The Food South Australia Prize is awarded to the best performing student in the University of Adelaide’s Food and Nutrition Science Course industry placement. Inaugural prize winner Mitchell Crisp has won the award for his performance during a work placement with SARDI, where he gained experience working directly with food technologists and food manufacturers on product development.
Helen Morris, Program Coordinator for the University’s Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science Program, says Mitchell and his placement partner successfully developed a new product suitable for food industry application, with a focus on sustainability and health-related nutritional qualities.
Mitchell says the work placement experience gave him valuable insights into the world of food manufacturing.
“We were translating cooking into a production process,” Mitchell said. “I learnt about working with manufacturers in my course and the work placement experience gave me a chance to put this into action.”
Food South Australia has partnered with the University of Adelaide to sponsor the industry placement prize to support graduates taking the first important steps in their careers in food and beverage manufacturing.
Food South Australia CEO Catherine Sayer says industry needs to work closely with educators to ensure students graduate with relevant skills and competencies.
“It’s critical we help universities understand industry needs, both to supply the right skills to the sector and to give graduates the best chance of employment,” Ms Sayer said.
Mitchell says the win was a surprise to him – but it was no surprise to the University’s Industry Placement Course Coordinators who selected him as the winner.
Ms Morris said Mitchell has shown himself to be an enthusiastic and bright student over the last three years, and whose outstanding academic performance has been mirrored by a keenness to acquire and develop extra-curricular skills over and above those required by the degree program.
These qualities have already earned Mitchell an Adelaide Graduate Award for employability and skills development through extracurricular activities and two Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards.
“During his placement Mitchell displayed many of the University of Adelaide’s graduate attributes including teamwork and good communication skills, critical thinking, professionalism and a capacity for self-reflection, including being open to objective and constructive feedback,” Ms Morris said.
“These attributes contributed to Mitchell being awarded the Food South Australia Prize for best placement student,” she said.
Mitchell has had an interest in the food industry since high school and through working in roles ranging from food development to quality assurance and in food factory and processing roles. He has also now added an exchange program placement with Mahidol University International College in Thailand to his resume.
Mitchell’s prize includes an invitation package from Food South Australia to key industry events over the coming months and introductions to help Mitchell expand his industry and professional network. Mitchell is currently seeking employment and hopes to be able to pursue his particular interests in nutritionally focused products and innovative applications for food waste.