IFST Awards Honorary Fellows

We are pleased to announce that Colin Dennis and Michael Walker have been awarded Honorary Fellowship Awards. The Honorary Fellowship is awarded to Members and Fellows who have made an extensive personal contribution to the working and progress of the Institute and to the food science and technology profession.

Colin Dennis’ career in food science spans 47 years. He was appointed as the first mycologist at the UK Government, Institute of Food Research (IFR) in Norwich where he subsequently headed the mycology and fruit & vegetable storage sections. After 11 years at IFR, including a period as Visiting Scientist at the Norwegian Food Research Institute (Matforsk) near Oslo, he joined Campden BRI, Chipping Campden in 1981, as Head of the Food Technology Division. In 1988 he was promoted to Director-General (CEO), a position he held for 21 years and during which the business expanded from an annual turnover of £2.5m to a turnover of over £19m in 2009, when he retired and was elected a Honorary member.

Colin is a Fellow and Past President of the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), a Fellow and Past President of the Institute of Food Technologists (USA), a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science & Technology and Past Chairman of the Scientific Council of the International Union of Food Science & Technology. He also served on the Selection Panel for the World Food Prize from 1996 to 2002.

Colin is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of IFIS and the Scientific Advisory Committee of Flanders Foods (Belgium) and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF). He also serves on the General Advisory Committee on Science at the UK Food Standards Agency, a Council Member of the British Nutrition Foundation and is on the Board of the National Skills Academy, the Countryside and Community Research Institute and on the Audit Committee at the Royal Agricultural University.

Of his appointment Colin commented: “I am extremely honoured to receive this recognition by my peers in IFST, a Professional Institute which has been a key focus for me throughout my career in food science and technology. I have benefitted greatly from interacting with the many talented individuals who share my passion for volunteerism and for our profession. It is vital that we all continue to promote the important role which science, technology and innovation play in ensuring a safe, nutritious and sustainable food supply for everyone. I look forward to an exciting future for our profession and to continuing my involvement in IFST.”

Michael Walker is a Chartered Chemist and Fellow of both IFST and RSC. He holds the MChemA, the statutory qualification to act as a Public Analyst in the UK.

Michael was the resident public analyst for the 26 local authorities of Northern Ireland from 1986 to 2004. His current portfolio includes Referee Analyst in the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, LGC, where he also manages research on allergen measurement, Chair of the FSA NI Strategic Committee on Food Surveillance, a thriving chemico-legal practice, member of the IFST Scientific Committee and a Training Officer for the Association of Public Analysts.

Michael was a subject matter expert to the UK DH/Defra Elliott Review in the aftermath of the horse meat scandal and continues to advise government on aspects of the Review. Michael formed his own consultancy in 2006 following extensive experience as a partner in a private laboratory practice, Public Analyst, non-executive Director and in Forensic Science Northern Ireland.

Michael is a member of the European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology and facilitated a Food Allergy & Food Intolerance Knowledge Network for 5 years to 2015. His non-executive director experience includes as a founder board member of the FSA.

He commented: “IFST is highly regarded for its rigour, independence and professional standards; it is also welcoming and supportive – attributes stemming from its founders and perpetuated by the exemplar culture of its Officers, executive team, and volunteers. I am proud to be part of an IFST that is a beacon for food safety and standards, protecting consumers and responsible businesses and fostering learning and development in turbulent times.

As I reflect on the pleasure this award gives me, I am conscious of being part of a team both in the Northern Ireland branch and the Scientific Committee, and I am grateful for the good friends, wise mentors, encouraging colleagues and intriguing problems of my food career, and especially for the support and active help of my wife and business partner Maria. I am immensely encouraged by the talent and enthusiasm of the upcoming generation of IFST committee volunteers in Northern Ireland and the skills, well-articulated by students in our competitions and Launchpad activities.  IFST has a bright future, I look forward to being a continuing part of that, thank you, IFST, for this award and I trust I can live up to the honour accorded me.”