GCHERA WAP Laureate 2015

PauPaul_Singh_white_background-80pxll Singh has made outstanding, noteworthy contributions to food engineering education, research, development, consulting, and technology transfer programs worldwide. He is one of the most widely recognized and influential educator and researcher in the field of food engineering in the world.  Paul Singh is the Distinguished Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and Food Engineering, at the Univeristy of California, Davis, USA

Dr. Singh’s research record is a remarkably consistent effort spanning a lifetime in advancing the application of mathematical techniques for quantitative understanding of physical changes important in food processing. Notable examples include comprehensive studies on phase change during food freezing and thawing; heat transfer; oil migration and changes in material properties during food frying; water relations in food dehydration; heat transfer and microbial inactivation in contact-heating processes; air flow in complex structures in packaged produce; monitoring kinetics of quality change with biosensors in food distribution and storage; energy conservation in food processing; and most recently, modelling of the flow field during food digestion in the human stomach for targeted delivery of nutrients in the gastro-intestinal tract. The results of this research have been readily transferred from his laboratory to the food industry. Along with his co-workers, he has produced over 270 refereed publications, 200 research reports and articles, 17 books, 3 patents, and 51 book chapters, handbook sections, and  encyclopaedia articles.

Dr. Singh is known for successfully taking on challenging equipment development projects. For example, early in his career, he and a graduate student invented a machine that efficiently and effectively processed squid. This was a unique accomplishment in that they were able to remove the ink sac without damaging it. He and his collaborators were chosen by NASA as the top group to develop a food and vegetable processor as part of the advanced life support system for a manned mission to Mars. The machine was built to meet the constraints of space travel such as low gravity and minimal water and energy use.

Dr. Singh pioneered the use of the Internet in teaching food science with a seminal paper published in 1996 in Food Technology (50:3, 94-99). He remains at the forefront of those developing web-based course materials. He has organized sessions at international conferences and made numerous presentations on teaching and technology. Dr. Singh’s creativity with the Internet for teaching was further demonstrated in a 1998 project—a forerunner at that time—involving remote control of processing equipment in his laboratory via the web (Food Technology 53:9, 54-59). Students and industrial practitioners from around the world were able to connect to his laboratory to operate the connected equipment and collect data for analysis. To further enhance students’ experiential learning, he developed a set of 25 virtual experiments published in a book with CD (Virtual Experiments in Food Processing). These experiments, now freely available on the web, are used worldwide in teaching food processing to food science students.  Currently, he is leading two projects on developing video games based on food science principles for use in undergraduate teaching.  His distance education work has been supported by USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants program, Norman Borlaug University, UC-MEXUS, and the American Distance Education Consortium. In 2014, Dr. Singh created 115 video tutorials on topics related to food engineering/processing. He offered them for general education via YouTube. In a short time span, these tutorials have become the most widely used teaching modules on food science and engineering by students and practitioners in the food industry. According to Google Analytics, as of March 26, 2015, his tutorials have been viewed 109,894 times by individuals from 184 countries. More importantly, just in the past year, these tutorials have been watched for more than 6000 hours. Many of these tutorials are now being used in several universities in teaching “flipped classroom” courses, e.g. University of Georgia, Athens, and Zhejiang University, Hangzhou.

Dr. Singh’s research program has been supported by a wide variety of sources including NASA, NSF, USDA (with five NRI Competitive Grants), US DoE, US DoD, US Department of Commerce, USAID, California agricultural marketing orders, and grants from industry including Unilever, Dow Chemical, McDonald’s, Muro Corp (Japan), Samsung (Korea), General Mills, Pillsbury, Alfa Laval (Sweden), Shaklee Corporation, Ore-Ida Foods, Cryovac, Quaker Oats, Kraft-General Foods I-Point Biotechnologies AB (Sweden), and Whirlpool.  Dr. Singh has provided extensive leadership to the food engineering profession throughout the world.  Within the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), he chaired the food engineering division, Fellows screening Committee, and served on award juries. For the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), he chaired the Food Engineering Division and the Education Division. As a member of the Nominating committee he has helped identify future leaders of the society. He served as IFT representative to the International Association of Engineering and Food, and for several years chaired the scholarship award jury for the Dairy and Food Industries Suppliers Association. Recently, he was elected to a 3-yr term (2014-17) to the governing Board of the IFT. He is a founding member of the executive committee of the International Society of Food Engineering.

Through service to professional societies, Dr. Singh has advanced the field of food science. Since 2005, Dr. Singh has served as an editor-in-chief of Journal of Food Engineering, the premier journal in the profession, handling over 1400 manuscripts per year. Previously, he was co-editor of the Journal of Food Process Engineering for over 20 years; Scientific Editor of IFT’s Comprehensive Reviews of Food Science and Food Safety (2003-5); associate editor of ASAE Transactions; co-editor of the CRC Series on Food Engineering and Manufacturing; and served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Food Science Education, Computers in Agriculture, Postharvest Biology and Technology, Journal of Food Science and Technology (India), and Journal of Agricultural and Marine Sciences.

Dr. Singh’s most outstanding and significant achievements are:

  • Authored textbooks in food engineering that have been adopted worldwide for teaching food science and engineering.
  • Developed innovative educational contents in the areas of food science and engineering suitable for the Internet that is used by students and teachers around the globe. •
  • Conducted basic research in the area of food engineering, generating results that have helped advance science and unravel mechanisms underlying physical and biological processes to improving the delivery of food to the consumer.
  • Through leadership positions in scientific societies, he has helped institute programs that promote professional development in food science and engineering.
  • Mentored over 125 graduate students, post doctoral scholars and visiting scientists in the field of food engineering.
  • As editor-in-chief of the premier journal in food engineering (Journal of Food Engineering) he is helping disseminate research advances in the value added processing sector of the food chain.
  • In 2008, was the first elected and currently the only serving food engineer in the US National Academy of Engineering. (Election to the NAE is considered one of the highest honors bestowed on a scientist or an engineer in the US)