Colin Dennis, CBE, PhD, CFS, CSci
Colin Dennis has made an important impact on food science and technology throughout his career. It started in 1970 when he was appointed as the first mycologist in the UK Government’s Institute of Food Research. During the subsequent 11 years, he established a team of 12 researchers involved in food mycology and post-harvest technology of fruits and vegetables and was an invited visiting scientist in food microbiology at the Norwegian Food Research Institute.
Subsequently, he was appointed as the first Director of Food Technology at Campden Food & Drink Research Association. During his 7 years leading the Division, income increased fourfold and publications increased eightfold. He initiated several new research activities in chilled foods, aseptic packaging and hygienic design. Dennis’ leadership qualities led him to have the additional responsibility of coordinating the research program for the whole organization.
Based on his leadership and management experiences, Dennis was appointed Director-General of the organization (now Campden BRI), a position he held for 21 years. During his time leading and managing the business, the annual income increased 7 fold to over £19m. This was achieved by developing a new range of services for a much expanded industry and public sector client base nationally and internationally. The business achieved accreditation to International Standards 9001 and 17025 for business management systems, national recognition and a business award for staff training and development and a regional award for the best business.
Dennis maintained many academic interests in food science by being the Unilever Visiting Professor of Food Science at Queen’s University, Belfast and a Visiting Professor in Food Supply Chain at the Royal Agricultural University. Both roles involved teaching undergrad modules, providing strategic guidance and hosting students for industrial training.
Throughout his career Dennis has been committed to collaboration: establishing, developing and maintaining collaborations between industry, government and academia and was a recipient of the IFT’s Myron Solberg Award in recognition. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 in recognition of his services to the agri-food industry.
Dennis’s leadership qualities and knowledge of food science have led to his appointment on government and industry advisory committees in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, Belgium, India, Abu Dhabi and more. Dennis said he was particularly honored to be invited to serve on the Selection Panel for the World Food Prize, greatly enjoying the opportunity to volunteer in many capacities in the Food Science and Technology community, especially IFT.
He is a Fellow of IFT, a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science & Technology and a Fellow and Past President of the UK's Institute of Food Science & Technology. He currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees at IFIS and the Scientific Advisory Committee of Flanders Foods. He also serves on the General Advisory Committee on Science at the UK Food Standards Agency and is a Governor at the the British Nutrition Foundation and the Royal Agricultural University.