June 1, 2015, by Emma Thorne

SABMiller sponsors new brewing research fellows

The University’s research into improving the brewing process from field to pint glass has been strengthened by the appointment of two new fellows as part of a scheme sponsored by industry giant SABMiller.

Dr Guillermina Mendiondo and Dr David Jenkins in the School of Biosciences are the recipients of the Barry Axcell Fellowships in Brewing Science, which were created to support leading scientists to develop innovative research in key areas of brewing.

Dr Mendiondo’s research focuses on understanding the biochemistry of how barley senses environmental change and how to breed varieties that can adapt to these changes.

Dr Mendiondo completed her PhD in the University of Buenos Aires-Argentina in 2009, studying the physiological and molecular mechanisms by which the incubation temperature regulates the expression and the termination of seed dormancy in two cereal species (sorghum and barley). She was a Research Fellow working in the laboratory of Professor Michael Holdsworth in the Department of Plant and Crops Science at the University of Nottingham from April 2010 to 2013 and since then as a Senior Research Fellow in the same laboratory.

Dr Jenkins is investigating the flavour stability of beer and will work on the key flavour changes that occur during the brewing process and re-joins the University from the SABMiller Research Brewery, where he was working as a brewing scientist and where he also completed his IBD Diploma of Brewing.

Dr Jenkins completed his PhD at The University of Nottingham in 2010, studying the impact of dehydration and rehydration of brewing yeast (Active Dried Yeast), and held the post of Research Associate at the School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, for two and a half years, focusing his research work on characterisation of yeast and process optimisation.

Recognising talent

The three-year fellowships were designed for talented scientists who hold a relevant PhD in the science of brewing and have demonstrated a strong track record in research. The tenures are co-funded by SABMiller — the world’s second largest brewing company — and The University of Nottingham to a total value of almost £400,000.

The fellowships were established in recognition of the outstanding achievements of SABMiller’s former Group Chief Brewer, Professor Barry Axcell and underline the company’s commitment to research, innovation and talent development in brewing.

Each fellow is based within the Bioenergy and Brewing Science Building at the University but will also be provided with access to state-of-the-art facilities within SABMiller. Mentoring for the fellows is provided by Professor Axcell and Professor Katherine Smart, formerly professor of brewing science at the University, who succeeded him as SABMiller Group Chief Brewer in 2012.

Tony van Kralingen, SABMiller Director of Supply Chain and Human Resources said: “Barry Axcell instilled a culture of brewing excellence at SABMiller and his passion and professionalism serves as a model for all brewers. We are proud to be able to support these talented brewing scientists who will continue to push the boundaries of brewing innovation.”

Posted in BiosciencesFundingResearch news