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UNC Clean Tech Speaker

William Aimutis

William Aimutis
NC Food Innovation Lab


Bill Aimutis is currently the inaugural Director for the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab managed by North Carolina State University on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Bill’s team works with entrepreneurial and multi-national companies in fruit, vegetable, and plant-based product development and scale-up in a pilot plant operating under cGMP standards.

Bill is an Indiana native where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science at Purdue University. Bill attended graduate school at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University earning a M.S. and Ph.D. in the Food Science Department. Bill’s research interests during his graduate training were the role of milk proteins in establishment of the gut microflora in piglets, role of plasmin in hydrolysis of milk proteins, effect of alcoholism on milk synthesis and chemistry, and the nutritional properties of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

Bill has held several leadership positions in R&D and Operations during his career from 1985 to 2002. Bill worked at Chr. Hansen’s Laboratory, Protein Technology, Kerry Ingredients, Land O’Lakes. Aimutis joined Cargill, Inc. in 2002 as a Principal Scientist and Group Manager for Food Chemistry in the Food Technical Development Center, and was named a Research Fellow in 2005. Bill went on to lead the Global Food Research Group as a Director from 2010-2015. In 2015 he was tapped to develop the External Innovation program for Cargill’s core businesses, including interaction with global venture capital groups. Bill retired from Cargill in September, 2018.

Aimutis also holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position at Purdue University where he has lectured on milk protein chemistry and functionality, new product development, and food forensic analysis. Bill has served on over 35 graduate students’ advisory committees.

Bill has been a member of the Institute of Food Technologists since 1976, and was qualified as a Certified Food Scientist in 2013. Aimutis has also been a member of the American Dairy Science Association since 1977, and was on the Board of Directors from 2003-2005, Association Treasurer and Corporate Secretary from 2006-2008, and Chair of the Internal Audit Committee from 2009-2010.

In 2002, Aimutis was selected as recipient of the Distinguished Agricultural Alumni Award at Purdue University. In 2017, Aimutis was also recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. Other awards Bill has been a recipient of include Achiever’s Circle Award (Cargill, 2010 and 2012), Outstanding Food Science Award (Purdue University, 2005), and an Award of Merit (Boy Scouts of America, 2003). Bill was elected a Fellow of the American Dairy Science Association in 2014.

Bill is an inventor on over 30 US and International patents. He is married, and has two adult sons.