OUR STUDENTS | Fight Food Waste CRC
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A lively and engaging education and training program is essential in attracting and retaining the best new students for the long-term benefit of the Australian food industry.

Our students benefit from scholarship stipends, operational funding and participation in the Future Leaders Program run by Central Queensland University and KPMG. This program is designed to build skills in research translation and research leadership and it is designed to deliver candidates who are industry-ready.


Ruby joined the Fight Food Waste CRC in 2019 as the PhD student with the Save Food Packaging Criteria and Framework project in the REDUCE program. Ruby’s research project will explore the role primary food packaging plays in preventing/reducing domestic food waste. The impact goal is that companies will be better equipped to design primary food packaging that encourages consumers to waste less food. The working title of her PhD is Integrating Save Food Packaging Criteria into New Product Development Processes.

Ruby has a passion for environmentally conscious design and research that induces positive change. Before joining the CRC, Ruby worked as a university research assistant in the space of food waste. In 2017 Ruby won the Green Innovators Award at the National Sustainable Living Festival for her plant-based compostable crockery innovation Moducware, for which she also presented the TEDx talk “The Environmental Takeaway”.

Ruby Chan is an emerging Designer and Innovator. Building on her industrial design background, Ruby completed a Master’s in Design Innovation and Technology in 2016. Ruby graduated with Distinction and was awarded the RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s List Award for Academic Excellence for finishing in the top 2% of all higher education students in the university.

In her personal time, Ruby enjoys cooking, craft-work, and creating things from discarded objects.  Her mantra of “Valuing the Undervalued” feeds a hobby for upcycling.

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Roland started as a PhD student with the DIRECT Commercialisation project in November 2019, and his research topic is ‘Integrating decision support tools into organisations for food waste strategies’ focuses on how to embed tools within organisations to facilitate food waste reductions. The findings are expected to increase efficiency on a sustainable food system, thus increasing the economic output of the nation.

Previously, Roland has worked as a senior GIS technician in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as African-based NGOs at the intersection of climate change and sustainable resource management. He graduated in Climate Justice from Glasgow Caledonian University. He chose to research various densification practices having been introduced to issues at the intersection of sustainability and urban growth. His research paper titled ‘Designing Glasgow for Eco-density: Towards a Framework to Urban Sustainability’ explores the role of eco-densification in delivering urban sustainability and highlights the potential for unintended consequences on the wider delivery of sustainable cities. This allowed him to build skills in the field of urban sustainability, urban sprawl, eco-density, superblocks, liveability, and affordable housing, as well as gain experience in research and analysis, project management and organisation, and networking.

Over his four years in the Irish food and beverage sector, this curiosity about sustainability developed. He learnt the importance of better resource management for food and coffee companies in dealing with food waste and losses, and to consider tradeoffs. In his position as PhD student with the DIRECT project, Roland’s research will continue to explore food loss and waste and the opportunities to enable businesses across the entire food supply chain to implement the tool to benchmark where food waste occurs. This PhD position offers an ambitious research potential which he is interested in.

Roland is passionate about traveling and broadening his perspective of the world. He calls Melbourne his new home where there is extensive green infrastructure, as well as beaches to visit and the internationally recognised art and cultural attractions.

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Khouloud commenced with the FFW CRC as a PhD student in January 2020 working with the REDUCE project to enhance Foodbank’s stakeholder engagement to reduce food waste. Currently, Foodbank’s food rescue activities are only meeting 60% of the demand of food insecure individuals. Moreover, given that the amount of food available is three times the food rescue industry’s capacity, there is a need to enhance this. Khouloud’s PhD project will explore ways to enhance the capacity of Foodbank’s food distribution, with a particular focus on charities and volunteers.

She has always been passionate about research. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney, she undertook an intense honours year exploring issues related to innovation. This helped shape her future goals and made her more passionate about pursuing a PhD that will contribute to social change. Khouloud has an excitement for volunteering and thus was drawn to this research project centred around enhancing Foodbank’s stakeholder engagement.

Khouloud is excited to be working on this project as part of the FFW CRC team in Sydney. The overall vision of the project is highly impactful, and she feels being one part of such a project is a great privilege. The team are incredibly passionate about the project, and the support, exposure and research scope is excellent.

Travel has always been an interest for Khouloud, to new areas and seeing different cultures. This journey is not finished for her yet. The international exposure has been eye opening as she reflects how differently each culture handles food waste. This has her always thinking about what she can be doing to fight food waste in Australia, even if it begins with small changes in her own home.


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Esther joined FFW CRC in 2020 as a PhD student to be on board with the ENGAGE program looking at local government’s role in reducing household food waste. Esther will work on identifying the current barriers of government food waste programs then consequently, exploring the best way to build food waste reduction approaches with local governments.

Previously, Esther has worked extensively as a Waste Education Officer with various local government agencies and organisations, including City of Marion in South Australia and most recently, City of Melville in Western Australia. Esther’s passion for waste services has led her to develop multiple education programs for businesses and schools, successfully introduce the 3-bin systems to some city councils, and teach environmental studies to young students in many schools. She has presented her work at many conferences and her team has recently received the ‘2019 Communication Engagement Success of the Year Award’ at this year’s Waste and Resource Recovery Awards for their work at the City of Melville.

When at home, Esther’s family keeps up with the no-food-waste lifestyle and finds joy in breeding chickens, building compost and making worm farms. She is excited to be working on the ‘fight food waste’ cause and loves to explore more of beautiful Australia.

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Jo joined Fight Food Waste CRC in May 2020 as a Master’s student in the ENGAGE program. She will complete the Masters program part-time whilst continuing to work within the Australian food industry. Jo’s research will identify data driven insights which underpin the development of interventions, including communication strategies, to reduce household food waste. It is envisaged the outcomes will be applied by food retailers and directed towards targeted household segments to encourage behavior changes that ultimately help reduce food waste.

