Selected in the final four student candidates, Mr O’Sullivan was invited to the association’s annual conference in San Luis Obispo, California, where he pitched the value of his research to the audience of global packaging specialists.
The association, of which Massey University is a member, represents over 50 research and industry organisations from 28 countries with an interest in the science of packaging.
Mr O’Sullivan’s research focuses on use of computational fluid dynamics to understand cooling of kiwifruit as influenced by the package they are contained in.
Results from his research will inform design of new packaging systems to enable faster cooling and better temperature maintenance within the supply chain.
While kiwifruit are used as his model system, knowledge generated from this work is applicable to any horticultural crop.
Dr Andrew East and Dr Richard Love, both of the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, and Maria Ferrua of the Riddet Institute supervised his work.
His PhD study is one of four current doctoral projects at the Centre for Postharvest and Refrigeration Research, funded by Zespri International, which aim to continue to improve kiwifruit quality when the fruit reach export markets.
The scholarship will allow Mr O’Sullivan to travel to Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium for a period of visiting study; University of Stellenbosch, South Africa to discuss his research with a postharvest group with similar interests; and Finland to discuss his research results at the next annual meeting of the association.
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