October 12, 2016

A message from CFANS Dean Brian Buhr:

Kumar Mallikarjunan

I am very pleased to announce that P. Kumar Mallikarjunan, an accomplished academic leader and highly regarded international researcher in the field of food engineering will assume the role of Department Head in Food Science and Nutrition in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) effective January 2, 2017.  

Dr. Mallikarjunan will lead a department that is an international leader in education, research and outreach for food and nutrition sciences in the agricultural and health sectors. Having earned a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India, Dr. Mallikarjunan completed a M.S. from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand and Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from the University of Guelph, Canada. In his current position as Professor of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, his research encompasses food process engineering and development. He also conducts research in biomedical diagnostics and development of novel sensing systems.

Kumar is noted for his collaborative leadership style especially in bringing together people from diverse disciplines and spanning from academia to industry and alumni as well as mentoring students from underserved communities. His strong presence with industry and commitment to building international research and public/private/ government partnerships offers unique global potential to the department.

I want to express my gratitude to Dan Gallaher for providing interim department leadership since July. He will continue serving in this capacity until Kumar's arrival in January.

My thanks to Dr. Shri Ramaswamy for chairing the search committee process along with the committee members: David Baumler, Ryan Cox, Justin Carlson, Xiaoli Chen, Carrie Earthman,  Dorit Hafner, Pam Ismail, Dan Kennedy, Mindy Kurzer, John Larkin, Jon Ploeger, Marla Reicks, Tonya Schoenfuss, and Chery Smith, and also Jean Burdick for HR support.

We look forward to the energy Kumar will bring to charting a new course for advancing the strategic vision and programmatic mission of Food Science and Nutrition. Please join me in welcoming Kumar to his leadership role.

From Dr. Mallikarjunan: "I am excited for the opportunity to become a part ofand to lead this renowned Food Science and Nutrition department. Being a foodie, I am also delighted to come to the food capital of the world."