Local Organising Committee

Prof Benu Adhikari, RMIT University
Tell us about your current role
I am working as the Professor of Biosciences and Food Technology at RMIT University (Victoria, Australia)

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
I worked on the following projects that are interesting and relevant to engineers, technologists and scientists working in various aspects of food.
a) Microencapsulation of plant based omega-3 oils in plant protein-plant polysaccharide complex coacervates. This involved development of the complex coacervates, production of powders (vegan omega-3 microcapsules) and their characterisation including oxidative stability.
b) Production and characterisation of lactoferrin powders through spray drying and freeze drying processes. This involved quantification of the extent of denaturation of lactoferrin during thermal treatment including drying(change in secondary structure) and subsequent preservation or loss aspects of functional properties (solubility in water, iron binding, iron release and antioxidative behaviour).
c) Development of starch-polyurethane compostable packaging. This involved the optimisation of the starch-to-polyurethane ratio, avoiding phase separation and delivering flexible packaging films. It also involved quantifying the compostability of these films.
d) Technology to minimise/avoid wall deposition during spray drying of sugar and acid-rich foods. This involved the harnessing of surface-active protein additives to overcome the stickiness and subsequent wall deposition of sugar and-rich foods. The surface-active nature of protein combined with the preferential retention of protein on the surface during the powder particle formation process was found to be the main mechanism of their effectiveness. A mere 0.5% (w/w) addition of whey protein concentrate or caseinate was found to be sufficient to produce amorphous powder from sugars such as sucrose.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
‘Multi-disciplinary approach’ ‘back-to-basic’ ‘focus-on-delivery’

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
I consider myself as a food engineer. Thus, volunteering to ICEF13 is part of my professional obligation.

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
I am looking forward to see some result oriented interactions among university and industry based researchers. I am also in look out for break through research that are happening in various aspects of food.

Dr Roman Buckow, CSIRO
Tell us about your current role 
I am a Research Group Leader for Food Transformation at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
One of the many projects that I’m involved in is investigating the effective generation and impact of hydrodynamic shockwaves on food structures; e.g. for tenderisation of meat.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
Think big and practical

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
I have been privileged to attend a number of conferences, including ICEF congresses, in the past. The ICEF is by far the prime event in food engineering and related fields typically featuring cutting edge presentations and discussions on current topics related to the challenges of the agri-food industry and retail. I feel very honoured to organise the first ICEF in the Oceania region and bringing the who-is-who in food engineering to Melbourne, Australia.

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
I look forward hearing about the latest innovations in food security, food processing technologies, food systems engineering, food packaging, nutrition and health in Australasia and the rest of the world. The congress will also be an excellent opportunity to connect and network with industry and academia experts and meet friends and old colleagues from overseas.

Mr Dennis Forte, Dennis Forte & Associates
Tell us about your current role
I operate an independent Food Engineering Consultancy firm providing Design Expertise and Training to the Domestic and International Markets

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
All of my Projects have interesting Technical aspects to them. But it is the people interaction which makes my role so interesting.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
Attention to detail

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
As a “senior” member of the Engineering Fraternity, I believe that it is appropriate

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
Meeting with like-minded individuals from around the world

Mr Geoff Hurst, ENGENEOHS Pty Ltd
Tell us about your current role
Geoff leads the ENGENEOHS Alliance to deliver on safety and risk related projects specific to client needs in the key areas of Engineering, Enterprise, Environment, Or Health & Safety.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
A recent interesting project was for a client that required an engineered turn key plant that improved yield in oil processing to a 2 month schedule.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
We engineer risks into opportunities.

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
To promote the benefits of Risk engineering over the principles of risk management to the Food industry.

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
The big party where we get to meet lots of colleagues with new ideas.

Dr Pablo Juliano, CSIRO
Tell us about your current role 
Dr. Pablo Juliano is a Principal Research Scientist leading multidisciplinary projects on food security, including food loss minimization and food separations at CSIRO, Australia.

His PhD in Food Engineering is from Washington State University and his MBA from Deakin University in Australia. His industrial experience includes managing positions at Nestlé Uruguay and Uruguay’s major dairy exporter Conaprole. He has received several awards and recognition for research and industrial innovation from IFT including the W.K. Kellogg Food Security Award, the US Army Research and Development Center, and the American Oil Chemists Society.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
Use of ultrasound technology to enhance oil recoveries from oil processing industries such as palm oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.

Create supply chain models to minimise whey wastage from small cheese makers in 4 countries in South America (A CSIRO project with AusAID), use such models to locate whey concentration, consumer product and whey drying facilities to avoid whey wastage and add value to a nutritious by-product

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
More from less

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
ICEF13 is the “mecca” of food engineering globally and fosters communication and networking across academia, industry and government

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
Networking and showcases on industrial innovation

Dr Kai Knoerzer, CSIRO
Tell us about your current role
Team Leader Food Process Engineering within CSIRO Agriculture and Food. Principal Research Scientist with a focus on engineering aspects of innovative food processing technologies.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
There have been many incredibly interesting projects. The most current one (which has been a collection of activities over the last 10 or so years) was the development of a new concept that will allow high pressure thermal processing in a cold HPP machine. Going commercial hopefully very soon.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
Identify, articulate, solve (I hope that makes sense)

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
Because ICEF is the most important conference in my field, and I have been to all ICEF conferences since 2004 and want to be part of this conference series other than just as presenter.

