Graduate Student Profile-  Anbuhkani “Connie” Muniandy

dharmendra-connie.jpgAnbuhkani "Connie" Muniandy successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation on September 29, 2022. Connie is originally from Malaysia. She obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Purdue University in 2013 and 2018, respectively.

Connie's dissertation was entitled, "Innovative method for rapid determination of shelf-life in packaged foods and beverages." Her research focused on developing an innovative technology for rapid shelf-life prediction of food and beverages by building custom equipment with the aim to reduce the analysis time. This novel invention has a provisional patent application, contributing to its potential for commercialization in the food industry. Connie's mentor was Dr. Dharmendra Mishra. Other members of her graduate committee included Dr. Carlos Corvalan, Dr. Lavanya Reddivari, Dr. Ferhan Ozadali and Dr. Patnarin Benyathiar.

Connie considered a few different factors when she chose to continue her education within the Purdue Food Science Department. Connie said, "Purdue Food Science is recognized as one of the top food science programs in the country that has award-winning faculties and innovative research facilities. When I first came to Purdue for my undergraduate studies, I was impressed with the program and the professional development resources and opportunities available for the students as well as the diversity within the department. It was a no-brainer to continue with advanced degrees here."

As a proud promoter of Purdue Food Science, Connie highly recommends the program to prospective graduate students, stating, "The Food Science graduate program is very strong in all four signature areas (Food Chemistry, Structure and Function; Foods for Health; Food Safety and Microbiology; Food Processing and Technology Development). The research conducted here is of top quality and published in prestigious journals. As a student in the Food Processing and Technology Development signature area, I had the opportunity for hands-on learning of aseptic processing and filling technology, and I assisted in training food industry professionals through the Purdue Food Science Extension program. Through these involvements, I was able to expand my professional network and found a future career path in Aseptic Processing. There are plenty of opportunities and resources available in the department for the professional development of graduate students to prepare them for future careers in academia, food industry, government, and entrepreneurship."

Connie expanded her professional skill set by instructing and facilitating hands-on teaching and learning sessions during the “Annual Aseptic Processing and Packaging Workshop” (2018-2022), and the “Validation Workshop: Aseptic Processing and Filling” (2017-2022). Additionally, Connie, obtained certification in 2018 to instruct FDA workshops taught at Purdue University, such as, "FD152 Food Processing and Technology”. She also holds certification for Better Process Control School.

During her time at Purdue, Connie garnered many awards and achievements including the Kirleis Graduate Student Award, 1st place in Indiana Section IFT Poster Competition, 2nd place in the IFT Food Packaging Division Graduate Student Oral Competition, finalist in the 3 Minute Thesis Competition at Purdue University, International Society of Beverage Technologist Scholarship, Phi Tau Sigma Student Achievement Award, and the Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) Fellowship. Connie also shined at product development competitions where her team had three top-3 finishes at the American Society for Baking (ASB) and was a finalist at the Cereals and Grains Association product development competition.

Connie made ample contributions to the university and the department through her involvement in several organizations. She held several offices within the Purdue Graduate Student Government (PGSG), including Senate Chair (2020-2021), Career Chair (2019-2020) and Senator of Food Science (2018-2019). Connie also exercised leadership within the Hoosier Chapter of Phi Tau Sigma as the President (2020-2021) and Vice President (2019-2020).

We are proud of Connie's many accomplishments during her time at Purdue. As for Connie's next giant leap, she has secured a position with Niagara Bottling as a Staff Engineer (Aseptic). Congratulations, Connie! We wish you all the best!