The President's Advisory Committee

The President's Advisory Committee (PAC) was inaugurated at NIR-91 in Aberdeen. It exists to carry out a number of specific functions in addition to a providing general advice to the President on various issues. Foremost among the defined functions is the annual election of the Tomas Hirschfeld Award winner. The original rules governing the composition and election of PAC members were modified at a meeting in Chambersburg in 1998.


The PAC currently comprises the following:

  1. Immediate Past President of ICNIRS - this person acts as president of the PAC (2017-2019)
    Ana Garrido
  2. Immediate Past President of the PAC
    Pierre Dardenne
  3. Foundation members
    Karl Norris
  4. Convenors of the last two ICNIRS conferences 2015 & 2017
    Celio Pasquini and Soren Engelsen
  5. Executive Committee members
     Tom Fearn, Peter Tillmann, Sirinnapa Saranwong
  6. Eight elected members 

          Elected members 2015-2019: Kerry Walsh, Nada O'Brien, Satoru Tsuchikawa and Jean-Michel Roger

          Elected members 2017-2021: Wouter Saeys, Byoung-Kwan Cho, Ryad Bendoula and Ying Zhu



Pierre Dardenne, Immediate Past PAC President (2017-2019)

pierre bangkok2

Pierre Dardenne is Agronomy Engineer from Gembloux Agricultural University. In 1980, he was employed by the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W) to lead research in Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS), which he continues to do. In 1991, he obtained his PhD in Agronomic Sciences at Gembloux Agricultural University in the field of spectroscopy and chemometrics. He has 30 years experience in the development of agronomic and agro-industrial applications in NIRS. He is involved in many European programs. 

Since 2000, he has led the department, extended and renamed on 1st January 2010. " Valorisation of agricultural products". He leads other groups of scientists working on feed and food chemical composition, contaminants (heavy metals, antibiotics), milk microbiology and GMO detection. Authenticity, anti-fraud and food safety are keywords in many research programs of his department. 

- 1989: Co-organiser of the 3rd International NIRS Conference held in Brussels

- 1990-1994: member of the FLAIR-QUEST Concerted Action (Quality established by spectroscopic techniques) 

- 1990-2001: As result of NIRS expertise, particularly in instrument standardisation, invited as speaker and chairman to different international NIRS Conferences 

- Referee of Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy

- Chairman of NIR working group for the BIPEA (Bureau Interprofessionnel d'Etudes Analytiques , France )

- Tomas Hirschfeld awardee 2002 for contribution to NIRS.

- Coordinator of EU project :  STRATFEED.


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Karl N. Norris, Permanent Founding Member


Karl Norris pioneered the development of Near Infrared Reflectance technology for the simple, accurate, rapid, and inexpensive testing of many quality characteristics of food and grains. This technology, which has been widely adopted in the world grain marketing system, has revolutionized the way the system determines grain quality. He has also made pioneering contributions to research into fundamental aspects of photobiology, by developing the technology and the instruments to analyze the pigments in plants without destroying the sample. His instruments made it possible to detect, for the first time, the pigment (later named Phytochrome), which senses light to control most of the morphological changes in plants. The techniques developed by Karl are now being applied wherever it is important to analyze the composition of a sample, and he is now serving as a consultant to expand these applications. Karl retired as Research Leader of the Instrumentation Research Laboratory, of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service in 1989, after more than 38 years as an internationally recognized authority on instrumental methods of measuring the quality of agricultural products. He holds several patents, and is the author or co-author of more than 100 research papers. He has received many awards including election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1980, and an honorary Doctorate from Wilson College in 2006.

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Celio Pasquini, Conference President for the past ICNIRS Conference (2015)

Dr. Célio Pasquini is a full professor of the Department   of Analytical Chemistry of the Chemistry Institute of the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas - SP - Brazil ( and has been a member of the staff for 23 years. He started working in the field   of near infrared spectroscopy about 10 years ago. His interests   in the field are in the development of new and portable instruments and in the development of analytical methods for   agriculture (forestry industry), petroleum and fuel derived from   petroleum. Recently his efforts have also been directed towards the development and application of a NIR emission spectrometer based on an acousto-optic tunable filter.

The opportunity to become a correspondent for the ICNIRS website in South America is welcomed in view of the work yet to be done in this region of the globe. The first step is to ensure that people interested in NIR spectroscopy from academia and industry work together to disseminate information about NIR technology, starting from undergraduate courses in Chemistry.

Academia in the region has only made a modest contribution to this important field of research while most of the information on NIR spectroscopy is passed to people in the industries by instrument vendors. Sometimes, the prevalence of a commercial   point of view has inhibited the spread of NIR use in industry and agriculture in Brazil. On the other hand, the lack of information in the subject of NIR technology for our undergraduate students (future employees) closes a dangerous circle, which, in my point of view, inhibits the development of NIR spectroscopy in our country.

