Meet the Board

David Gregory
President

David has a portfolio of Non-Executive roles in food and science related businesses and organisations. These include Non-Executive Director of Boparan Holdings (2 Sisters Food Group), a multinational chilled food business, Non-Executive Chairman of Acoura Ltd and a Member of Council and Chair of Audit Committee of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

David is also Vice Chairman of the National Land Based College (UK), a visiting professor at the University of Reading Centre for Food Security, and a member of the industrial advisory board of the Roslin Institute. David was elected as President of Institute of Food Science and Technology in March 2017 and is a Fellow of IFST and a Chartered Scientist. 

Previous non-exec roles include Chairman of Red Tractor Farm Assurance, Chairman of the British Nutrition Foundation and non–exec director of the British Retail Consortium Trading Ltd.

Before developing this portfolio, David spent 26 years working for Marks & Spencer from where he retired as Technical Director in 2009. During his time at M&S he was instrumental in a number of nutrition, innovation and sustainability initiatives and was one of the co-authors of Plan A – the widely recognised industry leading eco plan.

Maureen Edmondson
Immediate Past President

Maureen was educated in Food Science at Queen’s University of Belfast and worked in Universities in Northern Ireland and Melbourne, Australia before joining the Mars Company where she worked for 20 years. She was Director of International Scientific Affairs at Mars Inc until 2000. She served six years as the Chair of the Northern Ireland Food Advisory Committee and as Northern Ireland Member of the Food Standards Agency Board.

Maureen is Chair of the Patient and Client Council, the Ofcom Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, the Board of Governors of Edgehill Theological College and is a visiting Professor in the University of Ulster School of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. She is the immediate Past President of IFST and chairs the Risk and Audit Committee of the International Union of Food Science and Technology. Maureen is married to Doug and they live in Portaferry, Northern Ireland. 

Michael Bell
Vice President

Michael has over thirty-four years’ experience in the food industry and has been the Executive Director of Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) for over 22 years. He previously worked in Northern Ireland and Malta for twelve years working closely with major retailers and was a member of the Board of Ormeau Bakery. 

Michael has an honours Degree in Food Science and is a Fellow of Institute of Food Science and Technology (FIFST) and a Chartered (Food) Scientist (CSci). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD) and is a Chartered Director (C Dir) He also has a Leaders in Industry Programme Food and Drink Manufacturing sector award from Queen’s University, Belfast. Michael is Chairman of the Northern Ireland Agricultural Research and Development Council (Agrisearch) and a member of Safefood Expert Advisory Committee. 

In addition, Michael is a member of the Northern Ireland Food and Feed Advisory panel for the Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland and a board member of Agri-Quest - the Food Innovation Competence Centre.

Tom Æ Hollands
Honorary Secretary

Tom is the Innovation and Technical Director at Raynor Foods, he is an accomplished Food Scientist who has worked in both government (Food Standards Agency) and the private sector. 

He has a BSc in Food Science and Technology (1st Class) from Manchester Metropolitan University, he is also a Fellow of Institute of Food Science and Technology as well as a Chartered Scientist.

Tom is a true innovator at heart and has won many national and international accolades in recognition of this, including the prestigious (and inaugural) FDF Food and Drink Scientist of the Year (2013) and the inaugural BSA Technical Excellence Award in 2012 and again in 2015. Tom’s innovations are focused around sustainability and he has particular interest in meta food systems and the complex links that join them.

Julian M Cooper
Chair of Scientific Committee

Professor Cooper is an internationally renowned carbohydrate expert. During his 35 year career in the sugar industry he developed extensive experience in process and product development including reformulation and research and development in the food sector.

Jane-Marie Hawronskyj
Chair of Professional Development

Jane-Marie has a BSc in Microbiology & a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham. She started her career at Campden BRI, before moving on to work in the food manufacturing sector. She has been an independent consultant since 2005, providing a variety of technical & food safety solutions to a wide range of food manufacturing, catering & retail operations. 

For the last three years, Jane-Marie has been working closely with the aviation sector, improving food safety standards. She travels extensively, having worked in Africa, Asia, North America, South America & Europe. Jane-Marie contributed to the creation of the Food Safety Professional Register, launched in 2014. 

She has been an active member of the IFST Professional Development Forum since 2011, previously holding the posts of Hon. Secretary and Vice Chair. 

Ian Blakemore
Honorary Treasurer and Chair of Finance Committee

Ian has a degree in Microbiology from the University of Dundee, with over 25 years experience in food manufacturing, technical support and commercial roles in the public and private sectors, in large and small organisations. A keen advocate of technology transfer, he has been running Protem Projects, a consultancy focussed on providing solutions in and around the food supply chain, especially at the University / Industry interface. He is a Fellow of IFST.

Richard Frazier
Chair of Education and Careers

Richard is Professor of Food Science at the University of Reading and the Head of its Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences. He has an honours degree in Chemistry from the University of Bristol, which he followed with his PhD from the University of Nottingham. After postdoctoral research positions at Nottingham, Reading and Imperial College, he was appointed as a Lecturer at Reading in 2000, and was awarded his Personal Chair in 2013.

Richard is an experienced and passionate university educator who strives to enable students to become independent and inspiring professionals through his teaching and through encouraging participation in extracurricular opportunities, including professional placement years, LaunchPad, Ecotrophelia and POST Fellowships. 

He has a long track record of innovation in teaching and science communication, including leading the initial development of the BBSRC-funded AgriFood Training Partnership, development of online learning courses (MOOCs) and involvement in several EIT Food Knowledge and Innovation Community Education projects that seek to develop new food industry innovators and to build consumer trust in food through education and communication. Richard is a Fellow of IFST.

Margaret Patterson
Chair of Publications

Margaret has a BSc in Food Science, a Master’s degree in Organisation and Management and a PhD in Food Microbiology. She was a Principal Scientific Officer and Project Leader at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) based in Belfast. She led a research team responsible for microbiological aspects of novel food processing technologies. In particular, she was involved in research on high pressure processing of foods and food irradiation.

Margaret has acted as an External Consultant on Food Safety for the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agricultural Organisation. She was President of the Society for Applied Microbiology in 2005-2008. She served as President of Institute of Food Science & Technology from 2013-2014.

Alex Kent
Independent Assessor

Alex is a graduate of the Department of Food Science at Leeds University and has spent his career in Technical Management, Quality Assurance and New Product Development within the Food Industry.

He has worked for blue chips such as Marks & Spencer, Unilever [Batchelor’s], Spillers Foods [Homepride], Unigate, the Lusty Group, and latterly at Fibrisol Service – a major supplier of functional food ingredients, as well as for smaller organisations. In addition, he has taught at secondary level, worked for a Trading Standards Department in Bedfordshire in enforcement, and was for a short time an Hotel & Restaurant Inspector for Egon Ronay.

Recently retired, Alex devotes his efforts to helping small businesses with respect to food safety systems, primarily through SALSA, where he performs both auditing and mentoring in diverse sectors, from fish processing to craft breweries. He is also involved with the Food Club, an organisation designed for networking and self-help in and around the London area.

Alex is an Honorary Fellow and has held the posts of Hon. Treasurer and Hon. Secretary, apart from pursuing active service on the Finance Committee, Food Law and Food Safety SIGs and involvement with the South Eastern Branch.

In his role as the Independent Assessor, he acts as an observer, acting on behalf of the members to ensure that the Board of Trustees and the Executive operate according to the Institute’s charitable principles.