Face-to-Face: Meet F. Ryan Dowdy June 2016

Ever wonder if anyone else is facing the same professional challenges as you? Or just looking to connect with some new people in your field? In IFT's Face-to-Face series, we will be introducing you to a different IFT member every month with a fun, insightful Q&A session.


Ryan DowdyThis month meet...

F. Ryan Dowdy, PhD student, Christopher Simmons Laboratory at University of California, Davis

  1. How did you get your start in the food science world?
    I got my start in the food industry as a busboy in a restaurant. I kept wondering, what can be done with all this food waste I kept throwing away? To learn more about this problem I decided to go back to school and study food science, first as an undergraduate at North Carolina State University, and now as a PhD student at the University of California, Davis. At UC Davis I work in the Simmons Laboratory, where we develop applications for food processing residues.

  2. What do you love about your job/studies?
    What I love most about my job is the amazing people I work with. I'm constantly amazed by how talented and helpful my lab-mates and major professor are when I'm not sure how to approach a problem. Our lab calls ourselves the "Sludge Huggers" because we work with sludge (food waste digestate). I'm proud to be a Sludge Hugger!

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job/studies?
    The biggest challenge I face as a PhD student is time management. I believe that managing my time and focusing my attention is a key to success for me in graduate school. If I can do that effectively, I can do good work!

  4. What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job/studies?
    One of the biggest things that has helped me is joining our local public speaking club, Davis Town and Gown Toastmasters. At Toastmasters we practice delivering talks, fielding questions, and engaging in interpersonal communication. I believe it has greatly improved the clarity and structure of my scientific presentations and my ability to take part in team-based scientific discovery.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
    I see the food industry evolving through innovation over the coming year, specifically using tools developed in high-throughput gene sequencing and big data analysis to continue asking new questions and developing new solutions.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    My favorite food has always been hot wings. I love them!

If you are an IFT member and wish to be profiled, please contact Kelly Hensel at khensel@ift.org or 312-604-0211.