Associate Director – Engineering & Operations
Jeff Canavan has been a member of the Rutgers community since enrolling as an Industrial Engineering student in 1988. In his role as Associate Director, Engineering & Operations at the FIC North, he provides leadership and engineering support for client and DoD (Department of Defense) projects.
Jeff conducted research for the CAFT Combat Rations Advanced Manufacturing Technology Demonstration (CRAMTD) in sensors, databases, motion studies, and work cell design as an undergraduate. He served the CAFT group as a Research Engineer at the Food Science Building until the entire group of 12 moved to the CAFT Food Manufacturing Technology Facility (now FIC North) in 1993.
As a Project Engineer and then Senior Manager, Facility Operations, he supported CRAMTD projects involving packaging lines and package integrity testing equipment for Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and tray packs as well as having responsibility for day-to-day management of the 31,000 ft2 facility, including the USDA inspected 7,800 ft2 plant, and the Developmental Manufacture (DM) program. The DM project provided DoD process data for sensor studies and database testing, while producing food for civilian sale using ration production equipment. Other notable project work included prototyping, scale up, and production support for the Soup Guy of Seinfeld fame, Unilever, Manischewitz, Philadelphia Fresh Bake, Dewy Meadows, and Chefmark.
As System Design & Engineering, Senior Manager, Jeff shifted his efforts to more DoD projects as a Principal Investigator for the Rutgers DoD team, who would go on to be awarded the majority of the contracts issued by CORANET programs, the successors to CRAMTD. From 1989 through today, the programs have awarded Rutgers more than $30 million in funding.