Jo holds undergraduate degrees in Nutrition and Marketing and has worked in the food industry for 20 years in Australia, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. She has experience in public health multi-sectorial collaborations which have representation from academia, industry, professional medical societies and non-government bodies. She believes businesses, as part of society, have a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of people and the planet in sympathy with their commercial endeavors.

As a Nutritionist, Jo is interested the amount of nutrition forfeited in food waste and the inequality that exists in society with those who suffer poor nutritional health and limited access to food. She is thrilled to be working with her Supervisors (Mark Barthel and David Pearson), industry partner (Woolworths) and to be part of a program that encourages further professional development and connections with other researchers. Jo enjoys spending time with her husband and children, reading, and travelling.

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Trang started with the FFW CRC in 2020 as a PhD student working on the project WWW (What, Where and Why) of Household Food Waste Behaviour. Trang’s research is about understanding the behavioural and attitudinal determinants of consumer food waste in South Australia. The study aims to understand consumers’ food waste behaviour including what behaviours are associated with food waste, the characteristics of households who have greater food waste behaviour and the underlying factors driving food waste. The outcomes are expected to provide a better understanding of South Australian consumers’ food waste behaviours in order to inform strategies to address food waste.

Trang has research interests in agricultural and food system sustainability, especially within the context of climate change. Following her Master’s study and before commencing her PhD (2017-2019), Trang was working on projects related to food waste in the Asia-Pacific region. Specifically, she was based in Taiwan and worked for the project ‘Strengthening Private-Public Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain’, funded by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Her expertise, including capacity building in food waste research and the development of food waste measurement methods in different food categories (e.g. grain, meat, fruit, and vegetables), has created a solid foundation for her to continue on this research path at Centre for Global Food and Resources, The University of Adelaide.

Trang enjoys doing outdoor activities such as hiking, bicycling, and exploring nature in her spare time. She also likes reading about food innovations, business start-up ideas, and playing musical instruments.

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Erin commenced working with the Fight Food Waste CRC as part of her honours thesis in her Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) program. Working on the #TooGoodToThrow – Foodie Bag project, she will explore how to divert plate waste from landfill by encouraging diners to take their leftovers with them. By applying both research and design processes, the outcome goal is to change the perceived value of leftover food and empower diners to make more sustainable choices with their waste.

As an emerging designer, Erin has discovered a passion for sustainable design and the pursuit of knowledge to create a better future. She enjoys applying an empathetic approach to problem solving to create artifacts and experiences that benefit users and enhance their interactions with the world around them.

Having come from a craft background, Erin began her journey into design by completing an Associate Degree in Furniture Design in 2017. Erin was awarded the RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s List Award for Academic Excellence as well as the Erik Romoke Award for academic excellence upon graduating.

A self professed homebody, she loves the everyday pleasures of spending time with the animals at her farm or in the garden. In her spare time she enjoys exploring new craft skills, watching films, going to art exhibitions and swimming.

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Roanna joined the TRANSFORM program in March 2020. She is passionate about environmental sustainability and has a strong interest in innovative waste management technologies, particularly biorefining processes. As an engineer and scientist with a background in psychology, she has an unusual set of skills and can provide a unique perspective on a range of complex problems.

Her PhD aims to support Australian growers to manage their fruit and vegetable losses in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. She will apply qualitative research, techno-economic assessments and life cycle analyses to determine the feasibility of several waste management technologies. This research will culminate in a framework that supports farmers when making decisions about managing their fruit and vegetable losses.

Roanna completed a degree in psychology and worked for a time with children with special needs, designing programs and promoting inclusion. However, she decided that she needed something more technically challenging and returned to university to study chemical process engineering. With her strong interest in the environment, she took environmental management and ecology minors.

In a second-year subject, biorefining processes were introduced, which piqued her interest, particularly the intersection between technology, biology and environmental sustainability. She approached her lecturer to learn more and ended up doing work experience during the holidays, modelling a fermentation process that produced microbial oil for advanced biofuels. She enjoyed this work so much that she became a research assistant for the next 3 years, while completing her degree. She worked on several projects, including the production of bioplastics and probiotics from agricultural wastes or by-products.

In her spare time, Roanna is part of her university’s Green Champions group, that aims to make the campus more sustainable and she volunteers as a Young Science Ambassador with the Wonder of Science program, promoting a STEM culture in schools. She enjoys gardening (especially growing food), travelling, video games and going on walks with her partner and rescue greyhound.

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Danica joined the CRC in 2020 as a Masters student with the ENGAGE program. Her research project will explore ways to reduce household food waste through behaviour change interventions, from multidisciplinary perspectives. Using mixed methods research, the project aims to identify policy interventions that encourage and assist individuals to adopt more socially responsible behaviours.

Danica currently works as a Research Executive at a social and market research company in Surry Hills, and is a member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS). To name a few, Danica works on projects across environmental and agricultural industries, travel and tourism, and health and wellbeing, looking at customer segmentation, brand strategy and marketing, and developing consumer insights. Undertaking work for industry, local, state and federal levels of government, she thoroughly enjoys the diversity of projects she is involved in, and the opportunity to learn about different topics, speak to different people and hear different perspectives. Danica is passionate about sustainability and would like to inspire others to reduce their environmental footprint.

In her spare time, Danica is a volunteer and the charity Secretary of Street Growth, an inner-city community garden that aims to improve the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness and disadvantage through community engagement and gardening, by promoting social responsibility and green practices such as minimising food waste through composting and worm farms.

A sense of adventure and passion for nature, art and culture, means that Danica is always dreaming of the next hiking adventure or international travel destination.

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