I hope the work as an ICNIRS correspondent in South America can help us to enhance our contribution to the global community dedicated to NIR spectroscopy, increasing the number of contacts with foreign researchers and sharing NIR developments that have been occuring in America below the Equator.

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Kerry Walsh, Elected member (2015-2019)

KerryWalsh2015redProfessor Kerry Walsh has a BSc hons from the University of Queensland (Australia) and a MSc and PhD from Queens University (Canada).  The PhD work, in the mid 1980s, on the physiology of legume nodule function included fibre optic based assessment of the oxygenation status of leghaemoglobin in in situ legume nodules, representing his first exposure to short wave near infrared spectroscopy.  Upon return to Australia in the late 1980s he was enticed by local horticulturalists to recommend technology for the non-invasive assessment of fruit soluble sugar levels, to prove to the market the superiority of local fruit.  This led to an increasing involvement with near infrared spectroscopy, supporting the adoption of this technology into both pack-line systems and hand held instrumentation for use in orchard.  This work has extended to assessment of defects such as internal browning in apple, and has also involved whole of system context, e.g.. change in agronomic practice and decision support systems.  Uptake of such technology is exemplified by the Australian mango industry, in context of assessment of fruit maturity and the decision to harvest.  This work support his progression to a personal (professorial) chair at Central Queensland University in 2008.  His career total includes over 100 refereed publications and 9 book chapters, with a Scopus H index of 23.  He has supervised 26 postgraduates to completion and assisted the progression of numerous post doctoral fellows through employment on grants, and has held a range of University administration posts (e.g. Associate Dean of Faculty, Associate Dean Research, Research Institute Director).  He continues to lead a group focussed on the development of non-invasive technologies for assessment of fruit quality, primarily involving the application of near infrared spectroscopy.  Kerry was co-chair of the International Horticultural Congress Symposium on Non-destructive assessment of fruit attributes (2014), ran a workshop on non-invasive technologies for mango production at the International Mango Conference (2015) and is on the local organising committee for NIR-2019 to be held on the Gold Coast, Australia.  

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Nada O'Brien, Elected member (2015-2019)

Nada O BrienNada O’Brien is a Manager at Oculus Research, Facebook, developing next generation head mounted displays for consumer applications. Nada has 20 years of experience in product development in the field of optics. Prior to joining Oculus, she has held engineering, product development, and product management roles at Viavi (previously JDSU) in Telecommunications, Display, Defense, and other newly created product lines based on disruptive technologies like the MicroNIR™ spectrometer and form-birefringent optical components. Nada earned her Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Trine University in Indiana. She is an inventor on 10 patents in the fields of miniature spectroscopy, electrochromic technology and nanotechnology optical fabrication.

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Satoru Tsuchikawa, Elected member (2015-2019)

TsuchikawaSatoru Tsuchikawa graduated from the School of Agriculture and the Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Japan, in 1987 and 1989, respectively. His academic career started in 1990 as an Assistant Professor at Nagoya University. He earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences from Nagoya University in 1998. In 2004, he was Professor at Nagoya University. Since 2016, he is Vice Dean at the Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University. His main research area is the application of NIR spectroscopy to wood and various agricultural products. He has been involved in this sort of studies for over 25 years, and published more than 100 papers. He has won several awards, including the Buchi NIR Award (2003) and the PerkinElmer Award (2003). He is secretary-general of Asian NIR Consortium (2013 -) and Japan NIR Consortium (2011 -). 

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Jean-Michel Roger, Elected member (2015-2019)


JMRogerJean-Michel Roger is Rural and Forestry Engineer from AgroParisTech french school. In 1995, he obtained his PhD in bioprocess sciences and he specialized in data processing and knowledge management. In 1998 he joined the team of Pr Véronique Bellon-Maurel who studied NIR spectrometry for agro-food products. He developed chemometrics methods for the design of embedded and hand held NIR sensors. He focused is research on the robustness problem. He has been stongly involved in many European projects dedicated to fruit quality assessment by NIR spectroscopy (SHIVA, VISHNU, GLOVE, ISAFRUIT). In 2003, simultaneously with Pr Tom Fearn, he proposed a new generic method called External Parameter Orthogonalization (EPO) which permits to eliminate specific spectral effects from the NIRS calibration and thus to solve certain problems of robustness. Some specific methods and applications were derived to address the problems of calibration transfer, drift compensation online,inter seasonal adjustment or compensation of the moisture effect for NIR based characterization of soil.

Jean-Michel Roger was also involved in the design of portable or online spectrometers using filters technology. This design requires to select the most relevant variables of the spectra. A lot of methods exist, but none are really suited to the case of multi responses NIR calibration. That is why he developed a method that responds to this problem (CovSel). This method has been extensively applied to set up waste sorting machines. Hundreds of these machines are now running worldwide.

