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 (2021-2025)
    Tom Fearn
  2. Immediate Past President of the PAC
    Ana Garrido Varo
  3. Convenors of the last two ICNIRS conferences 2019 & 2021
    Roger Meder and Hongfu Yuan
  4. Executive Committee members
    Soren EngelsenDolores Perez Marin, Peter TillmannSirinnapa Saranwong
  5. Eight elected members 

          Elected members 2017-2021: Wouter SaeysByoung-Kwan ChoRyad Bendoula and Ying Zhu

          Elected members 2019-2023: Glen Fox, Celio Pasquini and Paul Williams

          Elected members 2021-2025: Anna Sandak

Roger Meder, Conference President for the past ICNIRS Conference (2017-2019)

Roger Meder has a BSc and MSc in chemistry from Otago University in New Zealand. He completed his PhD with Prof Sir Paul Callaghan at Massey University (New Zealand) in the field of physics, specifically magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. He spent 16 years at the NZ Forest Research Institute where he first started using IR, NIR and NMR spectra to predict wood quality in order to provide rapid non-destructive measurement of end-use performance.

Upon moving to Australia in 2001, he spent a brief period at Queensland University of Technology and then joined the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) where was the Group Leader of several groups including the Forest Genetics, Genomics and Phenomics group within CSIRO Agriculture Flagship, which is located in Brisbane and Canberra. Due to severe government budget cuts the entire forestry group was disbanded and so Roger now has two roles as an independent consultant (Meder Consulting) in the broader forestry and agricultural sector and as an Adjunct Professor in the Forest Industries Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast. His current interest is the application of NIR spectroscopy to allow non-destructive, in-forest, rapid phenotyping of thousands of individuals within tree breeding trials to provide tree breeders with additional measures of wood quality (other than growth and density) to improve breeding selection.

He is an editor of the Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy and has guest edited two Special Issues dedicated to Applications of NIR Spectroscopy to Wood and Wood Products. He holds positions within the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) as a Deputy Coordinator of Division 5 (Forest Products) and the Coordinator of Research Group 5.06 (Characterisation and Utilisation of Plantation Wood). He is a member of the President’s Advisory Committee of the International Council for NIR Spectroscopy, and is Chair of the local organizing committee for NIR-2019 to be held on the Gold Coast, Australia.


Hongfu Yuan, Conference President for the current ICNIRS Conference (2019-2021)


Wouter Saeys, Elected member (2017-2021)

Wouter 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 ;


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

Byoung-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)

Ryad 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)

Dr. 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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Glen Fox, Elected member (2019-2023)

Dr Glen Fox is the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor Malting & Brewing Science at the University of California in Davis, USA. He was a Senior Fellow at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture & Food Innovation, Centre for Nutrition and Food Science at The University of Queensland from 2010 until 2019. In 2008, Glen did post-doctoral research at the Dept. of Food Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa and was appointed Adjunct Professor at Stellenbosch University in 2011. In 2013, he was appointed an Affiliated Scientist at the Biosciences eastern & central Africa hub at the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya as well as being appointed to join the College of Experts at the Global Change Institute at UQ. Glen has over 30 years experience working in cereal and value-added post-harvest quality evaluation. Professor Fox has used NIR as a technology to predict grain quality in several cereals including barley, wheat, sorghum and maize. He has specific interests in real-time NIR measurement in processing as well as testing single grains by NIR to better understand variation in quality.  He has over 250 book chapters, journal articles and conference presentations. He has been involved in research projects using NIR as a tool for testing for food security in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa.

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Celio Pasquini, Elected member (2019-2023) 

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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Paul Williams, Elected member (2019-2023)

Dr Paul James Williams is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Department of Food Science at Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He obtained his BSc (2007), MSc (2009) and PhD (2013) in Food Science at Stellenbosch University and has been involved with NIR spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging since 2007. After a one-year industry-linked postdoctoral fellowship at the Southern African Grain Laboratory in Pretoria, he was appointed as Food Chemistry Lecturer at Stellenbosch University July 2014. His current research activities involve the use of NIR spectroscopy and spectral imaging for rapid quality, authenticity and safety assessment of food, agricultural and cereal products.

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Anna Sandak, Elected member (2021-2025)

She has PhD in Wood Science and M.Sc. in Biology. Anna is a member of Italian Society for Near Infrared Spectroscopy, International Committee for Near Infrared Spectroscopy, International Research Group on Wood Protection, International Society for Plant Spectroscopy and in 2012 she was nominated as IUFRO Officeholder, deputy of division 5.03.05 – Biological resistance of wood. She also actively contributes to several COST actions, including FP1006, FP1101, FP1303, FP1407, FP1405, TU1403, CA 15216, CA16226, and CA19145.

Anna Sandak is the research group leader in Wood Modification at the InnoRenew CoE and associate professor at the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Science and Information Technology at University of Primorska. She was previously employed at Trees and Timber Institute of Italian National Research Council, where she coordinated the Laboratory of Surface Characterization.

Her research activities include multi-aspect characterization of ligno-cellulosic materials, non-destructive testing, evaluation of degradation level of wood and wooden based products and application of different spectroscopic techniques for the characterization of bio-based materials. She is analysing multi-scale relationship and performance of modified and functionalized bio-based materials and implementing them as new architectural elements. Her passion is to search for biomimetic solutions for design of new materials and to promote knowledge-based use of bio-inspired materials in modern sustainable buildings.

In her 15-year scientific career, actively contributed to over 20 scientific projects (seven as the main investigator). She published 70 peer-review journal contributions, 1 monography, 7 book chapters, one encyclopaedia entry and is co-author of 2 patent claims. She has also contributed to 180 peer-reviewed papers in conference proceedings. She is member of editorial board of 6 and serves as a reviewer of 30 scientific journals.

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Updated : 17December 2021