29 Oct 2015
Kirtiraj Gaikwad was awarded an AJ Banks Travel Bursary in 2015 for his attendance at the Innovations in Food Packaging, Shelf Life and Food Safety conference, which was held in Munich from 15-17 September 2015. Here, he tells us how participating in the conference gained him useful experience in presenting his work and facilitated interactions which may lead to future job opportunities.
‘I am currently in the second year of my four year PhD at the Department of Packaging, Yonsei University, South Korea in food packaging. I was awarded an AJ Banks Travel Bursary which enabled me to attend Innovations in Food Packaging, Shelf Life and Food Safety, Munich, Germany during 15-17 September 2015.
‘The conference included 150 participants and 17 invited speakers from different countries and from all the continents to present their recent works in the food packaging area. Technical sessions and panel discussions were very informative with findings of cutting edge research, and they addressed the issues related to food safety, novel biomaterials for food packaging, sensory science, packaging laws and regulations. There were many posters and talks on my current research area - active packaging - at this conference. Those sessions were very useful for me to gather novel information on innovations in active packaging.
‘By attending the meeting I was able to speak to all the key scientists in one room to answer questions and obtain feedback on some of my results. I was also able to present my work to PhD students in other fields and gain a better understanding of the relationship between food packaging, shelf life and food safety. It also provided me with a valuable learning experience. For instance, it was an excellent opportunity to gather together, interact and exchange findings and views during conference sessions, coffee breaks and the conference dinner. Consequently, I met a number of academics and professionals from different countries who have similar research interests such as active packaging (oxygen scavenging packaging) and food safety issues. In addition, it allowed me to talk to principle investigators about future grant applications for potential post-doc opportunities once I have completed my PhD. I also met a few industrial members and learned more about job opportunities available outside of academia.
‘The AJ Banks Travel Bursary made it possible for me to attend this valuable conference. Therefore, I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to SCI, the travel award selection committee and the SCI staff from the membership, awards, and communication departments for their time.
‘Many thanks to my advisor, Dr Youn Suk Lee for his consistent support, encouragement, and guidance.’
Kirtiraj Kundlik Gaikwad
Department of Packaging
Yonsei University, South Korea