Food scientist is new head of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Professor Martin Cole

An internationally recognised food scientist and leader of research organisations in Australia and the United States has been appointed the new Head of the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

Following a highly competitive worldwide search, the University has appointed Professor Martin Cole, who has more than 25 years’ experience in research management across government, academia and industry.

Described as an “influential, inspirational and visionary leader”, Professor Cole has been in leadership positions with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) for the past 10 years, and is currently Deputy Director of CSIRO Agriculture and Food.

His previous positions include Director of CSIRO Food and Nutrition, and Director of the US National Center for Food Safety and Technology, the largest and most successful centre of excellence of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Professor Cole is internationally regarded for his work as a food scientist, with expertise in food safety, food trends and innovation, processing and nutrition, and the translation of science into community and commercial outcomes.

In his new role, which begins in February 2020, Professor Cole will have overall responsibility for the teaching and research efforts in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, based at the University’s Waite campus.

“I am excited to announce that Professor Martin Cole has accepted this leadership position at the University of Adelaide,” says Professor Keith Jones, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Sciences.

“Our School plays a critical role in the future of agriculture, food and wine in South Australia, primarily through the education of new generations of industry professionals and the application of our research, linked with government and industry.

“The University’s new strategic plan, Future Making, has identified agrifood and wine as a key industry engagement priority, and food security, environmental sustainability, and good health and wellbeing as among the grand challenges to be addressed by our work.

“Professor Cole’s extensive international experience, his strategic thinking on agribusiness and world food security, and his collaborative and multidisciplinary approach will be of great benefit to the future of agricultural science and education in this State,” Professor Jones says.

Professor Cole says: “This is an excellent time to be joining the University of Adelaide, which has such a rich history and fine reputation in agriculture, food and wine over many decades – and an exciting future ahead.

“To be taking on this role during a period of new strategic vision right across the University, with its associated renewal and transformation, presents many opportunities.

“The University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine has proven it has an important role to play in the health of our community, and in the economic prosperity of the State. I hope to build on those achievements for the benefit of our students, staff, industry and government, and ultimately for the benefit of our society,” Professor Cole says.

Professor Cole was recently elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering .

He is a member of the High Level Panel of Experts to the UN Food Security Committee, and is an invited expert to the World Health Organization (WHO) Food and Agriculture Organization. He is also a board member of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, and a Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology.

Professor Cole holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biological Sciences from Manchester Metropolitan University and a PhD from the University of East Anglia. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland.

Tagged in School of Agriculture Food and Wine, Food Science, Agriculture, Viticulture and Oenology