Enrique Palou, PhD

Board of Directors Candidate
Current Title:
Distinguished Professor
Employer: Universidad de las Americas Puebla (UDLAP)
Email: enrique.palou@udlap.mx

Why do you want to serve in this role?

The IFT board leaders are responsible for cultivating a professional community committed to advance the science of food and its application across the global food system as well as to uphold strategic promises to IFT members such as to focus on individual development, productive networks, scientific innovation and issues advocacy. Each one of these areas is of importance to me; therefore, at this time in my career I want to take the next step within IFT in order to help achieve its mission, objectives, goals and strategic plan. I am very excited to be one of the candidates for the Board of Directors and continue to give back to our organization, which has played such a vital role throughout my entire career.

Please describe how your attributes and experiences have prepared you for board service.

Being IFT Fellow, Distinguished Professor and Past Department Chair, ensures experience at a senior level, specially with regards to academic and research activities. After serving for many years in various divisions, boards, committees, and task forces of our association I am prepared to continue working to further enhance IFT bright future. I will bring an international (and developing countries) perspective to the Board while striving for balanced representation of race, gender, geographical distribution, and professional experience to insure that it reflects fairly the diverse constituency of IFT membership. On the other hand, if elected, I will be able to devote the time required to focus on my new IFT responsibilities since my University has always supported these endeavors.

In reviewing IFT’s Strategic Promises, please describe the challenges and opportunities you believe IFT will face in achieving our mission and vision.

I think that IFT will for sure continue attaining its mission with regards to "advancing-the-science-of-food-and-its-application" while much more has to be done in order for this to be achieved "across-the-global-food-system". To me its greatest challenge will be reaching a time where "science-and-innovation-are-universally-accepted-as-essential" not only "to-a-safe, nutritious-and-sustainable-food-supply-for-everyone" but for many other endeavors. In the present times it is even more essential to clearly use evidence-based data to advocate not only our profession but also science, engineering, and technology in general. Therefore, several actions have to be planned, developed, and implemented in those regards. Another particular area that I will for sure help IFT to pursue in the short term is to further promote and enable each one of its divisions to serve as global networks, as has been the case for some of them for many years!

Please describe an IFT or other volunteer leadership experience and how it will assist you in serving on the board.

I have been Editorial Board Member and Associate Editor of the Journal of Food Science Education since January 2004. I was Chair of the Education Division of the IFT in 2008-2009 of which have been member since 2004. I was member of IFT's Higher Education Review Board from 2009 to 2014, being its chair for a year (2011-2012) and nowadays have been selected again to serve for the term 2017-2021. Furthermore, I have been member of IFT's Education Advisory Group (2012), Teaching & Learning Workgroup (2013-2014), and Academics Advisory Group (2014-2015). Thus, I have a knowledge regarding IFT and volunteering assignments within that for sure will assist me while serving on the Board. If elected, I look forward to working with IFT’s Board and staff, but more important with you the members, to define an appropriate combination of priorities and specifically implement actions with regards to those important concerns.

Please provide a short narrative biography of important career and personal accomplishments.

I am Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Science, Engineering, and Technology Education at UDLAP in Mexico. I am co-author of the book Nonthermal Preservation of Foods, published 35 book chapters and more than 200 scientific publications; have been PI in over 50 research projects (national and international funding) for more than $ 8 million USD and participated in several consulting projects for industry. My former students hold important positions of leadership in academia and industry. I am Mexican National Researcher Level 3 (highest possible). I was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences of Mexico. I’ve been awarded University-wide awards for teaching excellence six times.

My ultimate goal as professor is to yield well-rounded, professionally oriented food scientists, technologists, and engineers with a holistic outlook and the ability to assume leadership roles in the global industry, academe, and society.

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