John W Larkin - 2016 College of Engineering BAE Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

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John W Larkin - 2016 College of Engineering BAE Distinguished Alumni Award


 

John W. Larkin, PhD ’84, Agricultural Engineering & Food Science

John W. Larkin, PhD ’84, Agricultural Engineering & Food Science, was awarded the 2016 College of Engineering BAE Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. John W. Larkin began making an impact in the food science industry even as an undergraduate student - through jobs, internships, and research projects.

He completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees in food science and nutrition (1978 and 1980, respectively) at The Ohio State University, and earned his PhD from MSU in 1984. He then took a position as assistant professor at Virginia Tech in both the Food Science and Agricultural Engineering Departments, where he developed a research program measuring thermal properties of food products.

In 1987 John accepted a fellowship with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in 1989 was promoted to chief of the Food Processing Branch. He managed many projects, including those involving seal integrity of packaged food products, identification and isolation of Clostridium botulinum spores, and adequacy of dairy processing systems to meet the requirements of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance. From 1999-2002 John worked with the Grocery Manufacturers Association to develop a food industry specific guidance document on the validation of automated control systems - a document still in use today. Since 2014 John has been research director for the Food Protection and Defense Institute at the University of Minnesota. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

His awards and accomplishments include an FDA Individual Award for Significant and Exceptional Performance (1997) and being elected a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (2007).

John loves to watch Big 10 football; he cheers for both MSU and OSU and tries not to pick sides when they play each other. He has been married to his wife, Bev - whom he met while a student at MSU - for 32 years. They live in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. They have three children - Evan, Andrew, and Emily.