Mary Ann Augustin
Mary Ann Augustin was born in Sungai Patani, Kedah, Malaysia and grew up in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. She completed her primary and secondary schooling in Malaysia at the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. She did her matriculation at Taylor’s College in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. She moved to Australia as a student in 1972 to study at Monash University. She returned to Malaysia in 1978 after completing her PhD studies. In 1988, she and her family (husband and two children) migrated to Australia.
Tertiary education and early career
She completed a degree in Science (majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry), an Hons (1st Class) and a PhD in Chemistry at Monash University. She had academic appointments early in her career (1979 -1988) at various Universities including Universiti Sains Malaysia (Department of Chemistry), University of Newcastle-upon-Type (Department of Chemistry) and Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (Department of Food Science and Technology) before joining CSIRO in 1988. In Malaysia, she was active in research on oils and fats and had an association with the then Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia.
Time at CSIRO
Mary Ann Augustin has had several science leadership and multi-disciplinary project leader roles. Early in her career at CSIRO, she led the development of a range of specialised milk powders. She with colleagues (Phil Clarke and Bruce Aitken) at the Dairy Research Laboratory are best known for ‘heat stable milk powder technology’, a technology which enabled the Australian dairy industry to capture milk powder markets in Saudi in the early 1990s. Their work on milk powders was recognised by the Sir Ian McLennan Achievement For Industry Award 1998. When the Dairy Research Laboratory joined forces with AFISC (Australian Food Industry Science Centre) to become FSA (Food Science Australia) in 1997, she teamed up with Luz Sanguansri to develop a new generation of microencapsulated fish oil powders which was commercialised by Clover Corporation in the early 2000s. The CSIRO team & Clover Corporation were awarded the American Oil Chemists Society Corporate Achievement Award in 2003 in recognition for the “technological, commercial and public health impact of their joint research in oil microencapsulation technology over the last five years”. In 2009, she initiated a relationship between the palm oil milling industry and was part of the team that developed the application of ultrasound technology (with Phil Clarke, Pablo Juliano and others) to reduce oil loss during palm oil milling in collaboration with Malaysian partners (Tai Tak & IHMS). This work was recognised by the American Oil Chemists Society Corporate Achievement Award in 2013 for the applied ultrasound technology which leads to “improved commercial returns for industry and environmental benefits” in the palm oil industry. In 2014, she led the development of a new research platform on reducing food loss and waste. This research is leading to improved strategies for value adding in the horticultural industry. She is a strong advocate for transdisciplinary practice for facilitating innovation.
Career highlights at other organisations
- Professorial Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Monash University (2005 – 2007)
- Member of Scientific Programme Advisory Committee for the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (2005-2010)
- Deputy Chair (Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, Agricultural Forum) – (August 2014 – present – March 2018)
- IUFoST (International Union of Food Science and Technology) – Expert Panel Member on Food Security (Jul 2015 – present – March 2018)
- High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE)
- Member of Project Team for the report on Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition http://www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-hlpe/news-archive/detail/en/c/1103100/
Honours and awards
2013: Australian Academy of and Engineering (ATSE) Became a fellow of ATSE in 2013
2013: American Oil Chemists Society Corporate Achievement Award 2013 (Team IHMS/TaiTak/CSIRO) for the applied ultrasound technology to significantly reduce the oil loss and waste streams in the milling of palm oil leading to improved commercial returns for industry and environmental benefits. [The Corporate Achievement Award recognizes industry achievement; an outstanding process, product, or contribution that has made the greatest impact on its industry segment. Industry segments include: fats, oils, fats and oils derivatives, and by-products.]
2008: Newton Turner Award (CSIRO) Recipient of this Award in its inaugural year – this prestigious award is for exceptional scientists who have demonstrated outstanding scientific achievement.
2003: American Oil Chemists Society Corporate Achievement Award 2003. Awarded to Food Science Australia and Clover Corporation in recognition for the “technological, commercial and public health impact of their joint research in oil microencapsulation technology over the last five years”.
2001: Recognised In Women In Business 2001 (Commonwealth of Australia). Recognition by the Commonwealth of Australia (Ministry for Industry, Science and Resources) of selected successful Australian businesswomen’s contributions to the Australian Industry 2001
2001: JR Vickery Address This is recognition by the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology. It is the major keynote address at the Australian Food Science and Technology Conference
1998: Sir Ian McLennan Achievement For Industry Award Recognition for outstanding contributions by CSIRO scientists and engineers to national development for work on dairy research on heat-stable milk powder technology and a range of specialised functional milk powders, commercialised by the Australian dairy industry.
1997: Loftus-Hills Silver Medal Of The Dairy Industry Association Of Australia Recognition for significant contributions to the field of dairy science and technology.
Submission by Mary Ann Augustin, 29 March 2018