Find your university representative

Our University Representatives are the eyes and ears of our student group and provide a valuable service in promoting IFST events and membership to their peers. They liaise with University contacts, promote IFST events, promote membership and work with our student group and local branch networks.

Listed below are all of our appointed University Representatives for the 2018-19 academic year.

Don't see your university on the list? Why not apply to become a University Representative.


To apply and be part of the Student Group 2019/20, please visit the Student Group page for more information


Murad Dahwan
Coventry University

My name is Murad Dahwan and I was born on the 1st of January 1995 in Sanaa, Yemen. My father died at the age of 56 from diabetes, which was also the likely result from a lifetime of smoking. Fortunately, I have been smart enough to avoid that bad habit. My early childhood was a typical middle-class environment but in 2004, I moved to the Netherlands with my mother but due to the fact she could not find a well-paid job, we moved to the UK (in 2012). In 2014, I was cycling to college every day. I often felt tired, so I was searching for food that gives energy. I enjoyed looking for information about nutrition and how the body benefits from food. Therefore, I decided to study Food & Nutrition.

In 2015/16, I started studying Food & Nutrition at Coventry University. I love my course because it allows me to understand nutrition and its impact on society today. It is necessary to understand the complete food chain as it operates from ‘farm to plate’. The combination of academic subjects and hands-on work in the kitchen and laboratory are aspects of the course that I particularly enjoy.

Christian Greenaway
Glasgow Caledonian University

I'm Chris, a mature student in the third year of the Food Biosciences programme at Glasgow Caledonian University. The journey so far has been tough at times but so incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. Food has been my vocation since an early age, starting with milking cows, butchery, horticulture and cooking in commercial kitchens. I owned and ran a boutique hotel and restaurant in Japan for nine of the sixteen years that I lived there. 

It was in Asia where I realised the concept of eating for prevention of disease and general health. I began to explore human-to-human relationships surrounding food and the deep connection between sustenance and wellbeing. I hope to use my skillset to contribute towards the good of society in a rapidly changing world. It is a priviledge to represent IFST at GCU. 

Daisy Akgonullu
University of Leeds

I am a Food Science student at the University of Leeds, who hopes to have a career in food development/processing. During my spare time, I enjoy nothing more than cooking and experimenting with different recipes, and travelling to new restaurants to stay updated with culinary trends. I am incredibly passionate about the food and drink industry, and as an avid traveller, I hope to visit new countries to discover more cultures and their cuisines.

Work experience with a process technologist team within Samworth Brothers, has given me an insight into the processes involved in development and production. As food demand continues to grow exponentially, I feel that is increasingly important to keep updated with research, so would like to raise awareness of it through being an IFST representative. Also, in this role I hope I can share my enthusiasm for the industry, and increase my knowledge of its advances. 

Rebecca Demosthenous
University of Nottingham

I am a second year BSc (Hons) Food Science and Nutrition student at the University of Nottingham who hopes to pursue a career in NPD. My love for the subject stems from my enjoyment of baking, in my free time I love experimenting with new flavours and recipe ideas. Outside of my studies, I am actively involved in the Food Society at my university. I hope to encourage more students to get involved in this exciting industry by joining IFST as it provides so many helpful links and resoureces to its members. I'm passionate about promoting and increasing awareness of all things food and look forward to being your IFST representative at UoN this year!

Aine Loughran
Queen's University Belfast

I am a student of Queen’s University in Belfast where I study Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition with Professional Studies. I am currently on my Placement Year working in the New Product Development Department in an Irish business. I chose to study a Food Science based degree as I’ve a keen interest in Nutrition and the Food Industry and wanted to focus my academics on my interests. I hope to make more links with students in other year groups and Universities in taking part in the IFST University Rep Team. 

Blessing Nwokocha
University of Reading - Postgraduate Rep

I am currently a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading. I have a passion for the Science of Food which started while I was an undergraduate studying Food Science and Technology at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Nigeria. I developed a keen interest in sustainable food processing and its role in achieving food security. This spurred me into obtaining a Master’s degree in Food Technology: Quality Assurance at the University of Reading where my drive for research in Food Science was strengthened.

I am delighted to serve as the IFST representative at the University of Reading. My aim is to increase the awareness of IFST among Food Science students as well as to encourage membership and participation in events such as conferences, competitions and excursions.

I love spending time with my family and friends when I’m not in the laboratory or library. Also, I love singing and listening to songs.

Esther Babatunde
University of Reading

Having completed my first year studying Food Technology and Bioprocessing at the University of Reading I am looking forward to further developing my knowledge in this field. I am keen to then implement knowledge gained to future placement opportunities and my career. Apart from my studies, I enjoy playing sports especially netball and also enjoy devoting time to volunteering initiatives on and off campus.

I am involved in a few societies one of which is the University Food Society (RUFANS). My role on the committee provides me with a great platform to showcase the amazing opportunities IFST membership may bring to student's personal and professional progression. Being an IFST student representative I am keen to get more involved in IFST events and promote the IFST as a whole.

