In 2016, Stephanie Bull was awarded the AJ Banks Travel Bursary to attend the International Conference on Food Oral Processing, an interdisciplinary meeting held to bring together scientists from industry and academia working on the physical, physiological, and psychological aspects of eating. Below, she tells us how attending the conference enhanced her networking opportunities.
I am approaching the end of my second year as a PhD student working in both the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences and School of Pharmacy at the University of Reading. I was grateful for the opportunity to present at the International Conference on Food Oral Processing, at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 3-6 July 2016, both as a poster, and an accompanying oral flash presentation ‘The effect of thermal denaturation on the mucoadhesive and sensory properties of whey protein.’ This conference was a fantastic opportunity to hear about research strongly related to my own, and to discover emerging technologies in analysing different oral processes.
The quality of talks at the conference was excellent, from a broad range of disciplines including dentistry, sensory science, and industrial food manufacturers. The areas covered of particular interest to me were: food structure, breakdown and sensory perception; physiology of chewing and swallowing; interaction of food and oral anatomy (in which I presented); and analytical techniques to measure food oral processing. Of particular interest to me were the many talks using tribology, and discussing advances in the methodology and use of this technique.
My flash presentation was at the end of a long opening day at the conference, however it piqued a lot of interest and my poster was visited by many inquisitive delegates shortly after the talk. During the poster session, I received suggestions from some experts in my field. It was exciting to be able to discuss ideas with academics with extensive experience in similar areas, and extremely useful to gain an insight into different techniques used by other institutes.
There were plenty of opportunities to find out more about research being carried out with both direct and indirect links to my own work during the poster sessions. It was a fantastic chance to meet many of the researchers whose work I have read and referenced during my PhD and those whose work will now shape and influence my ongoing research. The conference was attended by delegates from all around the world, and it was wonderful to see the collaborative spirit between countries. I look forward to working with some of the delegates in the future, and forming excellent working relationships across the globe.
I would like to thank SCI for their time in awarding me the AJ Banks Bursary. I would also like to thank my supervisors, Dr Lisa Methven, Professor Vitaliy Khutoryanskiy, and Dr Jane Parker for their support and guidance on my research.
University of Reading