards, health and safety and any external legalisation relevant to this department

Key attributes of the successful person

  • Understanding of how to achieve sustainable development objectives, reducing water and energy usage, decreasing waste, effluent management
  • Results orientation – a clear understanding of concepts such as profitability, value added and return on investment, and guide his or her work towards achieving concrete goals in this direction
  • The ability to make tough decisions and act in an organization during a period of change and possibly strong expansion.
  • Able to drive productivity / efficiency through strong communication, interpersonal, practical, and conceptual problem-solving abilities.
  • Able to translate business / commercial requirements into effective engineering practice & process
  • A passion for our products is a must


  • Educated to degree level (preferably Masters) in a relevant engineering discipline or equivalent NVQ Level 7 qualification
  • Fellow or Chartered Member of an industry related Professional Body

Additional Information

On offer is a competitive basic salary plus generous benefits package.

  • Bonus
  • Private Medical
  • Life Assurance
  • Pension
  • Annual beer allowance
  • 20% discount at the Griffin Brewery Store
  • 25 days holiday

Please no agencies.


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