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Professor R Paul Singh

As part of his visit to Otago, Professor Singh will give a public lecture in Dunedin on 9 July on the future of our food system.

Climate change is already adversely affecting the production of important food crops, such as olives. High temperatures and drought across olive-growing regions in Europe have led to a shortage of olives and a sharp spike in the price of olive oil.

This is the kind of scenario Otago’s latest Harraways 1867 Visiting Professor, Professor R Paul Singh, seeks to address in his research and advocacy. He is the third Harraways Visiting Professor and is due to arrive in Dunedin next month.

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Food Engineering, Professor Singh, hails from the University of California, Davis and is highly recognised in food engineering education, research, development, consultation and technology transfer programs.

His work also focuses on novel ways to process food. With research students, he has developed a fruit and vegetable processing system for NASA's manned mission to Mars.

He was originally scheduled to come to Otago in 2020, but that was delayed due to COVID-19.

Professor Singh will give workshops and a public lecture in Dunedin during his visit and will also attend the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology Annual Conference 2024 in Hamilton, where he will deliver a plenary address.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Harraways visiting professorship at the University of Otago, and I am looking forward to interacting with students, faculty, staff, and industry partners during my stay,” he says.

Otago's Professor Indrawati Oey, of the Department of Food Science, says through these forums Professor Singh will share his knowledge and experience with staff and students, the food science community and wider public.

Professor Singh's career has advanced the application of mathematical and computational techniques to improve the sustainability of industrial food processes.

Professor Singh has also created free-access online learning and teaching resources for food science and engineering education, and co-authored the highly acclaimed textbook Introduction to Food Engineering that is used worldwide and has been translated into six languages.

Division of Sciences Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barker says Professor Singh's knowledge of food engineering will be hugely beneficial to Otago's teaching and research and will help inform its provision of advice and service to the food industry.

This year’s visit will build on the success of the previous two visits by Belgian researcher Professor Marc Hendrickx and Professor Rickey Yada, of the University of British Columbia.

Dunedin's Harraway and Sons Ltd made the annual visit by an eminent scholar possible as part of commemorating its 150th anniversary of starting operations with a steam-powered flourmill.

Members of the public are invited to attend Professor Singh’s public lecture, ‘Framing the future of food system in the era of climate change’.

For more information about the lecture and to register to attend in person or via livestream, visit here:

Kōrero by Sally Knox, Communications Adviser, Division of Sciences

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