Sara Langen

Philip E. Nelson becomes IFT’s 2001–02 President
Philip E. Nelson, Head of the Dept. of Food Science at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., was chosen by the members of IFT as 2001–02 President. He will succeed Mary K. Schmidl when he takes office as IFT’s 62nd President on September 1, 2001.

After earning a B.S. degree in agriculture from Purdue, Nelson worked as plant manager for the Blue River Packing Co. for four years before re-enrolling at Purdue to work on his Ph.D. in food technology, which he received in 1967. He began teaching at Purdue in 1961 as a horticulture instructor and became Head of the newly formed Dept. of Food Science in 1984.

Nelson is known for innovative scientific breakthroughs which have revolutionized the food industry, particularly in the area of aseptic technology, for which he has received at least 10 patents. He was a member of the Purdue research team that won, along with Bishopric Products Co., IFT’s 1976 Food Technology Industrial Achievement Award for aseptic bulk storage and transportation of partially processed foods. It was the first time the award was given for university involvement.

Also known for his contributions to food science and education, Nelson was the driving force behind the new state-of-the-art Food Science Building on the Purdue campus. The facility is a product of innovative thinking and is considered to be one of the best in the country.

From the time he joined IFT in 1961 as a student, Nelson has been an active member. He served the Indiana Section as Chair and Executive Committee member from 1974 to 1977 and as Councilor from 1995 to 1997. He is also a member of the Fruit & Vegetable Products Division. At the national level, he has been a member of the Task Force on CEO Involvement, Task Force on IFT/NRA Alliance, Long-Range Planning Committee, Awards Committee, Nominations Committee, and Constitution and By-Laws Committee. He was also a member of the Expert Panel on Food Safety and Nutrition, a Member Representative to the Executive Committee, and a Scientific Lecturer.

Nelson has won a number of awards, including the Indiana Section’s Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions to Food Technology (twice), the Philadelphia Section Award, the Minnesota Section Award, the Chicago Section’s Fred Tanner Lecture award, the USDA Secretary of Agriculture Achievement Award, the Gamma Sigma Delta Award of Merit, and the National Award of Agricultural Excellence. He is listed in American Men and Women of Science and has at least five other “Who’s Who” entries to his credit.

In 1995, he received IFT’s most prestigious award, the Nicholas Appert Award, which honored him for his contributions to food science and technology. He was named an IFT Fellow in 1980.

During his term in office, Nelson plans to oversee the implementation of several programs begun in previous years, including a new education reform package that contains outcome-based measurements. He also plans to focus on improving services throughout the organization, something the staff has already begun to address with its efforts to serve IFT’s customers even better. During his tenure, the IFT headquarters will move into new facilities in Chicago, Ill., and the Washington, D.C., office will become more firmly established.

Nelson will also begin a five-year planning process that looks to the future. To compete effectively, societies such as IFT must become more knowledge based rather than just information based. This will require careful planning and execution.

Mark R. McLellan chosen IFT President-Elect for 2001–02
Mark R. McLellan, Director of the Institute of Food Science & Engineering at Texas A&M University, was chosen by the members of IFT to be President-Elect of the Institute of Food Technologists for 2001–02. He will succeed Philip E. Nelson as IFT’s 63rd President when he takes office September 1, 2002.

McLellan earned a Ph.D. in Food Science from Michigan State University in 1981. After graduating, he joined the faculty of Cornell University, where he later served as Chairman of the Food Science & Technology Dept. from 1995 to 1999 and as Director of the Cornell Institute of Food Science from 1997 to 1999. He then moved to his present position with Texas A&M University.

A recognized expert in the use of processing technologies for fruits and vegetables, McLellan has developed improvements in processing systems for fruit juices and other beverages. Although he specializes in juice and liquid food products, he has also worked in the puree, dried-product, fresh-storage, and packaging areas. He has published on such topics as packaging studies, methods in sensory analysis, ultrafiltration technology, freezing-point depression, and others. As an outgrowth of his technology assessment work, he has also become an expert in the area of computer technology and applications for the food industry.

In addition to his academic work, McLellan has been involved in a number of professional organizations. He was a founder of the Council of Food Science Administrators, which represents all food science programs across the country, and served as the council’s Chairman in 1998. He is also active in the American Frozen Food Institute, Sigma Xi, and the Instrument Society of America.

Since joining IFT in 1976, McLellan has served on a number of committees, including the Executive Committee, Scientific Lectureship Committee, ad hoc Committee on Information/Communication Systems, Information Systems Subcommittee, and ad hoc Committee on Publications. He has also been a Food Science Communicator, as well as an IFT Scientific Lecturer. 

An active Regional Section and Division member, McLellan has served on the Executive Committees of the Food Engineering Division and the Fruit & Vegetable Products Division, where he also served as Chair. He served as Chair and Councilor of the Western New York Section and was Chair of the Western New York Food Industry Expo. Now a member of the Texas Section, he has served as Chairman of the section’s Food Industry Expo.

In his new leadership position, McLellan hopes to improve the support IFT gives to its members by strengthening and invigorating the Regional Sections. He believes it is time for IFT to look at new models of support and design for sections and to find ways to help them achieve growth and stability. Educating the consumer about food science is also high on his list of priorities; he sees IFT as the voice communicating common sense and sound science to consumers.

by SARA LANGEN
Assistant Editor