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K-State Today

May 29, 2024

Grain science and industry faculty receive honors

Submitted by Kaliramesh Siliveru

Two grain science and industry faculty members received honors at the International Association of Operative Millers', or IAOM, 128th annual conference and expo held April 16-18 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Frances Churchill, professor of practice in the milling science and management program, was unanimously elected 2024-2025 president of the the association. She is the first female president in the organization's history. Churchill's focus as president will focus on inclusion, industry promotion and expanding professional development offerings.

"I am encouraged by the increased participation of women in the association," Churchill said. "We are intensifying our efforts to promote the grain milling industry as a great career choice with targeted marketing plans, community outreach events and enhanced educational programs."

Churchill has been an active member of the association's Employee Relations Committee since 2015. She served on the Education Committee from 1988-1992 and chairs the "Women in Milling" roundtable that started in 2020. Churchill joined the department of grain science and industry in 2012 after working in the flour milling industry for 25 years.

At the same conference and expo, Bhadriraju Subramanyam "Subi," university distinguished professor, received the prestigious George B. Wagner Memorial Award for his research and educational contributions to IAOM in the areas of sanitation and food protection. Subi joined the department of grain science and industry in 1999, and has been a member of IAOM since that time. He serves on the Food Protection Committee of IAOM, which includes food safety and regulatory representatives from various grain-processing industries.

"My association with IAOM pretty much shaped my professional career here at K-State," Subi said.

The following are a few statements from members of the Food Protection Committee regarding Subi:

"Dr. Subi has provided mentorship and support to me from my first days as a graduate student and into my professional career. He would often work long hours helping to perfect presentations, manuscripts and proposals. Even after graduate school, Dr. Subi still answers my questions and provides input and advice from research design to career pathways. He is a dedicated professor, researcher, and advocate for all those around him and is truly one-of-a-kind," Deanna Scheff, USDA-ARS, Center for Grain and Animal Health Research. 

"Subi's knowledge and great personality have certainly contributed at our FPC meetings over the years. He was involved in writing various documents the committee has created. Subi is friendly, approachable, very knowledgeable, and always willing to discuss and share what he knows. Specifically, Subi has pulled up studies and documents about food protection equipment for me, in support of our milling processes," Dan Bash, Mondolez. 

"Subi has provided the science to back green technology like 'heat treatments.' He developed a calculator and partnered with two of our facilities to help us understand the 'why' behind the lethality we were seeing and how to optimize air movement to improve its effectiveness. These learnings helped us streamline our process, minimize the time we held the heat, so we could get maintenance back in the building sooner and the facilities back on line," Mike Hoar, Riviana Foods. 

"In addition to Subi's work with member companies and his industry research, Subi has conducted presentations at annual conferences and multiple international district meetings over the years. His expertise is highly sought after all around the world," Ron Galle, Miller Milling.