Jean-Michel Roger is invested in the management of HelioSPIR, a French speaking society devoted to NIRS. He is vice president of this structure. He participates to the organization of the yearly conference of this society. He is invested in the management of the French Group of Chemometrics and participates to the organization of the yearly conference of this society. He was chairman of the CAC2008 Conference (Chemometrics in Analytical Chemistry), held in Montpellier, France. He was closely associated to the chair of the NIR2013 conference, held in La Grande Motte, France.

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Wouter Saeys, Elected member (2017-2021)

Wouter SaeysWouter Saeys obtained his Master’s degree in Bioscience Engineering: option Agricultural Engineering from KU Leuven, in 2002. On the basis of his Master’s thesis on plant distance control for precision agriculture applications, he was awarded the engineering prize by the Royal Flemish Society of Engineers (KVIV). In 2006, he obtained a PhD in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven under the supervision of Professors Herman Ramon and Josse De Baerdemaeker for his research on precision fertilization with animal manure using NIRS for on-line manure composition measurement. As a postdoctoral fellow of the Flemisch Research Foundation (FWO-Vlaanderen), he specialised in light transport modelling during a six month stay at the School for Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, under the supervision of Dr. Suresh Thennadil, and in Chemometrics during a six month stay at the Norwegian Food Research Institute – Matforsk, Norway, under the supervision of Dr. Tormod Naes. In 2010, he was appointed as assistant professor at the Biosystems Department of KU Leuven, where he leads the Biophotonics group with a focus on applications in the AgroFood chain. Since 2017, he is associate professor in the same department. His main research interests include light transport modelling and optical characterisation of biological materials, chemometrics, agricultural automation and robotics. In 2013, he was awarded by the European Network of Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS) with the ‘Young Statistician Award’. He is member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy and Biosystems Engineering. He has supervised 19 PhDs, is (co-)author of 135+ peer reviewed journal articles (ISI), and has an H-index of 22. More information on ;

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Byoung-Kwan Cho, Elected member (2017-2021)

BKCho-pictureByoung-Kwan Cho is a full professor of Department of Biosystems Machinery Engineering in Chungnam National University (CNU), South Korea. He is leading a Nondestructive Biosensing Group at CNU working in the area of non-destructive measurement for quality and safety of food and agricultural materials. Prof. Cho received his B.S., and M.S. degrees in Department of Agricultural Engineering at Seoul National University, South Korea, in 1993 and 1998, respectively, and received Ph.D. in Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA in 2003. He joined Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA in 2003 and, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, USA in 2005 as a post-doctoral researcher. Since 2006, he has been a professor in the Department of Biosystems Machinery Engineering at CNU. His current research is focus on the application of NIR spectroscopic and hyperspectral imaging techniques for the system development of real-time quality and safety inspection for food and agricultural materials. He served as a Vice Dean of College and Headquarter of CNU in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Now he is serving as an Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Biosystems Engineering, and is (co-)author of 150+ peer reviewed journal articles and 5 book chapters. His research efforts in the fields of spectroscopic analysis, hyperspectral imaging and agricultural sorting system have resulted in 13 patent registration so far.

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Ryad Bendoula, Elected member (2017-2021)

ryadbendoulaRyad Bendoula has a Master’s Degree in Physics from the University of Franche-Comte (France). In 2005, he obtained a PhD in Photonics from the University of Franche-Comte for his research on the development of optical biosensors applied to the biomedical sector. He spent 2 years at the Femto-St Institut, and he worked on the development of optoelectronic microwave oscillators. Since 2007, he is a researcher at Irstea (National French Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture) and he leads the Optical Sensors For Complex Media Group. His main research interests include light-matter interactions and optical instrumentations. He has extensive experience in the development and monitoring of projects combining optics and agricultural systems to diagnose agro-ecological systems. Ryad Bendoula is invested in the management of HelioSPIR, a French speaking society devoted to NIRS. He participates to the organization of the yearly conference of this society. He was closely associated to the chair of the NIR2013 conference, held in La Grande Motte, France.

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Ying Zhu, Elected member (2017-2021)

zhu yings photoDr. Ying Zhu is an Assistant Professor in the department of mathematics and mathematics education of National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. She received a BSc in Statistics and Probability from Fudan University, an MSc in Applied statistics from University of Oxford and a PhD in statistics from University College London (UCL). She has also got industry experience at ACNielsen and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as statistician and senior analyst. Her research interests include multivariate classification of high-dimensional spectroscopic data and image processing. She has been working on developing these statistics methodologies with applications to biomedical areas, such as Chinese herbal medicine discrimination, food authentication and early cancer diagnosis. She has served as Principal Investigator (PI) and co-PI of several interdisciplinary research projects that are funded by the Ministry of Education, Singapore. She has authored quite a number of peer-reviewed international journal articles as well as a book and a book chapter. She has been invited to present her work in many countries, including UK, Spain, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore.

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Date online : 11 April 2019