University of Kentucky College of Agriculture College of Engineering
uk:. coa:. home:. Research


Food and Bioprocess Engineering

The field of food and bioprocess engineering is very exciting, with tremendous growth and opportunity. Our bioprocessing faculty have the breadth of experience to help students gain experience in several bioprocessing areas. 


Faculty research in this area includes:

  • Fiber optic sensor development
  • Food process automation
  • Bioseparation processes
  • Mathematical modeling of bioprocesses
  • Grain processing

Dr. Fred Payne, Professor in Food Engineering, has more than 13 years experience in fiber optic sensor design and food process automation. He has developed control algorithms based on fiber optic sensor reflectance measurements to predict the cutting-time for hard cheese and cottage cheese production. He is familiar with the practical needs of food operating plants and sanitary design requirements including 3A Sanitary Standards. His research entails sensor design, fabrication, and testing to measure various physical properties of food and bioprocessing materials based on the light scattering within the sample of interest.

Dr. Sue Nokes, Professor in Bioprocess Engineering, has more than 10 years experience in mathematical modeling biological systems, including plant and microbial systems. Her current research focus involves mathematical modeling of microbial system interactions with their engineered environment for improving production of value-added biochemicals. She is focusing on both liquid and solid-state fermentation of agricultural by-products for biochemical production.

Dr. Czarena Crofcheck, Associate Professor in Bioprocess Engineering, has 7 years of experience working with biological systems and process control. Her research focuses on product recovery and protein purification. She is focusing on the recovery of enzymes from fermentation processes similar to those utilized by Dr. Nokes' laboratory and the recovery of valuable proteins from plant sources. She hopes to utilize a foam fractionation technique to achieve efficient and cost effective bioseparations.

Dr. Mike Montross, Professor in Bioprocess Engineering