Award Recipients

Food science and technology matters. Professionals in the field improve availability, nutrition, and safety of the world’s food supply. They bring scientific and technological innovation to an increasingly global marketplace. They give back to the community through teaching and leadership. 

IFT is thrilled to announce the 2017 Achievement Award Recipients!


Nicolas Appert Award

Jozef Kokini, PhD, Purdue University

Jozef L. Kokini is currently the Scholle Endowed Chair in Food Processing in the Dept. of Food Science at Purdue University. He was the Bingham Professor of Food Engineering and the associate dean of research and director of the Illinois Experiment Station at the University of Illinois. Prior to that, he was the chair of the Dept. of Food Science and director of the Center for Advanced Food Technology and Distinguished Professor of Food Engineering at Rutgers University. His research has focused on rheology, extrusion, materials science, and engineering properties of food materials, including carbohydrates and proteins. He has published more than 240 refereed journal papers and book chapters. He has received numerous awards, including the International Assoc. of Engineering and Food Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and was elected Fellow of IFT in 2000.


Babcock-Hart Award

Eric Decker, PhD, University of Massachusetts

Eric Decker has received the 2017 Babcock-Hart Award for his pioneering scientific research on lipids and oxidation and his outstanding work in developing new technologies that stabilize highly unstable nutritionally beneficial lipids, such as omega-3 fatty acids and carotenoids, thus enhancing the nutritive value of foods containing unsaturated lipids.


William V. Cruess Award for Excellence in Teaching

Soo-Yeun Lee, PhD, University of Illinois

Soo-Yeun Lee has received the 2017 William V. Cruess Award for Excellence in Teaching. Lee teaches undergraduate and graduate level sensory science courses at the University of Illinois, and her expertise in sensory science offers her students an exciting, multidimensional approach to learning. Peers and students describe her as an exceptionally effective teacher and mentor who motivates and inspires students, facilitates their learning, and encourages them to be creative when tackling new problems.

Carl R. Fellers Award

Suzanne Nielsen, PhD, Purdue University

Suzanne Nielsen is the recipient of the 2017 Carl R. Fellers Award for her dedication to IFT and Phi Tau Sigma. Her passion for food science and her students has been evident in the classroom and the laboratory. She is an exemplary leader not only at Purdue University but also as an IFT and Phi Tau Sigma volunteer.

Food Technology Industrial Achievement Award

Christopher Doona, PhD, CFS, United States Army, Natick Soldier RD&E Center

Christopher Doona was awarded the 2017 IFT Food Technology Industrial Achievement Award for outstanding innovations in nonthermal processing of foods that contributed to a safer food supply and improved human health during the Ebola crisis. His research for the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center in food safety, water recycling, and decontamination includes novel chlorine dioxide technologies that filled critical needs in public health to control the spread of Ebola.

W.K. Kellogg International Food Security Award and Lectureship

Manjeet Chinnan, PhD, University of Georgia

Manjeet Chinnan has received the 2017 W.K. Kellogg International Food Security Award and Lectureship for his leadership in successfully developing technologies for the reduction of aflatoxins in peanuts in nonindustrialized countries and coordinating efforts to enhance industrial development of nutrient-fortified peanut-based products in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa over several years.


Elizabeth Fleming Stier Achievement Award

Louise Wicker, PhD, Louisiana State University

Louise Wicker has received the 2017 Elizabeth Fleming Stier Award for her outstanding leadership, academic advising, and numerous contributions to IFT and her local community. Her dedication over the years to the academic advising and mentoring of both undergraduate and graduate students has made significant contributions to the field of food science and nutrition.


Myron Solberg Achievement Award

Francis F. Busta, PhD, MS, CFS, University of Minnesota

Francis F. (Frank) Busta is the recipient of the 2017 Myron Solberg Award for his leadership in the establishment, successful development, and continuation of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense and its continuation as the Food Protection and Defense Institute at the University of Minnesota. This organization illustrates sustained collaboration among industry, government, and academic parties to develop and disseminate information as appropriate to defend the safety of the food system through research and education.


Bor S. Luh International Award

Joseph Jen, PhD, California Polytechnic State University

Joseph Jen has been chosen for the Bor S. Luh International Award for his leadership in international food safety through his roles as professor, dean, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture undersecretary, and chair of the advisory council of the Bor S. Luh Food Safety Research Center in China. His advancement of public-private partnerships to facilitate food safety training to small- and medium-size food companies in China and his role as co-editor for China’s leading book on food safety have been instrumental in modernizing food safety procedures in the country. Jen embodies the altruistic spirit of his former colleague and friend Bor S. Luh.


