Dr Parkash Kochar is one of this year’s three recipients of SCI’s Distinguished Service Awards (DSA). He joined SCI in 1974 and throughout his membership has been involved heavily in SCI’s Lipids group. Here, Parkash describes his involvement and experiences at SCI.
When and why did you become a member of SCI?
I joined the SCI in 1974 during first year of my appointment of Research Scientist at Leatherhead Food RA – known at that time BFMIRA, British Food Manufacturing Industry Research Association – in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK. This was on the recommendation of Oils & Fats Section Manager at the time in the field of my research work.
What has driven your continued involvement with SCI?
My continued interest in the activities of the group and SCI matters in general helped in increasing my professional circle among researchers and colleagues working in various aspects of lipids.
How has being involved in SCI activities had an impact on your professional career?
Certainly, this had substantial impact on enlarging my own experience in various areas of science, refining, processing, and technologies of oils and fats, including health and nutritional areas.
What motivates to you to participate in SCI activities?
My great interest in developing knowledge in variety of areas of the field motivated me to organise more than ten national and international conferences and meetings on behalf of the Lipids group, which were both successful scientifically as well as financially. I also enjoyed giving presentation during many of these conferences.
How do you think that your contribution has helped shape SCI?
Firstly, the Lipids group are a founding member of the Euro Fed Lipid Congress and I acted as the first Honourary Treasurer for several years and a member of council of management, which helped raise the flag of SCI in Europe. Secondly, I assisted in changing the name of group from Oils & Fats to Lipids due to changing role of the oils and fat industries in the UK. Lastly, four years ago under my leadership the group started Young Lipid Scientists Award in order to encourage young scientists and researchers in the field to become SCI members.
What are your thoughts about receiving a DSA?
I am thrilled and greatly honoured to receive an SCI DSA. My thanks are due to both the Lipids group team members for recommending my name and the Membership Affairs Committee for recognising my substantial contributions to SCI activities.