The inaugural Barrett Chair in Sustainable Food Engineering begins his tenure this week at the University of Guelph, thanks to a $5-million gift from the Barrett Family Foundation. Dr. Kevin Keener was appointed as the inaugural Barrett Chair in May, after an extensive international search. Keener aims to increase global awareness of sustainable food engineering issues.
“I’m excited to accept this position as the first Barrett Chair in Sustainable Food Engineering at the University of Guelph. This is a very prestigious honour,” said Keener, who was previously a professor of food process engineering in the Department of Food Sciences and Human Nutrition
at Iowa State University. He was also a professor at Purdue University and North Carolina State University. During his five-year renewable term, which began Oct. 1, Keener will hold a tenured faculty appointment in the School of Engineering.
The Barrett Chair will develop an innovative research program in sustainable food engineering and lead food engineering research and training at the University of Guelph. “I see this exciting and dynamic opportunity to build partnerships between the University, the Ontario government and food manufacturers to tackle these global challenges in food and agriculture as unique and highly rewarding,” said Barrett.
The generous $5-million gift from the Barrett Family Foundation is the largest in history for the College of Physical and Engineering Sciences. This transformational gift will help the University leverage strengths and develop solutions that support consumers and the food industry. The University of Guelph is known as “Canada’s Food University” and Keener joins a thriving research network, which includes Prof. Manjusri Misra’s team of bioengineering researchers who are searching for ways to convert food waste into compostable packaging.
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