Future of food and agriculture from macro to nano: opportunities and challenges
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 1 PM Eastern Time
Dr. Carmen L. Gomes
Mechanical Engineering Department
Illinois Tech

Dr. Carmen Gomes is currently an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Iowa State University where she is leading a successful research program on the design of novel nanoscale materials using carbon-based nanomaterials and polymers for food safety and agricultural applications. Projects pursued in her laboratory range from fabrication of polymeric nanomaterials and nanostructured devices for biosensors to bioactive delivery systems. Dr. Gomes has over 14 years of experience working in the research area of nanotechnology applied to food processing, food safety and food quality to develop effective solutions in food and agriculture production.

Description: This talk aims to generate "new food for thought" and highlight the need for convergence between several domains, to address the challenges presented by manufacturing food, to feed the future ten billion. How can science and engineering help solve problems, which may arise, when we must replenish, and maintain inventories, in a manner that is sustainable, for public access to the most basic global public goods?
Perhaps the most important context is convergence and the evolution of new dynamic paradigms driven by consumer’s demand. Food is inextricably linked with energy, water and sanitation (FEWS). It can be easily extended to include healthcare. Hence, what is the “bigger” picture? FEWSH? What role(s) does technology play in this dynamic system? Principles of convergence science will be applied to view food manufacturing through the lens of resource management, food production, nanotechnology development, economics, and consumer needs. “What is the future of (nano)technology in sustainable food manufacturing?”
“Hidden technologies” (antimicrobial materials, autonomous sensors, genetic engineering) as well as conventional technologies (unit processes, dairy processing systems, sensory panels) and the role that they play in sustainable food manufacturing will be discussed. In some cases, the application calls for unique attributes provided by nanotechnology.