Perdue Associate Receives Ph.D. from UMES

  • Thursday, January 7, 2010

    By Dr. Jennifer Keane-Dawes

    McKenzie, ShaunWhen Perdue's Quality Improvement Manager Shaun McKenzie who had been searching for a Ph.D. program in Food Science discovered that there was one being offered at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, he was in disbelief. "Wow!" he said. This is right down the street from me!

    Six years later, he's still voicing "Wow" in disbelief, because he's now Dr. Shaun McKenzie and was able to complete the program while working full-time at Perdue Farms.

    He credits Dr. Jurgen Schwarz, director of the Food Science and Technology Program, and the faculty for helping him to complete the program. "From the day I found out about the program and came over to meet Dr. Schwarz," said McKenzie, it has been great. The faculty understood that I had to travel on my job, and they knew that I had to work full time. But they gave me class notes and additional help along the way. I still can't believe that I'm done.

    McKenzie's research, which focuses on the feasibility of using infrared thermography to test the temperature in cooked poultry, was sponsored by Perdue Farms. Perdue Farms is ranked as the third largest poultry company in the United States with annual sales of $4.6 billion in food and agricultural products and services.  He will remain with Perdue and continue to provide and expand his expertise to the Eastern Shore.

    He says the model used in his research needs to be more predictable but indicates that the use of infrared thermography provides a good correlation between the surface and the internal temperature of cooked chicken patties and chicken cutlets sold in retail stores. His work lays the foundation for future research that could adopt the use of the technology in the industry. 

    A graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, McKenzie has worked at Perdue for 15 years after serving as a bacteriologist and Quality Manager with Campbell's Soup Co. He is married to Jackie McKenzie and they have 3 children: Shaun Jr., Sarah and Brandon.

     

    Dr. Jennifer Keane-Dawes is interim Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. This is part of her series of feature articles about research and other scholarly activities performed by UMES students and faculty.