Connect to Innovate PhD award for Meinou Corstens
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Connect to Innovate PhD award for Meinou Corstens

During the opening ceremony of the upgraded Yili Innovation Center Europe on the campus of Wageningen University in the Netherlands Yili for the first time awarded an outstanding young scientist who recently finished their PhD study with the Connect to Innovate award. By this Yili emphasizes the importance of connecting innovation to science.
From several outstanding submission the section committee had to choose based on the evaluation criteria for the Award, which are as follows. The topic should first be related to dairy science and technology, second of scientific excellence and third of industrial relevance. The award was open for PhD students who either recently finished or are in the final year of their thesis.

The selection committee was chaired by Prof. Tiny van Boekel, Special Professor in Diary Science & Technology at Wageningen University & Research. It consisted of dr. Gerrit Smit and dr. Matthias Eisner from Yili Innovation Center Europe and Prof. Kees de Graaf, Chairman Division of Human Nutrition and Professor in Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour. They chose the PhD thesis from Meinou Corstens with the title: “Encapsulation of lipids to delay lipolysis and reduce food intake. From encapsulate design to human intake”. She graduated cum laude (meaning: with distinction) last April at Wageningen University. The promotors were Prof. Schroen from Wageningen University & Research and Prof. Masclee from Maastricht University. “I would also like to congratulate them with this achievement, a very nice combination of Food Process Engineering in Wageningen and Medical Research in Maastricht,” Prof. van Boekel said during the ceremony. “It was very original research, multidisciplinary, technological as well as nutritional, doing research with emulsions but also with human intervention studies, all to study the very complex issue of satiety. It is on the one hand a very broad topic that at the same time was studied in depth, which is not easy to do.”

This is also an excellent example of how universities and industries can work together in the spirit of Connect to Innovate: mechanisms and proof of concepts studied and universities and companies bringing this knowledge towards application.