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
Networking, meeting old friends and colleagues, learning about the latest developments in food engineering.

Prof Minh Nguyen, University of Newcastle and Western Sydney University
Tell us about your current role 
I am a retired food engineer, doing voluntary work as Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University and Conjoint Associate Professor at the School of Science, University of Newcastle

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
My most interesting project was probably the ” Development of Membrane Technologies for the food industry” to recover food waste and reduce pollution. This project generated a world first liquid pectin factory using Ultrafiltration membrane, an industrial process for concentrated cottage cheese whey by nanofiltration among other results.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
Consider all aspects (including operational scaling up to environmental and economic ones)

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
Having been involved since the 1970’s in the Food Engineering Group of the Australian Institute of Food Engineering then the Australian Food Engineering Association, my colleagues and I have been wishing for a major conference in food engineering in Australia for a long time.

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
Interacting with world leaders in food engineering, show casing Australian achievements and encouraging the next generation of engineers to interest in food and food scientists to be aware of engineering approach in solving food issues.

Dr Janet Paterson, University of New South Wales
Tell us about your current role
I have retired from academic work at UNSW. I have an honorary position in Food Science and Technology, School of Chemical Engineering at UNSW in which I collaborate with current academics.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
I worked on non-linear rheology in a variety of student projects leading to PhD, Masters and Honours degrees.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
Integrity, integration, usefulness

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
I was the inaugural national president of the Australian Food Engineering Association and hence the Australian representative to ICEF for many years. Both the technical programs and the interaction with other food engineers were very rewarding. I have worked on the promotion of Food Engineering for decades.

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
Learning from the presentations and meeting old and new friends.

Mr Jay Sellahewa, CSIRO and University of New South Wales
Tell us about your current role 
I am retired, but have honorary fellowships at CSIRO and UNSW. Through these fellowships and associations with other professional institutes (e.g. Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology), I am carrying out various voluntary activities related to food engineering

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
Coordinating a team of international scientists and engineers to identify the role of food science, technology and engineering to address the problem of feeding those affected by humanitarian situations.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
Focussing on outcomes

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
Having spent nearly 40 years in the food engineering profession, I would like to give something back to the profession

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
Becoming aware of the latest developments in food engineering and catching up with old colleagues and friends from around the world

Ms Kim Staples, Australian Food Engineering Association
Tell us about your current role 
Food safety and regulatory affairs consultant and auditor

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
My PhD was the best project ever. My current work is confidential, but I’ve had some amazing experiences there too.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
I’m not an engineer at all, but the more engineering I’m exposed to, the more I realise it’s best to ask an expert!

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
I’ve been a member of AFEA, who is presenting the congress on behalf of IAEF, for more than 10 years. I was first asked to join by my process engineering lecturer at Hawkesbury, Minh Nguyen, who is still part of AFEA too. I have held most roles in AFEA. It only seemed natural to volunteer for ICEF1. We have a great team.

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
Learning more about how Industry 4.0 is being implemented in the food industry all over the world.

Mr Andrew Watkins, Australian Food Engineering Association

Mr Gordon Young, Food Industry Engineering (and Associate of FoodStream)
Tell us about your current role 
I work in consultancy in food process engineering. Major areas of expertise include thermal processing, drying, and extrusion. A large part is now organising and presenting (with colleagues) technical short courses for industry in these technical areas. This year we are running courses in Europe (Switzerland and Norway), Thailand, and Chile – as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
Probably the custom design and construction of an industrial dryer for drying ginger (used for manufacture of ginger beer). The major requirement was achieving the correct flavour profile – so the project went from pilot trials to define required drying conditions, through evaluation of alternative concepts suitable to the client, to detailed design, construction and commissioning. But other particularly interesting projects that come to mind include defining processes for retorting lamb shanks, drying processes for tea, and working with diverse groups on extrusion training in different parts of the world.

How would you sum up your approach to engineering in three words?
Practical innovation

Why are you volunteering your time for ICEF13?
It doesn’t happen without people prepared to help! I have enjoyed my professional life in food engineering, and that has been made possible by working with others in the profession and the wider industry, to continually learn. I want others to have similar opportunities – and events such as ICEF are one part of that.

What are you most looking forward to at ICEF13?
Sharing knowledge and ideas with other professionals that I would not otherwise have the opportunity to meet. We can become very “isolated” in our own areas – technically and geographically – and ICEF13 will provide opportunities to widen my perspectives and increase my knowledge.