Head and shoulder photo of Dr. Pillai wearing navy blue suit
Suresh Pillai, Ph.D., has been named a 2024 Fellow by the Institute of Food Technologists. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)

Suresh Pillai, Ph.D., professor and director of the National Center for Electron Beam Research, NCEBR, at Texas A&M University in College Station, has been named a 2024 Fellow by the Institute of Food Technologists, IFT.

The IFT is a forum for food professionals and students to communicate and collaborate, using their collective knowledge to develop innovative food science and technology-related solutions to benefit the world.

The designation of IFT Fellow is an honor bestowed upon members to recognize career excellence and significant service, leadership and contributions to the institute and the profession.

“Being selected as an IFT Fellow by my peers is profoundly humbling,” Pillai said. “This recognition holds immense significance to me since it affirms that they have found my contributions to the field deserving of their recognition.”

Benefiting the field of food science and technology – and humanity 

Pillai’s current research focuses on harnessing eBeam technology for a wide range of public and animal health issues, from food pasteurization to developing vaccines and remediation of environmental pollutants. He also runs outreach and education programs supporting the adoption of eBeam and X-ray technology with the hope to reduce global nuclear security threats, along with boosting economic prosperity in underdeveloped parts of the world.

Three men stand in front of a door and a sign with red and green lights read: Beam On, Beam Off, No Access and Access OK.
Suresh Pillai, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology and National Center for Electron Beam Research director, demonstrates the use of eBeam technology to participants at the 2024 Hands-on Electron Beam Technology Workshop at the National Center for Electron Beam Research on the Texas A&M campus. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)

“Suresh’s unparalleled achievements in advancing eBeam and X-ray technologies are truly commendable,” said Joseph Awika, Ph.D., head of the Department of Food Science and Technology. “He undeniably stands as the foremost global authority in applying these technologies across diverse fields such as food, agriculture, health and the environment.”

Awika said as the director of the NCEBR, Pillai not only spearheads global technological advancements but also significantly contributes to enhancing food safety, security, and agricultural and environmental sustainability.

“Beyond his role as a leading researcher, Suresh also has profoundly influenced the careers of numerous undergraduates, graduate students, visiting scientists and postdoctoral researchers who now occupy prominent positions in driving forward eBeam and X-ray technologies on a global scale. His many significant and far-reaching advancements in food science and technology make him most deserving of being named an IFT Fellow.”      

Requirements for becoming an IFT Fellow 

According to the organization, the individual under consideration as an IFT Fellow must be an active member of the profession for at least 15 years at the time of nomination. The nominee must also demonstrate:

— Professional leadership through organizing or leading conferences, conference presentations, and other training and development programs.

— Service and leadership to external advisory committees or boards.

— Ongoing volunteer service to IFT.

— Honors, awards and other evidence of recognition within the profession.

— Advancements to the science of food in industry, academia, government and/or related organizations as reflected in research, publications, patents, presentations, innovations in teaching, industrial achievements, innovative product and/or process development, inventions; innovations in regulatory organizations; and innovations in related disciplines.

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