Rebecca Law
University of Reading

Hi, I’m Rebecca. I’m a final year BSc Nutrition and Food Science student at the University of Reading.

Taking a few years out of education after my A-Levels gave me time to consider what I really wanted to do, and despite my limited science-y background, my interest in health and nutrition led me to studying a subject I am very passionate about. Aside from my studies, I’m a music fanatic, a book worm and a walking enthusiast. As cliché as it may sound, I love to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors!

I look forward to working with the IFST as a university representative. Being involved in making a difference to my fellow students’ education and experiences is an exciting prospect, and I am proud to be representing my university.

Jess Cornish
Sheffield Hallam University

Hi, I am Jess and I’m excited to be your IFST Representative for Sheffield Hallam. I am currently a 2nd year student, studying BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition. I have always been interested in food whilst growing up, and got involved in numerous food events, which has led me to develop an enthusiasm for sensory food science. Besides my involvement in food, I also enjoy a range of sports, and have even been known to attend the university’s trampolining sports group!!  I am also looking to join a water sports team this year. Becoming one of Sheffield Hallam’s IFST representatives is very exciting and I look forward to helping and encouraging other students engage with the IFST.

Hattie Falgate
Sheffield Hallam University

I am currently in my second year at Sheffield Hallam studying BSc (Hons) in Food and Nutrition, I have always been interested in food and particularly the issues surrounding household and industrial food waste. Out of Uni, I like travelling and have been around Europe and recently enjoyed a trip to Thailand, hopefully I will get the opportunity to travel more this year.  

Kawa Ho
University of Surrey

I am a second-year student at Surrey University and I am currently doing a BSc degree in Nutrition & Food Science. My connection with this field of study has always been underpinned by two factors. Firstly, as an advocate of healthy lifestyle, since an early age I have been cognizant of the pivotal role of food when it comes to creating and maintaining wellbeing. Controversially enough, a plethora of myths, fads and half-baked ideas that constantly revolve around nutrition, despite often posing major hindrances, gradually paved the way to my attraction to the subject and eventually made me besotted with it. Secondly, owing to my innate aptitude for cooking and a relentless pursuit to experience new tastes, I endeavor to enhance my knowledge of food development and the manufacturing sector at all times.

By representing and promoting IFST, I am looking forward to involving more erudite students of our field in order to foster learning and to make viable contributions to each other’s development.

Angelica Avolio
Teesside University

I am currently studying Food Science and Nutrition at Teesside University, and I would love to pursue a career as nutritionist and researcher in the same field. I chose to study this subject because I always had a passion for food, especially at its molecular level. Since my first nutrition classes back in High School, I always had interests in the biological reactions and effects that different foods have when they enter in contact with our system. However, I only decided to go into further studies after I came back from my gap year, which I spent traveling around Australia. I am looking forward to share my passion for this subject with all other students, hoping to help bring more awareness on the importance that Food Science has on our society on a day-to-day life.  

Cara Fleck
Ulster University

I am a final year student studying Food and Nutrition BSc at Ulster University Coleraine, Ireland.  I have completed my placement year in an industrial food bussiness that focus on health.  I enjoy my degree as it details the link between nutrition, health and disease which I find very interesting.  I recently visited Asia to see the differences in a Asian diet and a Western diet.

Zoe Ager
University College Birmingham

I am a final year BSc Food Development and Innovation student at UCB having recently completed an industrial placement at BSH in the Training and Culinary Development Department. Food is an integral part of every day life and I am very excited to be a part of the new and upcoming generation going into the food industry and tackling the imminent challenges the industry faces. My aim is to encourage more students to get involved with the IFST so they can have the same experiences and opportunities I have had through attending events, taking part in competitions and sharing knowledge and enthusiasm.

Pratima Gurung
University of Bedfordshire

I am a third year student studying BSc (Hons) Food Science and Nutrition at University of Bedfordshire. I love cooking, travelling and trying out varieties of foods and cuisines. I plan to understand the importance of foods and nutrients by joining this course so, I can contribute to improve the health and wellbeing of my community; starting from myself.


I hope to promote the importance of food and nutrition and encourage others to pursue careers in food and nutrition industry. I look forward to be the IFST representative at University of Bedfordshire.

Louise Gale
Bournemouth University

I am a final year BSc (Hons) Nutrition student at Bournemouth University. I have a huge interest in new product development and was lucky enough to work as a product development coordinator at a gluten-free cake company in my second-year placement. I am currently working on my research project exploring students’ views on entomophagy (eating insects) which I am finding fascinating. I’m super excited to promote IFST widely across BU through the Bournemouth University Nutrition Society (BUNS) which was recently resurrected by myself and my colleagues.

