A Festschrift fit for a scholar

A traditional academic celebration, Festchrift, was held on 13 July 2016 to mark the retirement of Professor Peter Munro. After an illustrious career, and nine years at Massey University, Professor Munro retired from the Riddet Institute at the END of April.

Derived from German, a Festschrift is a collection of writings published in honour of a scholar. Held on the Manawatū campus, Professor Munro’s Festchrift saw colleagues present as part of a half-day scientific programme covering the breadth of his career, including the management of science and technology innovation to maximise the commercialisation of new products and processes.

The event, which was jointly organised by the Riddet Institute and Fonterra, reflected on Professor Munro’s career and looked to the future of the dairy and food industry, in relation to science, education, and research and development.

Distinguished Professor Paul Moughan said the dairy industry was very lucky Professor Munro chose to apply his attention to the sector. “Peter has had a long and distinguished career in dairy food science and engineering which has seen him apply his scientific findings to new products and processes for the New Zealand dairy industry which have made a substantial contribution to the wealth and knowledge of New Zealand.”

Described as a “dynamic leader of people”, Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh went on to say “Peter always encouraged a results culture and led by example. He focused on areas where there were real commercial problems and technical challenges and was often successful. I am grateful to have worked with you Peter and wish him the very best in retirement”.

Leaving a Legacy

As part of his final role he oversaw cutting-edge, world-leading science undertaken at Fonterra as part of the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain Primary Growth Partnership between MPI and industry.

Mark Malone, Acting Director of Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre, said the work was a fitting culmination of Professor Munro’s outstanding career in academia and industry.

“Peter has inspired a new group of talented young researchers to do some excellent science but always keep an eye on the commercial outcomes and benefits for others,” he said.

“That is his legacy – how to turn science and great ideas into solutions, products and good commercial outcomes.”

Professor Munro took up his role as Fonterra Chair in Food Materials Science at Massey University in May 2011. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of New Zealand and New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology and was awarded the Danisco International Dairy Science Award in 2005.

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