Name: Jun Yang
Job title: Associate Principal Scientist
Company: PepsiCo Global R&D
IFT Division(s) to which you belong:
Fruit & Vegetable Products Division
Highest Level of Education/Degree: Ph.D.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” -Albert Einstein
What does your schedule look like today?
Today, I dropped my daughter off at school for tutorials and my son off at the daycare and drove to work. I checked my email to find an analytical support message from a pilot plant. As a team captain of the fund-raising team for American Heart Association, I also needed to continue lobbying for donations from my team. I have a one on one with my manager this afternoon to talk about project progress. My day usually ends with picking up my son and going home to make dinner for my family.
As an analytical scientist, my daily responsibilities include: 1) making arrangements of tests to be run, 2) serving as a consultant in physical and functional testing for scientists and engineers, 3) developing and establishing innovative analytical methodology and 4) generating delivery reports from raw data. Days can be long and wearisome, but they are at the same time invigorating and interesting because I enjoy what I do.
How did you go about finding your current job?
It is my first industrial job. I was experienced with on-campus and on-site interviews, and was lucky to be recruited by my current company. From graduate school to research & development center in industry, I don’t think it is a big jump.
If you weren’t a Food Scientist, what would you be doing?
If I didn’t work in the food industry, I would probably still be involved in food science to become a professional in Academia. Food is my passion – both studying it and eating it. My Mom used to work as a great chef, so the food inclinations run in the family blood. I consider food to be the vastest language in the world; communication comes easily through food.
Who do you think is the most influential person in your field and why?
It is not a single person who influences this field necessarily, but rather, the masses. The field is driven by consumer preference and the science behind the fruits and vegetables we study.
When are you most inspired?
I am always inspired when hard work pays off, results are delivered and well-articulated, and contributions are rewarded.
Why should I join the Fruit & Vegetable Products Division or any other IFT Division?
Firstly, it is always good to find people with common passions and be able to network with them. Additionally, our division, F&V, is becoming more popular and globally important, as the health benefits that are being spearheaded by us are being recognized by more and more consumers.
The most valuable thing I, as a student, can do to further my research/career as soon as I finish reading this interview is:
Be enthusiastic about what you are doing. Be motivated by your achievements and accomplishments, or even just your opportunities. Be encouraged to build up your network, not only for strategic reasons, but also for personal enjoyment.
What is your favorite food?
A traditional Chinese soup originating from Hubei, China: Lotus stew with ribs.
Questions? Connect with Jun: Jun.Yang@pepsico.com