Food Science Leads U of A's Agreement With Austrian University
The TU Graz signing ceremony included (L to R): Harald Kainz, TU Graz rector; Claudia Jansen, Office of International Relations and Mobility Programmes; Erich Leitner, Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Food Chemistry; Andy Proctor, U of A University Professor of food science; Roberta Maierhofer, Fulbright-Austria board member; and Sabine Prem, Office of International Relations and Mobility Programmes.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas, in an effort led by the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, has signed an agreement of cooperation and exchange with Graz University of Technology in Austria.
The agreement focuses on food science, chemistry and the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It allows exchanges for international research experiences to undergraduate and graduate students, travel abroad opportunities to attend short courses and the possibility to complete internships. It also creates potential collaboration for faculty research, externally funded international projects, conference sponsorship and publication.
“We are very pleased to expand our European partnerships with TU Graz,” said Jean-Francois Meullenet, head of the Department of Food Science. “This will provide unique opportunities for our students to participate in high-quality research experiences and discover the Austrian food industry, which is recognized for processing high-quality and innovative food products.”
Andy Proctor, University Professor of food science, coordinated the agreement with Erich Leitner, deputy head of the Institute of Analytical Chemistry and Food Chemistry at TU Graz. It was finalized on June 22 and signed by TU Graz Rector Harald Kainz and U of A Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ashok Saxena.
“The teaching, research infrastructure and support at TU are world class,” said Proctor. “Students gain a first-rate technical education and learn professional skills to launch their careers. In particular, the food research integrates world-class advanced mass spectrometry with quantitative human sensory analysis to produce a unique program. The International Programs Office has provided outstanding service in facilitating this food science exchange program.”
Proctor completed a term last fall as a Fulbright-Austria NAWI Graz Visiting Professor in Natural Sciences. NAWI Graz is a partnership between the University of Graz and Graz University of Technology, and stands for joint teaching, research and doctorate programs in natural sciences and engineering, including chemistry, technical and molecular biosciences, mathematics, environmental science, physics and geosciences. NAWI is a German abbreviation for “natural sciences.”
Proctor’s projects included organizing career enhancement seminars for Austrian natural sciences students, being part of a multidisciplinary team to address high impact European Union Horizon 2020 food science and technology research goals, initiating international research and education programs, and interacting with students through classroom teaching.
Leitner was in Fayetteville in March as a guest of the Department of Food Science. He and Proctor examined international program development opportunities, Leitner learned more about Arkansas’ food industry, and conducted seminars with students in food science and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Robby Edwards, director of communications
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