WASHINGTON: Indian-American professor R Paul Singh has been named as the 2015 Global Confederation for Higher Education Associations for Agriculture and Life Sciences World Agriculture Prize laureate. The award was announced at the annual GCHERA conference, held last week at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon. The award will be formally presented on September 20,
during a ceremony at Nanjing Agricultural University, Jiangsu Province, China. "I'm deeply humbled and honored, upon receiving news of this award," said Singh, a distinguished professor emeritus who has held dual appointments in the departments of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis. Singh earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering at India's Punjab Agricultural University, then a master's degree and Ph.D at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University, respectively. He joined the UC Davis faculty one year later in 1975. "For over four decades, Professor Singh's work as a pioneer in food engineering has been improving lives the world over," said UC Davis Chancellor Linda PB Katehi. "This prestigious, and well-deserved, honour is a testament to the importance of his research, and UC Davis is tremendously honored to call him a member of our faculty," he said in a media release. Singh is known for a body of research in areas such as energy conservation, freezing preservation, post-harvest technology and mass transfer in food processing. His research on airflow in complex systems helped design innovative systems for the rapid cooling of strawberries, and his studies on food freezing led to the development of computer software that is used to improve the energy efficiency of industrial freezers. Under a NASA contract, his research group created food- processing equipment for a manned mission to Mars, the university said. He has helped establish and evaluate food-engineering programs at institutions throughout the world, including in Brazil, India, Peru, Portugal and Thailand.