ICNIRS Educational Group

This group is tasked with furthering the educational activities of ICNIRS.  Its membership was last renewed in 2017.


President: Prof. Dr. Lola Perez-Marín

Prof. Dr. Dolores Peréz-Marín, PhD in Agriculture Engineering (University of Córdoba-UCO, Spain). She holds the position of Full-Professor in Fundamentals and Technology of Livestock Production and in Non-destructive Spectral Sensors for Quality, Safety and Traceability of Agro-Food Products in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry Engineering (ETSIAM, University of Cordoba, Spain).

She is a worldwide recognized expert in the used of sensors and new technologies applied to feed & food integrity. Her expertise in non-destructive spectral sensors (mainly, NIR and hyperspectral sensors) covers both fundamental and applied research. She began in 1999 working in the topic concerned the application of nonlinear calibration methodology to the difficult problem of measuring the ingredient composition of unground animal compound feeds. Since then, she has worked on an ever widening range of applications in food and agriculture − feed, fats and oils, meats, protein animal by-products, milk and dairy, and various fruits and vegetables − using NIRS, alone or combined with other sensors. One of her main expertise in linked to the processing of spectral big data with multivariate analysis tools and nonlinear methods.

This research has resulted in well over 250 publications; with 119 of these being peer-reviewed papers in top quality journals and several contributions as invited speakers in national and international conferences and workshops (H index 28). She has experience in the participation, management and scientific co-ordination of several national and European R + D NIRS projects, and in technology transfer contracts with companies. In the framework of the ICNIRS (International Council on NIRS), she was member of the Council Management Committee (2013-2019)and currently she is the President of its Educational Group of ICNIRS and member of the President’s Advisory Committe. She is currently editor of the Journal of NIRS, FAO consultant and member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Global Food Security- Queens University (UK). She was awarded in 2014 with the International Tomas Hirschfeld Award and in 2020 with the International G. Birth Award for her outstanding contribution in the field of NIR spectroscopy. She is currently the coordinator of the European Action Cost “European Network for assuring food integrity using non-destructive spectral sensors” (2020-2024).

Email :  dcperez@uco.es


Members (In alphabetical order) :

José Manuel Amigo

Dr. Amigo obtained his PhD (Cum Laude) in Chemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. Since 2007, he has been employed at the Department of Food Science of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and also as Guest Professor of the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil since 2017. Dr. Amigo’s research interests include NIR hyperspectral and multispectral image analysis in different research fields including Food production, pharmaceutical research, Forensic Sciences, etc. Moreover, he is involved in teaching Chemometrics with well-known PhD course such as Copenhagen School of Chemometrics. He has authored more than 140 publications (110+ peer-reviewed papers, books, book chapters, proceedings, etc.) and given more than 60 conferences and courses at international meetings. Dr. Amigo has supervised or is currently supervising several Masters, Post Docs and PhD students and he is an editorial board member of four scientific journals within Chemometrics, chemical imaging and analytical chemistry. In 2014, Dr. Amigo has receive the “Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems Award” for his achievements in the field of Chemometrics. ICNIRS truly congratulates Jose for his achievement and as the winner of THA 2019.

Email: josemanuel.amigo@ehu.eus


Vincent Baeten

Dr Ir Vincent Baeten obtained his Engineering degree in Agronomy (1993) and PhD (1998) in Agricultural Sciences at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) and started his NIR career as ERASMUS student at the University of Cordoba. He has been awarded a Marie-Curie Fellowship (1996-1998) at the Instituto de la Grasa of the CSIC (Spain) (under the supervision of Dr Ramón Aparicio and Dr Marc Meurens). During more than 20 years he has worked at the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W, Belgium) in the team of Dr Pierre Dardenne.

Today, Vincent Baeten is Scientific Director of the Quality and Authentication of Products Unit at CRA-W (QAP Unit). Since 2013, he is also invited professor at UCLouvain and teaches application of spectroscopy and sampling to food analysis. Vincent Baeten was awarded the 2011-Q-Interline Sampling Award for the contribution in sampling applied to spectroscopy methods. In 2012-2013, he was awarded by the Brazilian Program Ciência sem fronteiras as Pezquisador visitante especial at University Federal of Para (UFPA, Belem, Brazil). During this stage, he contributes to the creation of the NIR laboratory in the CVACBA laboratory from UFPA. Vincent Baeten has about 25 years of experience in European projects dealing with the development of spectroscopic methods. He has participated or participates in several European and International projects dealing with quality, safety, traceability and authentication of food and feed products (STRATFEED, TYPIC, MEDEO, CO-EXTRA, TRACE, EURL-AP, SAFEED-PAP, FEEDforHEALTH, CONFFIDENCE, QSAFFE, FOODINTEGRITY, AUTHENT-NET, IAIEA/FAO-HandheldFraud, SENSORFINT). He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters.

