- Senior Scientist
- Place of Work
- Plant & Food Research
Marco leads a group of scientists who investigate the processing of cereals in foods, including how cereals can be turned into food products that are both healthy and easy to manufacture. The foods range from bread, which is automatically produced in large quantities, to pastries or muffins that are made in small runs.
Marco’s area of expertise is using an understanding of physics to improve food processing and food quality. For example, he uses his training in applied physics to investigate the movement of heat and mass during baking, and to find out how foods behave when they are processed or chewed.
What's really exciting is the way that the different disciplines are coming together...
One of his favourite parts of the job is setting up experiments and analysing data from them.
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Marco’s never dreamed he would end up in food research when he first started a degree in applied physics in The Netherlands. Instead, his main interest was fluid dynamics, but when he emigrated to New Zealand job opportunities in that field were very limited.
A job opportunity for a researcher to apply concepts from physics to food processing opened up with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (which no longer exists). The idea really appealed, and Marco applied for and won the position. Fortunately, he found that his skills were actually very generic and he could be applied to foods and food processing.
The job changed over the years, Crop & Food Research was formed, which is now called Plant & Food Research, and Marco was increasingly required to lead a manage a group of researchers.
- 15 November 2007