Hayley Bowes
Liverpool Hope University

I am a 3rd year BSc (Hons) Nutrition Student at Liverpool Hope University. I have always had a passion for food since I was young, leading me to compete in many cooking competitions including Young Chef of the Year. After expanding my knowledge of food and nutrition at Univeristy I have learnt my specific interests lay with product development, sensory analysis and food technology. Outside of Nutrition I enjoy traveling and visiting new places – local and afar.

I am currently working on my dissertation where I am investigating chemical composition changes in wine with age and therefore if there is any impact on the sensory properties of wine with age. I am excited to be working with IFST as part of their student representative team alongside my studies. 

Jake Rigby-WIlson
Bath Spa University

I'm a mature student and father in my second year of the Food with Nutrition programme at Bath Spa University. The journey back into academia has been challenging but has opened a world of possibilities and future goals. I previously was a pastry chef working in London after graduating from Westminster Kingsway College in 2000. I have worked for a few companies (Nobu, Caprice Holdings and Soho House) during my time there, alongside projects including Edible Cinema and afterparty events for award ceremonies and movie premieres.

My family, on my father’s side, emigrated from Germany to the UK in the late 19th century to set up a chain of Bakeries in South London, Wilson's Bakery Brixton. My Grandfather was a chef onboard a Royal Navy vessel protecting the North Sea during WW2 and took part in the liberation of Norway. This history has encouraged me to research the evolution of our food chain along with the provision and eating habits within the UK. I try to incorporate it into my study whenever possible but my main focus is on product development. I chose Bath Spa university as it has a well-established food and nutrition programme which ties in well with their sustainability, environment and creative art departments. 

Lucy Kershaw
University of Surrey

I am a final year Nutrition and Food Science student at the University of Surrey. I have been passionate about food since an early age. I enjoy cooking, experimenting with new recipes, learning about how food affects our health and how important it is for us to understand the science behind it. I enjoyed a fantastic placement year at Unilever, understanding how important Nutrition and Food Science knowledge is within such a major company. This great experience has encouraged me to pursue a career in the food industry and also become a Student Representative for IFST. The food industry offers a vast and exciting career path and I would love to help inspire students to become involved with IFST.

I am also interested in public health nutrition and education. Because of this, I am basing my dissertation project on nutrition education in primary schools in the Guildford area. I am looking forward to implementing my education workshop in the coming months and analysing the results.

Natalie Papadakis
Westminster University

My name is Natalie and I am the second year Human Nutrition student at the University of Westminster. 

I started my career as a B.Sc. Accounting and Finance graduate from the University of Birmingham with a 2:1, entering the financial sector with an audit role in one of the biggest four audit firms. However, having fallen in love with the power of food along the way I decided to change careers and follow my passion for nutrition.

I have also worked in the food industry over the summer and never before have I witnessed a more crucial time to inform customers about the food choices they make, where does that food come from and what research has been done so far about the food science that surrounds us today.

Hannah Munds
Teeside University

I’m Hannah and I am currently in my 2nd year at Teesside University studying Food and Nutrition. I have always had a love for cooking and experimenting with different foods, which initiated my interest in how these foods impact our health and the science behind it.

I now have a particular passion for the connection between food and disease and hope to pursue a career in the nutrition field. My love for food has also grown with my love for traveling, as experiencing different cultures and cuisines has shown me how food trends and the food industry differ worldwide. I am excited to have the opportunity to increase student awareness of IFST and the importance the Food Science field has on our society.

Ben Whippman
Cardiff Metropolitan University

I am a second year BSc Food Science & Technology student at Cardiff Metropolitan University and hope to pursue a career in New Product Development (NPD). I have been passionate about all things food related since an early age and I look forward to being the IFST Student Representative for Cardiff Met and promote and raise more awareness of the benefits of IFST such as all the helpful resources available, the exciting and informative events and IFST membership.

Naomi Liles
University of Central Lancashire

I am a second year student at the University of Central Lancashire studying Nutrition and Exercise Sciences. Before applying to study nutrition I was a professional dancer travelling the world, sampling different cuisines and experiencing different cultures. Food naturally played a big role in my career, used as fuel for performances or to maintain a certain physique. I hope to use my positive and negative experiences to help others and drive awareness as to the impact it can have on our health. The ongoing research into the connection of nutrition and disease fascinates me, especially around the microbiome and the gut brain axis.

I am excited about the opportunities the food industry offers and I hope to help encourage other students to get involved, use the great resources IFST provides and connect with other people who share the same passion.  

Charlotte McCready
Harper Adams University

I am a second year student at Harper Adams University studying BSc Hons Food Manufacturing with Marketing. 

Through my degree I have recently been offered a fantastic role with Dairy Crest in a blended R&D and Marketing position. The opportunities that Harper Adams University has given me have been overwhelming and I am so far very grateful. I have a passion for food safety and production, particularly enjoying my science-based modules such as Hygiene and Food Safety which involves a mixture of practical lab sessions and lectures.

I am hoping to use my Student Rep position with IFST to gain a further knowledge of the industry and create more contacts.