IFST bestows Honorary Fellowship to Prof Charles Brennan

On Wednesday 20 October, IFST President Helen Munday was delighted to bestow the award of Honorary Fellow on Professor Charles Brennan Dean of the School of Science at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).  The highly prestigious award of Honorary Fellow is made to an individual who has been nominated by a member of IFST and has been recognised as making an extensive personal contribution to the working and progress of the Institute and to the food science and technology profession. The award to Charles Brennan recognises the enormous impact his work has made to the Institute’s reputation and profile.

Introducing the award to the audience Helen Munday stated’ Already a Fellow of the Institute, Charles has worked tirelessly as the Editor in Chief for our International Journal of Food Science and Technology (IJFST). Charles took on this role in July 2013 at a time when the journal was performing adequately but, certainly not exceptionally. Its Impact Factor was 1.13. Since his time as Editor-in-Chief, Charles has revolutionised the Journal, overseeing a team of three Assistant Editors. Under his leadership the editorial team has significantly reduced the review time for articles, raised the Journal’s profile and improved the Impact Factor to an impressive 3.713. This increase cannot be under-estimated as it raises the Journal’s status in academic circles and indicates that it is being cited more frequently and it has become a more prestigious journal in the field of food science and technology.

Last year, Charles secured an arrangement funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a special Open Access issue on roots and tubers. This was a significant move for the Journal in terms of raising its profile. From soon after being appointed as Editor in Chief until recently, Charles lived and worked in Lincoln, New Zealand. Recently, he has taken up a new post in Melbourne as Executive Dean of the School of Sciences at RMIT – The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. This is a role covering all sciences, not just food science and technology. Despite this, Charles remains totally committed to the Institute and the Journal and frequently posts about the Journal and Institute on social media. IFST is enormously grateful to the work that Charles has undertaken on behalf of the Institute, and similarly to our other active members and officials, Charles undertakes this work in addition to his professional duties as a full time researcher and educationalist.’

Helen ended the recording by saying ’‘I know many in the Institute will want to offer their congratulations to Charles who I know has played such an important role in supporting the Institute and Journal. When presented with the award, Charles was quick to acknowledge the whole editorial team for their part and this is very reflective of the type of person Charles is.’