At first, Vincent Baeten focused his studies on the authentication of juice, coffee, cocoa, edible fats and oils by NIR, MIR and Raman spectroscopy. Then, since his first position at CRA-W, he has contributed to the demonstration and the validation of near infrared microscopy for the detection of processed animal proteins (PAP) in compound feeds. This pioneer work on NIR microscopy has largely contributed to the nomination of CRA-W as European Union Reference Laboratory for Animal Proteins (EURL-AP) since 2006. In 2001, Vincent Baeten contributed to the installation at CRA-W of one of the first NIR hyperspectral imaging systems dedicated to food and feed laboratory analysis. He has contributed with his colleagues to the demonstration that NIR hyperspectral imaging was an elegant solution to tackle challenges in food and feed analysis. Demonstration of the detection of animal particles from different species as well as the full screening of ingredients of compound feed have been positively concluded. Later, different studies contribute to demonstrate the potential of NIRS and NIR HSI for the detection of chemical (e.g. non-protein nitrogen as melamine) and botanical contaminants (e.g. ergot bodies in cereals), botanical impurities (e.g. olive leaves in spices), animal contaminants (e.g. insects or cysts); or industrial contaminants (e.g. plastic particles).

Email :  v.baeten@cra.wallonie.be


Paolo Berzaghi

Paolo Berzaghi was born in Italy and raised at the family dairy farm. He obtained his bachelor degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Padua (Italy) in 1988. In 1991 he moved to US to begin a Master program in dairy nutrition at Virginia Tech (VA). He began working at the University of Padua in 1993 as research assistant in the Animal Science Department. He was a Fulbright scholar between 1997 and 1998 spending 4 months at Penn State/Infrasoft International with Dr. Shenk. During that period he was heavily involved in developing and testing WinISI 1.0 and the Local algorithm. Beginning March 2000 he worked for two years as visiting scientist in Madison (WI), under a research agreement that involved the University of Padova, University of Wisconsin and ARS-USDA. Since that time he has been acting as technical manager of the NIRS Consortium, developing calibration and standardization for over 25 labs located across the US specialising in forage analysis. He currently spends two months every year in USA under the terms of a contract with ARS-USDA to maintain a research program at the US Dairy Forage Research Center (Madison, WI) developing rapid methods of analysis applied at farm level. A major interest was developing an NIR program for forage analysis in Italy. His group has developed and maintained calibrations for fresh (undried unground) forages in a small private network in 5 European countries using Foss and Zeiss Corona instruments. Together with Dinamica Generale, he has developed a portable NIR instrument for on-site forage analysis. He is currently the inventor or co-inventor of 5 patents all involving NIR from application at the farm to NIR database management. He maintains an NIR lab at the Department of Animal Science through contracts with private companies like feed mills and seed companies. Current interests are the development of solutions for the use of NIR on farms. In 2005 he patented a system for grain analysis on combine harvesters. In 2007 he started a university spin-off company,  GraiNIT, to produce and install NIT systems on commercial combines, grain elevators and flour mills. He has been an Associate Professor in Animal Science since 2002, part-time since 2006.

Email : paolo.berzaghi@unipd.it


Tiziana Cattaneo

Tiziana, qualified (1983) in Food Technology at the University of Milan, Italy, has been employed by the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), since 1987 at the Research Centre in Lodi (CREA-FLC). She began research into the application of near infrared spectroscopy on dairy field 25 years ago (1996) in cooperation with instrumentation suppliers and cheese-making firms. She became Research Manager in 2003 and continues to improve the development of applied research in dairy and “fruit and vegetable” fields.

Since 2010 she has been appointed as Director of the Research Unit for Food Processes in Milan: also, this structure is one of those grouped into the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, the application field is mainly today “food transformation” from field to consumer, in particular for sustainable, safe and eco-friendly processes, and for food traceability. From May 2010 to October 2016 she has been President of the Italian Society for Near InfraRed Spectroscopy (SISNIR).

Present position, since July 2, 2017: Research Manager of CREA Dept., Milan, Italy

Her professional activity is regarding:

  • Technologies of food processes
  • Processes, packaging and storage of food products
  • Planning, level of applicability, means and resources to employ for the improvement of agriculture and the food processing
  • Hygiene, HACCP and Quality
  • Non-destructive analysis (IR and NIR Spectroscopy)
  • Sustainable process technologies

Her scientific activity is supported by about 350 research papers published on National and International Journals.

Email: tiziana.cattaneo@crea.gov.it


Marina Cocchi

Daniel Cozzolino

Dr Daniel Cozzolino is currently a Research Fellow with the Barley Research Laboratory with The University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

Daniel graduated from the Universidad de la Republica (Montevideo, Uruguay) as an Agricultural Engineer in 1989 and obtained his PhD from the University of Aberdeen (Aberdeen, Scotland) in 1998.

