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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year


Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 08 - October 16, 1997

Audrey Zink, assistant professor of wood science and forest products, has been awarded a three-year grant of $603,262 from the U.S. Department of Energy to study moisture distribution and flow during the drying of wood and fiber. She also has been elected to the Board of Trustees for the Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST). The international professional society is devoted to developing and maintaining knowledge in wood science and promotes policies and procedures that assure the wise use of wood and wood-based products.
Malcolm Potts, professor of biochemistry, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The honor was in recognition of his basic research in microbiology and research into the understanding of the mechanisms of stress tolerance. He was recently admitted to the degree of doctor of science by the University of Durham, England, "in consideration of work of high distinction constituting a substantial and original contribution to science."
Merle Pierson, professor of food science and technology, serves as chairman of the subcommittee on Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points, or HACCP, for the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods. Committee members are appointed by the secretary of agriculture and the secretary of health and human services. This panel advises its sponsoring agencies on microbiological food-safety issues. The full committee recently adopted the HACCP subcommittee's comprehensive revision of a the HACCP principles and their application. This document serves as the guidance document for development of federal regulations concerning HACCP and food safety. These principles and guidelines for application are used extensively throughout the world for training and implementation by the food industry.
Pierson was a keynote speaker for the Third Australian HACCP Conference which was held in conjunction with the 30th Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology National Convention. The title of his presentation was "HACCP Requirements in the U.S. Meat and Poultry Industry." In addition, he served as chairman of the meat and poultry sessions at the conference, gave a presentation on "Food Management: Self Regulation versus Government Regulation," and served on a discussion panel for the same subject.
He presented a symposium paper on "The Role of Universities in HACCP Training" at the First Pan American Conference on Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition, Mexico City, Mexico.
Pierson also served on a panel for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) that developed and submitted written testimony regarding the President Bill Clinton's food-safety initiative. Pierson presented oral testimony in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the 26,000-member IFT and served on a Bioscience Research discussion group at an interagency forum on the initiative.
Bruce Zoecklein, assistant professor of food science and technology, led a technical program and analysis workshop at the annual meeting of the Maryland Grape Growers Association. His presentation was: "The Use of Secondary Plant Metabolites as Grape Maturity and Quality Indices." He recently presented some of his research on grape glycoconjuates at the annual meeting of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.
He has received grants from the USDA and the American Vineyard Foundation for his work on grape aroma and flavor precursors.
Susan Sumner, associate professor of food science and technology, organized a symposium for the 1997 International Association of Milk and Food Environmental Sanitarians' annual meeting on Issues of Concern to the Juice Industry. She presented a talk in the symposium titled "Current and Alternative Technologies for Processing Fruit Juices."
Cameron Hackney, professor and head of the Department of Food Science and Technology, presented a talk on "Fruit Juice Safety--an Overview" at the symposium.
In addition, Hackney and Sumner conducted a food-safety workshop for food distributors in Richmond. At the request of various distributors, the program was expanded and given in Reno, Nev.
Norman G. Marriott, professor of food science and technology, served as a resource person on pork quality at the World Pork Expo conducted recently in Indianapolis, Ind. He presented a research paper at the International Congress of Meat Science held in Auckland, New Zealand, in the summer.
Marriott spoke recently at a HACCP Short Courses conducted in Waverly, Iowa, and in Athens, Ga. In Atlanta, he conducted a meat plant sanitation short course and made two presentations at this meeting. He was also a guest speaker at the recent meeting of the Virginia Meat Inspection Supervisors Meeting in Richmond.
Paul P. Graham, associate professor of food safety and technology, was awarded the Honorary State FFA Degree. This is the highest honor that the Virginia FFA Association can bestow.
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) presented three international awards to Virginia Tech Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) faculty and graduate students during the society's annual meeting in September in Albuquerque, N.M.
John Casali, the Grado professor and ISE department head, received the Paul M. Fitts Award for outstanding contributions to the education and training of human factors specialists. Casali is an active member of ISE's Human Factors Engineering Center (HFEC), serving as director of the Auditory Systems Laboratory and co-director of the Environmental and Safety Laboratory. The Fitts award is presented only in years when the society receives a nomination for an especially deserving candidate.
The Best Ergonomics in Design Award was presented to ISE doctoral students Michael Snow, Jonathan Kies and Dennis Neale and Professor Robert Williges, director of the HFEC, for their article, "A Case Study in Participatory Design," which was published in the 1996 volume of Ergonomics in Design, a journal of the HFES that focuses on design applications of human factors engineering principles.
Kies also won the Alphonse Chapanis Best Student Paper Award for his paper, "A Psychophysical Evaluation of Frame Rate in Desktop Video Conferencing." Kies wrote the paper as part of his Ph.D. dissertation, which was directed by Williges.
Joe A. Adams, economic-development specialist in Public Service Programs, was a featured speaker at a recent symposium on International Programs and the Community College held in Roanoke. He presentation focused on the "Role of Community Colleges in International Trade Development."