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.

Students of the Fight Food Waste CRC will benefit from scholarship stipends, operational funding and participation in the Future Leaders Program that will be run by Central Queensland University and KPMG. This program is designed to build skills in research translation and research leadership for FFW CRC PhD and MSc students and it is designed to deliver candidates who are industry-ready and equipped with skills beyond that offered by universities in their regular supervision and training processes.


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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