December 16, 2013
New Scholle chair in food science appointed at Purdue
"Dr. Nelson's research improved the lives of people across our nation and around the world. I am confident that Dr. Kokini will continue that legacy here at Purdue University in food science," said Brian Farkas, head of the food science department. "He is pushing the envelope in the study of how components within foods interact during processing and through production and, after consumption, with the human body."
Kokini's research areas of interest include food materials science, linear and non-linear rheology; food nanotechnology and fabrication of nanobiosensors; food structure and texture, especially during extrusion; and computational fluid dynamics.
"Dr. Kokini's credentials reflect his impressive portfolio of experience in research, with students, internationally, and in leadership positions," said Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture. "He is internationally recognized for his work in food engineering, and we are very excited to bring him to Purdue to fill the Scholle endowed chair."
The university's board of trustees ratified the appointment Saturday (Dec. 14).
Before coming to Purdue, Kokini had been the Eugene Bingham Professor of Food Engineering in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition of University of Illinois since 2007. While at Illinois, he also served as associate dean of research and director of the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
Kokini previously had been at Rutgers University since 1980, serving as chair of the Department of Food Science and director of the Centre of Advanced and Food Technology 2000-2007 and, before that, associate director since 1992. He also was chair of the New Brunswick Faculty Council, the highest faculty body at providing advice to the university president and vice president, and was distinguished professor, professor and associate professor of food science.
Kokini has published more than 200 scientific papers in refereed journals and book chapters. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association for Engineering and Food. He was elected to the International Academy of Food Science and Technology in 2006. He was elected fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists in 2000.
He received his bachelor's degree from Bogazici University and his master's degree and doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon University.
The family of the late William R. Scholle, inventor of bag-in-box packaging, donated $1.5 million in 2003 to fund the endowed chair at Purdue. Scholle, a Purdue graduate, died in 1997.
Scholle had founded Scholle Chemical Co. in Chicago in 1947. He first used the bag-in-box packaging method to transport battery acid.
Scholle returned to Purdue, where he and Nelson combined the packaging with Nelson's aseptic processing technology, which reduces postharvest waste and makes seasonal fruits and vegetables available year-round and easier to transport worldwide.
The food science building on the Purdue campus was renamed in Nelson's honor shortly after his retirement.
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