Gerhard Haas Achievement Award

P. Michael Davidson, PhD, University of Tennessee

P. Michael Davidson is the recipient of the 2017 Gerhard Haas Achievement Award and is being recognized for his creative research in microbial aspects of food safety. Davidson’s research has focused on the evaluation of novel natural antimicrobials to control foodborne pathogens, the applicability of these compounds in foods, delivery systems for sustained release of antimicrobials in foods, and standardization of evaluation methods for food antimicrobials, as well as modes of action for food antimicrobial compounds. His research has allowed the food industry to better apply these compounds in products for improved safety and quality.


Samuel Cate Prescott Award for Research

Emmanuel Hatzakis, PhD, The Ohio State University

Emmanuel Hatzakis is the recipient of the 2017 Samuel Cate Prescott Award for his outstanding work in the application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the field of food science and nutrition. His work is creative, technical, and productive; he is top ranked as he continues to develop new research initiatives.


Research and Development Award

Gustavo V. Barbosa-Cánovas, PhD, Washington State University

Gustavo V. Barbosa-Cánovas has received the 2017 Research and Development Award for his vital contributions to the advancement of nonthermal processing of food in the last 24 years and for setting the stage for continued development of this research area. He has influenced the field through his numerous publications and patents, developing product applications, establishing worldwide collaborations, and leading IFT’s Nonthermal Division to provide an appropriate forum for professionals engaged in this area and beyond.

Sensory and Consumer Sciences Achievement Award

Michael O’Mahony, PhD, University of California

Michael O'Mahony has received the 2017 Sensory and Consumer Sciences Achievement Award for his leadership and contributions in identifying the models that form an underlying theoretical framework for the field of sensory and consumer sciences and testing their assumptions. Specifically, he has worked in the area of Thurstonian modeling to allow researchers to relate methods to each other and to decide whether a new methodology will provide accurate and valid results. He is a popular teacher renowned for his clear explanations of complex topics. He has published over 200 papers, given over 200 invited seminars, and presented over 150 short courses in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Calvert L. Willey Distinguished Service Award

V.M. Balasubramaniam, PhD, The Ohio State University

V.M. “Bala” Balasubramaniam is being recognized for his exemplary service and leadership to IFT and his outstanding contributions to the field of food science and technology. Balasubramaniam is a founding member and enthusiastic promoter of the IFT Nonthermal Processing Division and has helped to organize 19 international nonthermal processing workshops. Such efforts identified IFT as the global promoter of the science of food.  Balasubramaniam and his colleagues contributed to the development of nonthermal technologies, particularly high pressure processing, and disseminated the knowledge via various presentations and webinars. In addition, he helped to train a new generation of food scientists and engineers.


Gilbert A. Leveille Award & Lectureship

*Award administered by the American Society for Nutrition in odd years

Guy H. Johnson, PhD, Johnson Nutrition Solutions LLC

Guy H. Johnson is principal of Johnson Nutrition Solutions. He is an adjunct associate professor in the Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received the Alumni Award of Merit from the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences in 2008. Johnson currently serves as executive director of the McCormick Science Institute, where he chairs a blue-ribbon scientific advisory council dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge on the health benefits of culinary herbs and spices. He is also an iFT Fellow and a fellow of the American Society for Nutrition.


Trailblazer Award and Lectureship

*Sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and IFT
Award presented at Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics meeting in odd years.

Barbara Jacob Ivens, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND, Conagra Foods, Inc. & Executive Director, Nutrition and Health Professional Engagement

Barbara J. Ivens, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND is principal of Nutrition Information Exchange. She has over thirty years’ experience with leading food companies including ConAgra Foods, PepsiCo, Novartis Consumer Health, and Gerber Products Company where she developed multi-dimensional nutrition programs to promote healthful choices and lifestyles. A Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and recipient of the Academy’s 2016 Medallion Award, Ivens has served as chair of the Academy’s Foundation; chair of the Commission on Dietetic Registration; chair of the Foods and Nutrition Science Solutions Task Force; and currently serves on the Executive Council of the Academy’s Weight Management Practice Group. She is also a member of IFT.


Congratulations to this year's IFT Achievement Awards recipients.

Each year, IFT recognizes the many accomplishments that individuals and organizations have made to advance food science and the food industry.

Learn More about IFT Awards

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