Challenges in the Agricultural and Food Sector

Joint event presented by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering's Victorian Division and the Agriculture and Food Forum

Event details

Thursday 3 November 2022

6:30 – 7:30PM AEDT – Presentation
7:30 – 9:00PM AEDT – Optional Dinner


Presentation – Free
Optional Dinner – $32.50


Graduate House University of Melbourne 220 Leicester Street Carlton 3053


> Dr Angela Van de Wouw, University of Melbourne

> Professor James Hunt, University of Melbourne

> Dr Lydia Ong, University of Melbourne


> Professor Paul Wood AO FTSE, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering


Presented by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering’s (ATSE) Victorian Division and Agriculture and Food Forum


Hear from emerging leaders in agriculture and food production and the challenges facing the sector.

Agriculture and food production is facing increasing threats from climate change, including reductions in water supply, changes in seasonality and catastrophic weather events. The sector is also facing critical labor shortages and supply chain issues.

Join us for a panel discussion on this topic featuring three recent winners of the ICM Agrifoods award and chaired by Professor Paul Wood AO FTSE. How does this next generation believe that these challenges should be addressed? How can we encourage more young leaders like themselves to join the profession?

This is a joint event presented by the Victorian Division and the Agriculture and Food Forum of the Australian Academy of Engineering and Technology.


Dr Angela Van de Wouw

Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Dr Angela Van de Wouw works on a fungal disease of canola called blackleg disease, which if not managed, can completely destroy the crop. Her research involves a genome to paddock approach to ultimately develop management strategies for growers. She completed her PhD in 2005 in the field of Genetics and uses this knowledge to understand how both the fungus and the plant work and interact together.

James 1
Professor James Hunt

Professor of Agronomy & Crop Science, University of Melbourne

Professor James Hunt is an agronomist and crop physiologist specialising in water limited productivity of dry-land cropping and mixed farming systems. His research focuses on using combinations of management and genetics to increase productivity and profitability of grain-based farming systems. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, he worked for La Trobe University for six years, CSIRO for seven years and the Birchip Cropping Group for five years. He has received a CSIRO Medal for Impact From Science in 2013, a Eureka Prize for Sustainable Agriculture in 2014, the GRDC Seed of Light in 2016 and ATSE ICM Agrifood Award in 2017. He currently teaches third-year agronomy, and the outcomes of his research have been widely adopted by grain growers across south eastern Australia.

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Dr Lydia Ong

Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Dr Lydia Ong obtained her PhD in Food Science investigating the bioactive properties and antihypertensive activity of probiotic cheddar cheese. Her current research focusses on process improvement and product innovation in dairy and food production. She has developed a significant research capability at the Bio21 institute that allows the study of dairy product microstructure. She uses this expertise to study the behaviour of food components on a molecular scale and links this fundamental behaviour to processes that occur on a large scale in the Australian dairy manufacturing industry. Dr Ong’s close engagement with industry has helped to improve product quality, minimize waste and increase profitability.


Paul Wood
Professor Paul Wood AO FTSE

Deputy Chair, Agriculture and Food Forum and Board Member, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering

Professor Paul Wood AO has led R&D teams from CSIRO, CSL and Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis) and was Deputy-Director of the Vaccine Technology CRC.  He brought several innovative products to the market, receiving recognition for his work to invent a new diagnostic test for Tuberculosis, including the CSIRO Medal, the Clunies Ross award and made an Officer in the Order of Australia.  Paul is the Chair of the Global Alliance for Livestock Veternary Medicines and an Insect farming start-up, on the Boards of Dairy Australia and the Australian Academy Technology, Science and Engineering and currently an Adjunct Professor at Monash University. In 2019 he was given the International Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist Award by the IUIS Veterinary Immunology Committee (VIC). He is a mentor for various AgTech accelerators such as Sprout X and Rocket Seeder as well as the CSIRO Protein Mission and in 2022 received the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.