Dr. Kenneth R. Swartzel, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University, received the 2011 NC State University Innovator of the Year Award.
He currently serves as the Coordinator of Bioprocessing Programs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He also serves as the Director of the national Association of Public and Land-Grant University’s Food Systems Leadership Institute.
Dr. Swartzel previously held the position of Department Head of Food Science, 1993-2004 and the UNC System Director of the NC Technology Development Initiative, 2002-2003. His teaching and research interests have been in basic and applied kinetic principles and engineering considerations relative to processing and packaging of biomaterials.
In 1987 he founded CAPPS, an NSF Research Center that focuses on advanced biomaterial processing and packaging. CAPPS has since provided funding for over 180 research projects at 14 different universities.
Dr. Swartzel has been recognized with 9 international research awards and named Fellow of both the Institute of Food Technologists and the ASAE-The Society for Engineering in Agricultural, Food, and Biological Systems. He contributed to developments leading to three Institute of Food Technology Industrial Achievement Awards (1994,2009, &2011). In 2006 he received the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence; the highest award made by the university in recognition of a faculty's career achievements and contributions at NC State University.
In addition to 121 research publications to his credit he has co-authored 22 issued US patents. Licensed revenue from several of these NC State University owned patents have exceeded $20 million with licenses and/or know-how forming the foundation for seven start-up companies in North Carolina. Additionally, Dr. Swartzel has brought in over $23 million in external funding and/or in-kind equipment donations to the university.