Professor Stefan Palzer

External partner



Prof. Dr-Ing. habil Stefan Palzer is Vice President at Nestlé and Director of the Nestlé Research Center and it’s international hubs. With his team of more than 600 scientists and technicians he is responsible for basic research in the area of Nutrition, Innovative Product Structures, Novel Materials, Emerging Technologies, Analytics and Food Safety Research for all Nestlé categories.

After starting his career with an apprenticeship in the beverage industry Prof. Palzer studied Food Technology at the Technical University of Munich/Germany and obtained his PhD from the same university. He joined Nestlé in 2000 and worked during the last 16 years in the culinary, confectionery and coffee business of the company in different functions. From 2005-2007 he was manager of the technology group for the culinary division (cooking aids, soups, cold sauces, dough products). In 2007 he got appointed head of the food science department at the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne/Switzerland which consisted of 120 researchers. Simultaneously he also managed the 12 Nestlé Food Science Expert Networks (companywide 400 scientists). 2007 he obtained a venia legendi (habilitation) for process engineering from the University of Stuttgart and an MBA from the University Hagen/Germany. In 2010 he was appointed managing director for Nestlé’s global Product Technology Center for Confectionery in York/UK. With his team of 180 scientists, technologists and engineers he developed products and processes for KITKAT and many other well-known confectionery brands. From 2013 to 2017 he was global R&D director for Nestlé’s beverages business in the Nestlé headquarters. In 2014 he got awarded the title of a Nestlé fellow (only 3 amongst the 380 000 Nestle employees) to recognize his deep expertise in food process engineering and material science. Since 2017 he is Managing Director of Nestlé’s Research Center in Lausanne/Switzerland.

Prof. Palzer is visiting professor for chemical engineering at The University of Sheffield/UK, professor for food process engineering at the University of Hamburg/Germany and honorary professor for food technology at the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim/Germany and. He is board member of various institutions and universities e.g. department for Chemical Engineering/University of Lausanne, European Academy for Food Engineering, French association of Chemist, Food- & Agricultural Engineers, European Master Studies in Food Technology (chairmen from 2007-2012), Research Association of the Germany Food Industry, European Working Party for Agglomeration (EFCE) and several scientific committees of the German Society for Process- and Chemical engineering.

He delivered 165 written publications (of which 80 peer reviewed), 210 scientific presentations and 42 patents (20 applied on large industrial scale).
In recognition of his expertise and scientific work he received several awards such as Nestlé Fellow, Ambassador of the University of Hamburg and honorary/visiting professorships from the universities Hamburg, Sheffield and Stuttgart. In 2002 he represented Nestle at the Future Leaders Forum, World Economic Forum Davos. His dissertation and study results were awarded with several prices and scholarships from industry and academia.