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Food industry starving for graduates

Media release

A new scholarship in food science and technology is being offered by Curtin University that will aid a critical shortage in those trained to service the world’s largest industry – the food industry.

The Hannah Williams Food Science and Technology Scholarship will be available to new undergraduates who apply to study the Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology at Curtin in 2013.

Associate Professor Vicky Solah from the Food Science and Technology at Curtin said the industry needed highly trained professionals to ensure the supply, quality and safety of food for everybody on the planet.

“Food science is a complex area that applies chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and engineering to research that enables the development, processing, evaluation, packaging and marketing of the food we eat,” she said.

The industry needs 4000 graduates to fill current positions around Australia but the country’s universities are producing only several hundred graduates a year.

The issue, of how the number of graduates in food and agricultural science is falling well short of demand, was a topic of conversation at the recent 62nd Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference and at the launch of the International Institute of Agri-Food Security (IIAFS).

Minister for Agriculture and Food, the Hon Terry Redman was asked during question time what the Government could do to address the shortage of Food Technologists in WA, highlighting the need for more graduates.

This crisis is not only Western Australia and Australia’s problem. At the ICC Cereal and Bread Congress in Beijing in August, Dr Debi Rogers, AACC International President reported that not enough scientists were entering agriculture and food careers in the USA. 

The Hannah Williams Food Science and Technology Scholarship will award $2,000 per year for three years.

The new scholarship has been aptly named in honour of Associate Professor Hannah Williams, who was Curtin’s Program Leader for the Food Science & Technology Program, a highly accomplished and dedicated professional researcher and educator in the food industry. Hannah lost her battle with cancer recently.

More information about this scholarship can be found at: http://scholarships.curtin.edu.au/scholarships/scholarship.cfm?id=1152

Contact:

Dr Ranil Coorey, Senior Lecturer, Food Science and Technology, Curtin University
Tel: (08) 9266 1043    Email: R.Coorey@curtin.edu.au

Dr Vicky Solah, Associate Professor, Food Science and Technology, Curtin University 
Tel: (08) 9266 2771   Email: v.solah@curtin.edu.au
 
Hillary Lambert, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085      Email: hillary.lambert@curtin.edu.au                     Web: http://curtin.edu.au