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Purdue University Names New Head of Food Science

Thirty-year-old Purdue University department gets its third head leader.

Brian Farkas will become the new head of the Purdue University Food Science Department. Food Science is a school within the College of Agriculture.

Farkas comes to Purdue from North Carolina State University. He was undergraduate coordinator of food science there and also an alumni distinguished agricultural professor since 2009. His work at North Carolina State dates back to 2006. He has also had a graduate faculty appointment at Purdue since 2010.

He begins his new duties as head of Food Science at Purdue University on July 1.

Farkas will be only the third head for the department in its 30-year plus story. It was led by Phil Nelson, who helped start the department, for the first 20 years. Nelson later received a World Food Prize, the first of two for Purdue faculty in a span of fewer than five years. He was also instrumental in seeing that Food Science moved into a new building more conducive to research and education. The newer building included a pilot manufacturing facility.

He was followed 10 years ago by Suzanne Nielsen, who has led the department for the past decade. During her time, Purdue Food Science has been recognized numerous times for its academic excellence amongst undergraduate students. She is the wife of Bob Nielsen, the Purdue University corn specialist. She will return to a role as a professor in the department, having voluntarily given up her position as head of the department.

The role to the department has expanded, and outreach to industry has been a major effort during the first three decades. It has also worked closely with the developing Indiana wine industry. The Food Science Department also contains a wine-tasting room designed for educational purposes.

Jay Akridge, Purdue University Dean of agriculture, made the official announcement of Farkas as new head of the department last week.

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