His research career has started in 1993 with the development of NIR applications for a wide range of agricultural products at the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA-Uruguay, “La Estanzuela” Experimental Research Station) before joined the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) based in Adelaide (South Australia) in 2002.  Between 2002 and 2011, he was the Senior Research Scientist and acting Team Leader of the Rapid Analytical Methods team at the AWRI.  His principal role was investigating a wide range of applications using rapid analytical methods (Visible, NIR, MIR, UV, electronic noses) and chemometrics in the grape and wine industry, in collaboration with several academic and industry partners.

He has published more than 130 papers in refereed journals and 15 book chapters on the application of spectroscopy and chemometrics to a diverse range of agricultural products and commodities. He filed 1 patent on the non-destructive analysis of wine (in bottle analysis), currently commercialized by an Australian base company ( http://www.jeffress.com.au).

In 2009 he became an Associate Research Scientist within the National Academy of Innovation and Science – Uruguay ( www.anii.org.uy). He is also an Honorary Member of the Editorial Board of six International Journals (International Journal of Wine Research; CyTA – Journal of Food; Food Research International; The Open Spectroscopy Journal; The Journal of Omics; International Journal of Agricultural and Food Research). He has given several International and local presentations on the use of NIR and chemometrics to a wide audience (students, farmers, scientists).  Daniel has supervised and co-supervised 3 Honors Thesis, 1 Master, 5 PhD Thesis and 3 Post Doc Thesis.  He was member of the organizing committee of the Australian Near Infrared Group (ANISG) Conference held in Adelaide in April 2010.

Email : d.cozzolinogomez@cqu.edu.au


William Foley

Ana Garrido-Varo

Ana Garrido-Varo has a PhD in Agriculture Engineering (University of Córdoba, Spain). Since 1980 she has served as instructor and teacher in the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry Engineering (ETSIAM). Currently, she holds the position of Professor in Fundamentals and Technology of Livestock Production and in Non-destructive Spectral Sensors for Quality, Safety and Traceability of Agro-Food Products. She has over twenty years experience in the field of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). She leads the Non-Destructive Spectral Sensors Unit (NDSSU) at her Faculty.

She held the position of Head of NIRS activities at the Centralised NIRS-Sample Bank Unit of the University of Córdoba, from 1990 until 2000. Currently, the Unit has several NIRS and NIR-imaging instruments and it is providing scientific and technical support to many scientists with rather different academic backgrounds. In 2001, she and other colleagues, encouraged the creation of the spin-off NIRsoluciones founded by four postdocs specialising in NIRS. At present, NIRSoluciones, as an independent technological company, acts as the “NIRS knowledge transfer arm” of the NDSSU Unit. She has experience in the scientific co-ordination of several national R + D projects for the implementation of NIRS technology in the Spanish Food and Feed Industry and since 1990 she has participated as Workpackage coordinator in different NIRS R & D projects supported by the European Union. She dedicates great efforts to promote the growth and development of at-line and on-line NIRS analysis, in the Spanish food and animal feed industry, through targeted Research & Training Initiatives. She has chaired the Education Group of the International Council for Near Infrared Spectroscopy (ICNIRS) since 2007, and she became Chair-Elect of ICNIRS in 2009. She is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy. In 2005 she was honoured by ICNIRS with the Tomas Hirschfeld award. She has published more than 150 journal papers, book chapters, conference and refereed workshop papers and she has supervised more than 30 MSc and PhD theses related to NIRS, NIRS-microscopy and NIRS-imaging.

Email : pa1gavaa@uco.es


Aoife Gowen

Aoife Gowen is a Professor in the School of Biosystems and Food Engineering at University College Dublin in Ireland. Her research area is multidisciplinary, involving applications of Spectral Imaging and chemometrics to biological systems, including foods, microbes and biomaterials.

After completing her undergraduate degree in Theoretical Physics in 2000, she moved to the highly applied research area of Food Science. Her PhD thesis, completed in 2006, concerned mathematical modeling of food quality parameters and optimization of food process operations. During her time as a post-doctoral researcher and Marie Curie fellow in Dublin and Kobe University Japan she investigated the intersection of near infrared spectroscopy, imaging and chemometrics for characterization of biological systems.

In 2014 she set up the Spectral Imaging research group in UCD and has expanded her team through EU and nationally funded grants, including European Research Council starting and proof of concept grants. She is editor in chief of the Journal of Spectral Imaging and has developed new research-informed modules in spectral imaging and sensors for undergraduate and graduate students.

Email: aoife.gowen@ucd.ie


Celio Pasquini

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 (http://www.iqm.unicamp.br/profs/pasquini.html) 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.

Email : pasquini@iqm.unicamp.br


Jean-Michel Roger

Jean-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.

Email : jean-michel.roger@irstea.fr


Wouter Saeys

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 www.biophotonics.be ; http://www.kuleuven.be/wieiswie/en/person/00036292

Email :  wouter.saeys@kuleuven.be


Kerry Walsh

Professor 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.  

Email :  k.walsh@cqu.edu.au


Updated : 13 September 2021